The book is composed of entries from Walker's journals, correspondence - including letters to Spielberg, Jones, and Danny Glover, who played the much reviled Mister in the movie - and essays and articles that document the controversy in the African-American community upon the film's release. It also contains Walker's original screenplay for the film 'The color purple', a screenplay that ultimately was not used by Spielberg and has never been published. In three essays, Walker looks back at what was taking place in her life at that time - the onset of a debilitating illness, the failing health of her adored mother, and the betrayal by her companion of thirteen years. How do the private and the public mesh, she asks, during periods ofintense creativity and stress? In what ways do they support or weaken each other?