Alice Walker Says No to Hebrew Translation of ‘The Color Purple’

The Pulitzer Prize–winning author is a pro-Palestinian activist

by Lesley Kennedy • Reporter news image

As a pro-Palestinian activist, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Alice Walker has denied a request by Yediot Books, an Israeli publishing house, to print a Hebrew translation of The Color Purple, the Associated Press reports.

“I would so like knowing my books are read by the people of your country, especially by the young and by the brave Israeli activists (Jewish and Palestinian) for justice and peace I have had the joy of working beside,” she wrote to the publisher, according to the news service. “I am hopeful that one day, maybe soon, this may happen. But now is not the time.”

Yediot’s chief editor, Netta Gurevich, says she regrets Walker’s stance. Arts and books help build “a climate of tolerance and compassion,” Gurevich tells the news service in a statement. “That’s all the more so when talking about The Color Purple, a book that addresses discrimination, otherness and the importance of the individual’s struggle against injustice in general.”

A different publisher has translated the book into Hebrew in the past, the AP adds.

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