June 7, 2010
Almost immediately after Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker located her archives at Emory, Goodrich C. White Professor of American Studies Rudolph P. Byrd started going through her files and boxes. He was astonished by the materials he found, which ranged from scrapbook photos of Walker as a young child to long-forgotten interviews that appeared decades ago in small-circulation magazines. Now, both photos and interviews appear in the new book “The World Has Changed: Conversations with Alice Walker” (New Press, 2010), edited by Byrd. The collection shows the progression of Walker’s thinking on diverse topics (including spirituality, Fidel Castro, environmentalism, and writing) over almost a 30-year period.
In an interview with Emory Report, Byrd spoke about the project’s origins, its surprises, and what it was like to collaborate with Walker after many years of research and scholarship about the author.