Citing “apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people,” Alice Walker has denied a request from publisher Yediot Books to publish The Color Purple in Israel.
Walker wrote a letter explaining her decision. Follow this link to read the entire letter posted by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel. Here’s an excerpt from Walker’s letter:
As you may know, last Fall in South Africa the Russell Tribunal on Palestine met and determined that Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people, both inside Israel and also in the Occupied Territories. The testimony we heard, both from Israelis and Palestinians (I was a jurist) was devastating. I grew up under American apartheid and this was far worse. Indeed, many South Africans who attended, including Desmond Tutu, felt the Israeli version of these crimes is worse even than what they suffered under the white supremacist regimes that dominated South Africa for so long.
According to The Guardian, the book had been translated into Hebrew and brought to market back in the 1980’s.
The Color Purple was published in 1982 and went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction as well as the National Book Award for Fiction. It has also been adapted into a film and a Broadway musical. Last year, Open Road Integrated Media released an eBook edition of the novel. (via Publishers Lunch)