We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

She’s best known as the author of The Color Purple, which won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award in 1983 (before becoming a movie and a touring musical). But Alice Walker is also a renowned essayist and activist. She’ll be discussing several recent nonfiction works tonight at Busboys & Poets on 14th Street.

Walker’s new works, Overcoming Speechlessness: A Poet Encounters the Horror in Rwanda, Eastern Congo, and Palestine/Israel and The World Has Changed: Conversations with Alice Walker, explore the historical and contemporary ideas and problems that she’s most concerned with.

Overcoming Speechlessness, which was released April 1,  chronicles two of Walker’s recent trips. In 2006, she visited Rwanda and Eastern Congo through Women for Women International to witness the aftermath of the genocide in Kigali. In 2009, she visited the Gaza Strip on behalf of the anti-war group Code Pink, and saw the suffering resulting from the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

The World Has Changed, which comes out April 27, is edited by Rudolph P. Byrd and compiles a series of conversations between Walker and Gloria Steinem, Howard Zinn, and Margo Jefferson, offering insight into her life and work. Spanning from 1973 to 2009, the conversations touch on Walker’s activism, spirituality, and art.

ALICE WALKER READS TONIGHT AT 6:30 P.M. AT BUSBOYS & POETS, 2021 14th ST.  NW. FREE. (202) 387-7638‎.