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The Way Forward Is with a Broken Heart
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About the Author

Alice Walker won the Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award for her novel The Color Purple, which was preceded by The Third Life of Grange Copeland and Meridian. Her other bestselling novels include By the Light of My Father's Smile, Possessing the Secret of Joy and The Temple of My Familiar. She is also the author of two collections of short stories, three collections of essays, five volumes of poetry and several children's books. Her books have been translated into more than two dozen languages. Born in Eatonton, Georgia, Walker now lives in Northern California.

Reviews

HIn 13 affectionate stories, Walker (The Color Purple; By the Light of My Father's Smile) reflects on the nature of passion and friendship, pondering the emotional trajectories of lives and loves. Some of the pieces are directly autobiographical, as Walker explains in her preface. "To My Young Husband" is about her marriage as a young woman to a Jewish civil rights lawyer and their difficult but mostly happy decade in Mississippi and Brooklyn. Many years later, telling her daughter the story of the marriage, Walker wonders how she and her ex-husband, once so close, could have become such strangers. Other stories are "mostly fiction, but with a definite thread of having come out of a singular life." Old hurts are soothed in "Olive Oil," in which Orelia learns to trust her husband, John, and not visit the sins of the past upon him. In "The Brotherhood of the Saved," Hannah, the lesbian narrator, confronts the bigotry of religion and attempts to save her relationship with her mother, whose fundamentalist church is urging her to ostracize her daughter. A trip to a screening of Deep Throat gets the older woman and two of her friends talking about sex, but true acceptance proves more elusive. Infusing her intimate tales with grace and humor, Walker probes hidden corners of the human experience, at once questioning and acknowledging sexual, racial and cultural rifts. Though a few stories tip into self-indulgence and read less like fiction than personal testimony, this is nonetheless a strong, moving collection. A common theme runs throughoutDwe are all obliged to love and be loved, no matter how blind, inexpert or troublesome we may be. 100,000 first printing; 8-city author tour. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

The question is where to place this work, which blends nonfiction (there's a forthright memoir of her marriage) and short fiction. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

"Places Walker in the company of Faulkner."
--The Nation, about The Color Purple

"Superb...a work to stand beside literature of any time and place."
--San Francisco Chronicle, about The Color Purple "Just when you think Alice Walker has empathized her way as far as any writer can go, she goes further....Each essay is a gift."
--Gloria Steinem, about Anything We Love Can Be Saved "[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."
--San Francisco Chronicle, about You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down "A writer of staggering talent."
--New York Newsday

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