Legendary author Alice Walker boycotts Hebrew translation
She once complained of an IDF soldier who had never read her books but legendary author and pro-Palestine campaigner, Alice Walker, has refused to let her most famous novel be translated into Hebrew.
In a letter to Yediot Books, Walker said she would not allow the publication of The Color Purple into Hebrew because “Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people, both inside Israel and also in the Occupied Territories.”
The Pulizter prize-winning novelist is a long time supporter of Palestine, speaking at the TedXRamallah event in Bethlehem just last year. Walker said Israelis policies were “worse” than the segregation she suffered as a black American youth, comparing the actions of the Jewish state to South African Apartheid.
She is also supportive of the Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, recently traveling to Gaza to support the Palestinian peaceful resistance there. At TedXRamallah last year she spoke of the difficulty she had faced trying to get to the West Bank to attend the conference:
“We went through six checkpoints. I never saw any water, I never saw a river - is there a river there? … I’m sure [you all know], of the rudeness and the disrespect that one encounters in this place, on that bridge. Eventually I was taken in to be interrogated.”
She said she had spoken to her IDF interrogator as though he were her own son and they discussed her works of fiction:
“…he was saying to me ‘I never heard of you’, and I said ‘fine’ and he said ‘what have you written?’ And I said, well probably nothing you’ve read and he said, ‘well try me’. I said ‘well you probably haven’t read anything but how about the Steven Speilberg movie, The Color Purple?’ Which he said he also had not seen.” The film version of the novel was nominated for eleven Oscars.
At least one version of the book has already appeared in Hebrew translation, in the 1980s but having banned further Hebrew translations, Walker may be out of luck for the next generation of IDF soldiers interrogating her.
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