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Best of Alice Walker: Ranked

Best of Alice Walker: Ranked

By GoodReads

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Friendspire produced this based on a list by GoodReads on 29 June 2020.

Have you ever thought about why you like to read? What makes you so interested in reading books vs just "watching" a book? I mean the "Harry Potter" books and films are about the same, right? (The answer to that question is no. Dear God, the answer is 100% no.) Well then, what makes you a bibliophile? Is it that smell of paperback novels or the feeling of
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Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate, and continuing over the course of her marriage to "Mister," a brutal man who terrorizes her. Celie eventually learns that her abusive husband has been keeping her sister's letters from her and the rage she feels, combined with an example of love and independence provided by her close friend Shug, pushes her finally toward an awakening of her creative and loving self.

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Possessing the Secret of Joy

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Possessing the Secret of Joy is the story of Tashi, a tribal African woman who lives much of her adult life in North America. As a young woman, a misguided loyalty to the customs of her people led her to voluntarily submit to the tsunga's knife and be genitally mutilated (pharoanoically circumcised). Severely traumatized by this experience, she spends the rest of her life battling madness, trying desperately through psychotherapy - she is treated by disciples of both Freud and C.G. Jung, and even by Jung himself - to regain the ability to recognize her own reality and to feel. It is only with the help of the most unlikely ally she can imagine that she begins to study the mythological "reasons" invented by her ancient ancestors for what was done to her and to millions of other women and girls over thousands of years. As her understanding grows, so does her capacity to encounter her overwhelming grief. Underneath this grief is her glowing anger. Anger propels her to act. Action brings both feeling - life, the ability to exist with awareness in the moment - and death, of which she finds she has completely lost her fear. While not a sequel to The Color Purple or The Temple of My Familiar, Possessing the Secret of Joy follows the life of a barely-glimpsed character from those books. Combining fact and fiction, communing with the spirits of the living and the dead, Alice Walker in this novel strikes with graceful power at the heart of one of the most controversial issues of our time.

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Possessing the Secret of Joy is the story of Tashi, a tribal African woman who lives much of her adult life in North America. As a young woman, a misguided loyalty to the customs of her people led her to voluntarily submit to the tsunga's knife and be genitally mutilated (pharoanoically circumcised). Severely traumatized by this experience, she spends the rest of her life battling madness, trying desperately through psychotherapy - she is treated by disciples of both Freud and C.G. Jung, and even by Jung himself - to regain the ability to recognize her own reality and to feel. It is only with the help of the most unlikely ally she can imagine that she begins to study the mythological "reasons" invented by her ancient ancestors for what was done to her and to millions of other women and girls over thousands of years. As her understanding grows, so does her capacity to encounter her overwhelming grief. Underneath this grief is her glowing anger. Anger propels her to act. Action brings both feeling - life, the ability to exist with awareness in the moment - and death, of which she finds she has completely lost her fear. While not a sequel to The Color Purple or The Temple of My Familiar, Possessing the Secret of Joy follows the life of a barely-glimpsed character from those books. Combining fact and fiction, communing with the spirits of the living and the dead, Alice Walker in this novel strikes with graceful power at the heart of one of the most controversial issues of our time.

A visionary cast of characters weave together their past and present in a brilliantly intricate tapestry of tales. It is the story of the dispossessed and displaced, of peoples whose history is ancient and whose future is yet to come. Here we meet Lissie, a woman of many pasts; Arveyda the great guitarist and his Latin American wife who has had to flee her homeland; Suwelo, the history teacher, and his former wife Fanny who has fallen in love with spirits. Hovering tantalisingly above their stories are Miss Celie and Shug, the beloved characters from THE COLOUR PURPLE.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple, Alice Walker's collection of essays ranging in topics from personal to political. Thoughtful, intelligent, resonant musings. -- Kirkus Reviews In this, her first collection of nonfiction, Alice Walker speaks out as a black woman, writer, mother, and feminist. Among the thirty-six pieces are essays about other writers, accounts of the civil rights movement of the 1960s and the anti-nuclear movement of the 1980s, and a vivid memoir of a scarring childhood injury and her daughter's healing words.

The second novel written by the bestselling author of THE COLOUR PURPLE.

Alice Walker's first book recounts the lives of three generations growing up in Georgia, where the author herself grew up. Grange Copeland is a black tenant farmer who is forced to leave his land and family in search of a better future. He heads North but discovers that the racism and poverty he experienced in the South are, in fact, everywhere. When he returns to Georgia years later he finds that his son Brownfield has been imprisoned for the murder of his wife. But hope comes in the form of the third generation as the guardian of the couple's youngest daughter, Grange Copeland, who glimpses a chance of both spiritual and social freedom.

Alice Walker's early story, "Everyday Use," has remained a cornerstone of her work. Her use of quilting as a metaphor for the creative legacy that African Americans inherited from their maternal ancestors changed the way we define art, women's culture, and African American lives. By putting African American women's voices at the center of the narrative for the first time, "Everyday Use" anticipated the focus of an entire generation of black women writers. This casebook includes an introduction by the editor, a chronology of Walker's life, an authoritative text of "Everyday Use" and of "In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens," an interview with Walker, six critical essays, and a bibliography. The contributors are Charlotte Pierce-Baker, Houston A. Baker, Jr., Thadious M. Davis, Margot Anne Kelley, John O'Brien, Elaine Showalter, and Mary Helen Washington.

A family goes to the remote sierras of Mexico - the writer-to-be, Susannah; her sister Magdalena; their father and mother. There, amid indigenous people called the Mundo, they begin an encounter that will change them more than they ever could have dreamed. This is a deeply sensual novel that explores the richness of female sexuality as a celebration of life, affirming the belief that it is the triumphant heart, not the conquered heart, that forgives. And that love is both timeless and beyond.

Women stand their ground in the midst of crisis in this story collection by the New York Times–bestselling author of The Color Purple.  This collection builds on Alice Walker’s earlier work, the much-praised In Love & Trouble. But unlike her first collection of stories, the women in these tenderly wrought tales face their problems head on, proving powerful and self-possessed even when degraded by others—sometimes by those closest to them. But even as the female protagonists face exploitation, social asymmetries, and casual cruelties, Walker leavens her stories with ample wit and, as always, an eye for the redemptive power of love.    A collection that reveals a master of fiction approaching the fullness of her talent, these are the stories Walker produced while penning The Color Purple.  This ebook features an illustrated biography of Alice Walker including rare photos from the author’s personal collection.

Admirers of The Color Purple will find in these stories more evidence of Walker’s power to depict black women—women who vary greatly in background yet are bound together by what they share in common. Taken as a whole, their stories form an enlightening, disturbing view of life in the South.

The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Color Purple, Possessing the Secret of Joy, and The Temple of My Familiar now gives us a beautiful new novel that is at once a deeply moving personal story and a powerful spiritual journey. In Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart, Alice Walker has created a work that ranks among her ?nest achievements: the story of a woman’s spiritual adventure that becomes a passage through time, a quest for self, and a collision with love. Kate has always been a wanderer. A well-published author, married many times, she has lived a life rich with explorations of the natural world and the human soul. Now, at fifty-seven, she leaves her lover, Yolo, to embark on a new excursion, one that begins on the Colorado River, proceeds through the past, and flows, inexorably, into the future. As Yolo begins his own parallel voyage, Kate encounters celibates and lovers, shamans and snakes, memories of family disaster and marital discord, and emerges at a place where nothing remains but love. Told with the accessible style and deep feeling that are its author’s hallmarks, Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart is Alice Walker’s most surprising achievement. From the Hardcover edition.

'These are the stories that came to me to be told after hte close of a magical marriage to an extraordinary man that ended ina less-than-magical divorce. I found myself unmoored, unmated, ungrounded in a way that challenged everything I'd ever thought about human relationships. Situated squarely in that terrifying paradise called freedom, precipitously out on so many emotional limbs, it was as if I had been born; and in fact I was being reborn as the woman I was to become' The Way Forward is with a Broken Heart starts with a lyrical, autobiographical story of the breakdown of a marriage during the early years of the civil rights movement. Alice Walker then goes on to imagine stories that grew out of the life following that marriage. Filled with wonder at the capacity of humans to move through love and loss, this is an uplifting read that showcases the authors warmth, wit and wisdom.

'The passion of lyricism that Alice Walker put to such good use in her novel The Color Purple is here in this collection of essays' Fay Weldon, Mail on Sunday In a world where cynicism and political apathy is commonplace, it is refreshing and inspiring to read the words of Alice Walker. For she believes that the things we treasure, and the world we live in, can all be saved if only we will act. Beginning with an autobiographical essay about the roots of her own activism, Alice Walker then goes on to explore diverse public issues such as single parenthood, freedom of the press, civil rights and religion.

In her preface to this collection Alice Walker expresses surprise that she has been writing poetry for more than a quarter of a century--since the summer of 1965 when she traveled to East Africa and began writing the poems that would form her first volume. Here, in an inspiring compilation of her earlier poetry, Walker offers a historical perspective on the political and spiritual issues spanning three decades of injustice, perseverance, and hope. Revelatory introductions to each group of poems become essential threads in the tapestry that is Alice Walker, tightly weaving a special insight into the evolving consciousness of one of the most remarkable and provocative literary voices of our time. --Harcourt.

“Though we have encountered our share of grief and troubles on this earth, we can still hold the line of beauty, form, and beat. No small accomplishment in a world as challenging as this one.” — from the preface I was born to grow, alongside my garden of plants, poems like this one So writes Alice Walker in this new book of poems, poems composed over the course of one year in response to joy and sorrow both personal and global: the death of loved ones, war, the deliciousness of love, environmental devastation, the sorrow of rejection, greed, poverty, and the sweetness of home. The poems embrace our connections while celebrating the joy of individuality, the power we each share to express our truest, deepest selves. Beloved for her ability to speak her own truth in ways that speak for and about countless others, she demonstrates that we are stronger than our circumstances. As she confronts personal and collective challenges, her words dance, sing, and heal.

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