Tillet to speak at South Orange–Maplewood Adult School

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — The South Orange–Maplewood Adult School will present Pulitzer Prize–winning critic Salamishah Tillet, an Orange native, on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. at Columbia High School, 17 Parker Ave. Register online at tinyurl.com/5n8rhwdw

“The Story of an American Masterpiece” is a public lecture and conversation based Tillet’s life-changing experiences reading and then returning again and again to Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, “The Color Purple,” and its adaptations at crucial points in her life.

Traversing cultural criticism, memoir and biography, Tillet’s book, “In Search of The Color Purple: The Story of an American Masterpiece” follows her as she recovers from sexual assault by finding herself in Walker’s most beloved characters. In this healing journey, she comes across others, including actress Oprah Winfrey, activist Gloria Steinem, artist Mickalene Thomas and even Walker herself, who share their own stories of being inspired by protagonist Celie’s voice and vision of justice.

Tillet will read from her book. Following the reading, Tillet will discuss the work with James Goodman, a professor of history and creative writing at Rutgers University. A question-and-answer session will follow the conversation.