For decades, Pulitzer Prize–winning author and activist Alice Walker has spoken out in defense of the oppressed. Her writings address the intersections of racist, sexist, heterosexist, classist, and, increasingly, speciesist oppressions, and she has made clear the importance of reducing violence and creating peace where possible. In light of Walker’s call to action, this book analyzes seven of her novels to offer a fresh reading situated at the complex intersection of critical race studies and critical animal studies.
Grounded in ecofeminist theory, this literary analysis examines Walker’s evolving views on animals in relation to her discussions of other oppressed groups. Pamela B. June argues that Walker’s fiction can help readers understand and perhaps challenge American culture’s mistreatment of nonhuman animals. Walker has withstood criticism for her decision to abandon vegetarianism, and this book also problematizes the slippery territory of viewing writers as moral guides. Solidarity with the Other Beings on the Planet will appeal to readers in literary studies, ecofeminist studies, African American studies, and critical animal studies.
Table of Contents Introduction: Connecting Food, Animals, and Literature 1. Alice Walker and Veg*nism 2. Trans-Corporeality and the Language of Oppression 3. Food as Power, Food as Redemption 4. “She Does Not Think of Herself as Steak” 5. Rewriting Creation Stories Conclusion: Conclusion and New Directions Notes Bibliography Index
PAMELA B. JUNE is an associate professor of English at Ohio University, Eastern Campus.
“Pamela B. June’s writing on the life and works of Alice Walker exemplifies the power and importance of exploring the many perplexing complications that shape the lives and works of complex thinkers and writers.” —Lisa Kemmerer, editor of Sister Species: Women, Animals, and Social Justice
“The euphoria that animal advocates experienced when Alice Walker published her essay 'Am I Blue' evaporated when Walker declared she was not vegetarian and that the misery she spat out of her mouth in the essay just happened to 'somehow find its way' back in. How does a feminist call a chicken a 'sister,' yet eat her? June deftly examines the discordant dimensions of Walker’s life, art, and thought in this disturbing and illuminating book. —Karen Davis, author of For the Birds: From Exploitation to Liberation; Essays on Chickens, Turkeys, and Other Domesticated Fowl
"This study's lucid prose and the clarity of June’s engagement with the theoretical influences on Walker render this volume accessible to a broad audience." —R. D. Morrison, Morehead State University, CHOICE
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