Alice Walker Bans Hebrew Translation of The Color Purple

Alice Walker says she won't authorize a Hebrew translation of her iconic novel The Color Purple because of Israel's policy toward Palestinians.

Since the 1982 release of Alice Walker’s novel The Color Purple, the compelling story has taken on a life of its own, with wildly popular adaptations as both a major motion picture and a Broadway musical. But if Walker has her way, there is one adaptation the text won’t be taking on: a translation to Hebrew.

Earlier this month, Walker rejected the request of Israeli publisher Yediot Books to translate the book into Hebrew because she disagrees with how Israel treats Palestinians. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports:

“In a June 9 letter to Yediot Books, Walker said she would not allow an Israeli house to publish the book because “Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people, both inside Israel and also in the Occupied Territories.”

In her letter, posted Sunday by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel on its website, Walker supported the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and offered her hope that the BDS movement “will have enough of an impact on Israeli civilian society to change the situation.”

It was not clear when Yediot Books, an imprint of the daily Yediot Achronot newspaper, made the request, or whether Walker could in fact stop translation of the book. At least one version of the book has already appeared in Hebrew translation, in the 1980s.

Walker said Israelis policies were “worse” than the segregation she suffered as an American youth and said South Africans had told her it was worse than Apartheid.”

Read the full story here.

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(Photo: Peter Kramer/Getty Images)

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