Rebecca Walker Website Making Debut

Rebecca Walker, the daughter of writer Alice Walker and the author of "Black, White, and Jewish", has posted her photo on her website (ulp! I think I'm in love) and seems to be about ready to start putting up content.

I first discovered Alice Walker when I was a young adult (about 20 or 21) in the Air Force. I still remember picking up a copy of "You Can't Keep A Good Woman Down" in the base library at the Presidio of Monterey. I was totally blown away by her writing. I promptly bought that book and her earlier collection of short stories, "In Love and Trouble". I still think those two books hold some of the finest short fiction I've ever read.

Later on, Walker would become famous for her novels, including "The Third Life of Grange Copeland" and of course "The Color Purple". (Confession: I wasn't craze about TCP.) She's also got a new book out which is classed as a novel but appears to be in the form of a series of vignettes. Since I'm partial to her work in the short-story mode, I will probably succumb to temptation and buy it soon.

But like so many people, Alice Walker strode merrily off the deep end with the Iraq crisis. I remember reading in a magazine article published shortly before the war that she had gone to Iraq as part of some "human shield" program. All I could do was shake my head and say, "Alice, what were you thinking?" I don't know whether she ever bothered to talk with Iraqis who were actually free to speak their minds - either here in the US, or in Iraq after the liberation. I don't know what, if anything, she has to say about the torture chambers and mass graves.

I do know that Rebecca Walker embraces both her mother's African-American heritage and her father's Jewish identity. I've read in a couple of places that the mother and daughter are rather far apart politically; when asked about her daughter's politics in a recent interview (I think in Ms.), Alice replied tersely, "I don't talk about my daughter's politics."

Haven't got a copy of BW&J or the new Alice Walker yet, but I'll probably stop by Powell's tonight (writing this post has kind of committed me to do that, I guess), and I'll undoubtedly have more to say about the Walkers soon.