In Person: Walker & Williams

I just got off the phone from a press teleconference with one of my heroes -- Alice Walker, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple, and most recently Anything We Love Can Be Saved: A Writer's Activism. Oh, the wonders of modern technology! As we press types huddled at our desks across the nation, Walker freely answered our questions on topics ranging from the Heaven's Gate cult ("Why would they think anybody else would want them? They couldn't make it here on this planet, why should they impose themselves on Martians?") to her crusade against female genital mutilation.

Ms. Walker, a Messiah-like figure to liberal women everywhere, will be reading from and signing copies of Anything We Love Can Be Saved on May 2, at Huston-Tillotson College. The event is co-sponsored by BookWoman and Folk-tales, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Out Youth Austin, John Henry Reading Express, and Women's Access to Electronic Resources (WATER). As this is her only appearance between L.A. and New Orleans, her devotees (um, I mean fans) will flock from all over the Southwest to sit at her feet. I know I will. -- Leah Welborn

Usually we don't see the term "black writer" except during

February and June, so it's a treat to see that not only is Alice Walker appearing in town but so is Robyn Williams. In the emerging genre of black female authors exploring the realm of romance and life, Williams' self-published novel Preconceived Notions has attracted acclaim and attention usually reserved for peers like Terry McMillan. Williams will appear at Folktales bookstore on Sat. April 26, to read and sign her book. -- Margaret Moser

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