Alice Walker is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author whose prolific literary output includes fiction, volumes of poetry, and powerful nonfiction collections. This idiosyncratic collection of 38 pieces centers around the author's flock of chickens. They treat her to unconditional love, draw her into the past when she was a girl in rural Georgia, stand as symbols of nature's bounties and beauties, and convince her of the rightness of her mostly vegan diet. Walker names them Glorious, Rufus, Gertrude Stein, Splendor, Hortensia, Agnes of God, the Gladyses, and Babe. She loves their feathers of gold and orange and black, their habit of taking naps with each other, and their delight in eating corn and grapes. And just to demonstrate how bonded she is with her "girls," Walker writes letters to them from her travels around the world as a witness and advocate for peace and justice.
In India, she looks in vain for a chicken memorialized and worshipped in a shrine: "I don't understand it. With your flesh and eggs, surely holy, you feed the world. Yet no one bows to you. How can this be?" In The Chicken Chronicles, Alice Walker makes a deep bow to her girls who tutor her about the mysteries of life and death. Long live the chickens of the world!