And so, out of all available literature, Alice Walker chose David Icke’s jaw-droppingly ridiculous book, Human Race Get Off Your Knees, to accompany her and her eight discs to Radio 4’s mythical Desert Island.
She could have had War and Peace, say, or Remembrance of Things Past, or even – let’s not be literary snobs, here – Fifty Shades of Grey. Instead, Ms Walker selected a sports commentator-turned-messiah’s ramblings on such topics as moon-based mind-control and the shape-shifting reptiles that run the world. Why? Because such notions are, the author explains, a good explanation of the “incredible evil that has engulfed our planet”.
Ms Walker may have won a Pulitzer Prize. Her best-known novel – The Color Purple – may grace school syllabuses across the English-speaking world. But such heights of achievement are, it seems, no guarantee of sense.