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Alice Walker encourages you to purchase her books from locally owned bookstores. (map)
I love this chicken because she is so in her body. If you look into her eyes you are right to know she is not thinking of your dinner.
One of the things I especially prize is that she is missing a toenail. At first I wanted the artist to put on a fake one, but then I thought no: Life gives us broken toenails and worse to let us remember where we’ve been and the struggles we’ve overcome. I felt this way a few months ago watching How To Train Your Dragon, a movie I like a lot. One of the things I like about it is that the main character Hiccup loses a leg in his battle to save his dragon friends and enlighten his Viking community. This is the truth of Life.
In 2006 Alice Walker, working with Women for Women International, visited Rwanda and the eastern Congo to witness the aftermath of the genocide in Kigali. Invited by Code Pink, an antiwar group working to end the Iraq War, Walker traveled to Palestine/Israel three years later to view the devastation on the Gaza Strip.
Here is her testimony. Bearing witness to the depravity and cruelty, she presents the stories of the individuals who crossed her path and shared their tales of suffering and courage. Part of what has happened to human beings over the last century, she believes, is that we have been rendered speechless by unusually barbaric behavior that devalues human life. We have no words to describe what we witness. Self-imposed silence has slowed our response to the plight of those who most need us, often women and children, but also men of conscience who resist evil but are outnumbered by those around them who have fallen victim to a belief in weapons, male or ethnic dominance, and greed.
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Acclaimed author, poet, feminist, activist, and, at the age of just thirty-nine, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Literature, Alice Walker is one of our most extraordinary living writers. From her discussions of black identity and feminism to ruminations on suffering and joy, Walker’s work has consistently displayed her extraordinary literary gifts, her fierce intelligence, and the deep political and spiritual convictions that have informed her work and life. Since her first short story, “To Hell with Dying,” which was “discovered” by the poet Langston Hughes in 1967 to The Color Purple and, more recently, her bestselling children’s book, Why War Is Never a Good Idea , Walker has inspired, critiqued, and pushed the limits of storytelling.
“[These] poems grow as naturally on the page as grass and flowers, yet never try to conceal a terrain of early graves, emotional land mines, and levies of sorrow.”
– Gloria Steinem, author of Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions
“Alice Walker’s new poems are a lifeboat in a storm, warm soup in the mouth, a rumba in the streets of the heart.”
– Jack Kornfield, author of The Wise Heart
“Though War is Old / It has not / Become wise,” Walker writes in this eloquent poem. Paintings in neon-bright colors celebrate forest diversity and urban communities across the globe. Then each community, in turn, is destroyed by war, its glowing warmth disappearing beneath clouds of smoke and ash.
We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For
“It is the worst of times. It is the best of times. Try as I might I cannot find a more appropriate opening for this volume.” In We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For, Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Color Purple, draws on her deep spiritual grounding, her passionate political convictions and her extraordinary literary gifts to give us a series of meditations on the universal struggles for wisdom, justice, and peace.
We are the ones we have been waiting for, Walker says, because we live in an age in which we are able to see and understand our own predicament. With so much greater awareness than our ancestors – and with with such capacity for insight, knowledge, and empathy –we are uniquely prepared to create positive change within ourselves and our world. Read more
Constantly testing and stretching her readers’ imaginations and boundaries, Walker expresses her warmth, her anger, her optimism in this provocative, lively collection.” – Publishers Weekly
“Powerful…illuminating the heart and soul of a writer-activist in this age of widespread ennui and apathy”. — Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“Tackles more than a dozen hot-button issues, from South Africa’s problematic Winnie Mandela to the Million Man March to Fidel Castro…One can’t help feeling charged up, sharing the range of Walker’s energy and involvement, her refusal to do anything half-heartedly”. — St. Louis Post-Dispatch Read more
“These are the stories that came to me to be told after the close of a magical marriage to an extraordinary man that ended in a 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.” Read more
By the Light of My Father’s Smile
A family from the United States goes to the remote Sierras in Mexico–the writer-to-be, Susannah; her sister, Magdalena; her father and mother. And there, amid an endangered band of mixed-race Blacks and Indians called the Mundo, they begin an encounter that will change them more than they could ever dream. Moving back and forth in time, and among unforgettable characters and their stories, Walker crosses conventional borders of all kinds as she explores in this magical novel the ways in which a woman’s denied sexuality leads to the loss of the much prized and necessary original self; and how she regains that self, even as her family’s past of lies and love is transformed. Read more
In Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart, Alice Walker has created a work that ranks among her finest achievements: the story of a woman’s spiritual adventure that becomes a passage through time, a quest for self, and a collision with love.
“Periodically one finds a book that is both intellectually stimulating and a rip-roaring read. Alice Walker’s latest novel is a glorious example of just such a book – challenging, moving, and beautifully written…For fans of Alice Walker this is a treat; for those new to her it is a revelation.” –Scotland on Sunday
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In Walker’s follow-up to The Color Purple, webs of characters are drawn toward critical confrontations with history
“In The Temple of My Familiar, Celie and Shug from The Color Purple subtly shadow the lives of dozens of characters, all dealing in some way with the legacy of the African experience in America. From recent African immigrants, to a woman who grew up in the mixed-race rainforest communities of South America, to Celie’s own granddaughter living in modern-day San Francisco, all must come to understand the brutal stories of their ancestors to come to terms with their own troubled lives.
As Walker follows these astonishing characters, she weaves a new mythology from old fables and history, a profoundly spiritual explanation for centuries of shared African-American experience.”, —Open Road Media, Sept. 20, 2011
In this exquisite book, Alice Walker’s first new collection of poetry since 1991, are poems that reaffirm her as “one of the best American writers of today” (The Washington Post). The forces of nature and the strength of the human spirit inspire the poems in Absolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth. Alice Walker opens us to feeling and understanding, with poems that cover a broad spectrum of emotions. —Random House
Sent By Earth: A Message from the Grandmother Spirit After the Bombing of the World Trade Center and Pentagon (2001)
This book—based on Parmar’s extraordinary film—chronicles the authors’ journey together, from California to England to Africa, to interview the people concerned with and affected by this harmful, sometimes deadly process. 40 photos.”—Amazon.com
Possessing the Secret of Joy
Possessing the Secret of Joy was the first novel to deal with this controversial topic and does so in a manner that Cosmopolitan called “masterful, honorable, and unforgettable storytelling.’ —The New Press
For writers and artists, it is full of valuable insights. And for those who have been touched by either incarnation of The Color Purple, whether it seemed holy and transcendent or merely a good story well told, this refreshing dip into the waters of creativity is a must-read. —David Templeton
“The tender colors seem lit from within, creating a reverential mood that enhances the story’s compelling narrative. A loving remembrance of a common man whose humanity Walker makes memorable.” —Booklist Read more
Alice Walker has always turned to poetry to express some of her most personal and deeply felt concerns. She has said that her poems-even the happy ones-emerge from an accumulation of sadness, when she stands again “in the sunlight.” “[This collection] has two fine strengths-a music that comes along sometimes, as sad and cheery as a lonely woman’s whistling-and Miss Walker’s own tragicomic gifts” —New York Times Book Review.
In this, her first collection of nonfiction, Alice Walker speaks out as a black woman, writer, mother, and feminist in thirty-six pieces ranging from the personal to the political. Among the contents are essays about other writers, accounts of the civil rights movement of the 1960s and the antinuclear movement of the 1980s, and a vivid memoir of a scarring childhood injury and her daughter’s healing words.
“Alice Walker is exceptionally brave. She takes on subjects at which most writers would flinch and quail, and probably fail. She shrinks from no moral or emotional complexity, and she writes consummately skillful short stories…in Walker’s work nothing is ordinary…. She is a marvelous writer. —Alice Adams, San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle
The status of black American women is explored in this collection of nonfiction writings. Writing these, Walker says, “led me eventually into a larger understanding of the psyche, and of the world.” What finally marks this volume is the strong sense of change and, ultimately, of forgiveness as a part of growth. In her powerful third collection, Alice Walker writes vivid, beautiful poems of breakdown and spiritual disarray.
I like to carry a small book of poetry in my purse at all times to transform the frustration of gridlock or late lunch partners into a sanctuary. Alice Walker wrote these poems about everyday valor, the search for truth and hope in the reality of life. —Diane Sawyer
“A sensitive, spirited, and intelligent poet. Feeling is channeled into a style that is direct and sharp….”
“Brief slashing poems — young, and in the sun.”
Alice Walker’s first novel is “graphic and authentic…moving, tender, and all too tragic…. She writes with power, sensitivity, and all-pervading humanity” —Publishers Weekly