Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Read On! "Why War Is Never a Good Idea"

(Read On! ... occasional posts on writing we're reading) Featured now at children's bookstores is a new work by Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prizewinning author of the 1982 epistolary novel The Color Purple. (photo below of Walker courtesy of Santa Clara University)
In Why War Is Never a Good Idea Walker makes "War" a character, an unwelcome visitor of havoc on the lush countrysides and loving country folk in the illustrations by Stefano Vitale. Indeed, only one page depicts an urban scene -- a bombed-out city that could be Dresden or London, Sarajevo or Santiago -- creating a romanticism that is perhaps unreal yet nonetheless effective as an essential reminder of the innocence that is lost in time of war.
As with much of Walker's work, the best passages here are those that forgo polemic in favor of word images that pique thought. My favorite:

Though War speaks
Every language
It never knows
What to say
To frogs.

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