The award-winning author of The Color Purple has reportedly refused to allow a Hebrew translation of the 1982 work, citing Israel’s “apartheid state.”
In a June 9 letter to Yediot Books, author Alice Walker said she would not allow publication of the book into Hebrew because “Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people, both inside Israel and also in the Occupied Territories,” the Jerusalem Post reports.
In her letter, which was posted Sunday by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, Walker indicated her support of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, saying she hopes the campaign will “have enough of an impact on Israeli civilian society to change the situation.”
It was not immediately clear when Yediot Books -- a division of the daily Yediot Aharonot 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 in the 1980s, the Jerusalem Post reports.
Walker, who has intensified her anti-Israel activism in recent years, said Israel’s policies were “worse” than the segregation she suffered as an American youth.
The Color Purple, which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for its take on black America in the 1930s, was adapted into a movie in 1985 and was nominated for 11 Oscars.