Alice Walker is facing criticism for praising British author David Icke in an interview with The New York Times. The 74-year-old Pulitzer Prize winner named Icke’s And the Truth Shall Set You Free, as one of the books on her night stand in the paper’s well known, “By The Book” column, which interviews scribes.
“In Icke’s books there is the whole of existence, on this planet and several others, to think about. A curious person’s dream come true,” she said of the book, which is said to contain various anti-semitic passages, including outright holocaust denial. This isn’t the first time Walker has expressed appreciation for the controversial author. Icke was also named on her “Best of 2013” book list published by The Atlanticthat year. The New York Times is also facing backlash for running the interview with Walker’s comments about Icke without any editorial disclaimer. In a statement issued to The Wrap, the paper affirmed that printing Walker’s statements was not an endorsement of Icke’s work or his anti-semitic ideologies. “’By the Book’ is an interview and portrait of a public person through the lens of books; it is not a list of recommendations from our editors. The subject’s answers are a reflection on that person’s personal tastes, opinions and judgments,” they said in a statement.“As with any interview, the subject’s answers do not imply an endorsement by Times editors. Moreover, our editors do not offer background or weigh in on the books named in the ‘By the Book’ column, whether the subject issues a positive or negative judgment on those books. Many people recommend books Times editors dislike, disdain or even abhor in the column.”