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Alice Walker interview with New York Times draws criticism

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker drew the ire of critics Sunday when she recommended the work of British conspiracy theorist David Icke in a New York Times interview.

Icke, a former professional soccer player, is the author of 20 books, many of them self-published. Walker said Icke’s 1996 work “And the Truth Shall Set You Free,” was on her nightstand.

Wrote Yair Rosenberg in Jewish online magazine Tablet, Icke’s book “is an unhinged anti-Semitic conspiracy tract written by one of Britain’s most notorious anti-Semites.”

Icke writes that Jews were responsible for fomenting World War I and World War II, and that the Holocaust was “coldly calculated by the ‘Jewish’ elite.”

Walker, who has expressed admiration for Icke in the past, told the Times “In Icke’s books there is the whole of existence, on this planet and several others, to think about.”

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Walker and the Times were both criticized for giving exposure to Icke, who has also written that much of history is controlled by a “reptilian” race from another planet.

Walker, 74, a native of Eatonton, Ga., won the Pulitzer Prize for her 1982 novel, “The Color Purple,” which has been made into a movie and a hit Broadway musical. The musical version is now being developed into a film.

The theatrical version of the book was workshopped in Atlanta by the Alliance Theatre, and the musical premiered here in 2004.

Walker, who lives in California, has maintained her connections to Georgia, and returned to her home state last spring to participate in a symposium on race, justice and reconciliation at Agnes Scott College.

During that visit, she spoke with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about some of her more extreme beliefs, including her support for another conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones, of InfoWars. 

Said Walker, “Alex is crazy, I’ve said that pretty much, but before he went completely crazy I thought he was a real being, and I think real beings are very interesting.”

Of Icke she said, “David is actually brilliant, and I think people should listen more to what he has to say, and I think eventually they will have to if they want to understand what is going on.”

Walker spoke only briefly about Icke to the Times, which interviewed her for the regular feature, “By the Book.”

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