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Works by
Alice Walker
(Writer)

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Profile created August 23, 2006
Fiction
  • Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart  (2004)
    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.

  • The Way Forward Is with a Broken Heart (2000)
    Superb stories based on rich truths from her own experience. Imbued with Walker's wise philosophy and understanding of people, the spirit, sex and love, The Way Forward Is with a Broken Heart begins with a lyrical, autobiographical story of a marriage set in the violent and volatile Deep South during the early years of the civil rights movement. Walker goes on to imagine stories that grew out of the life following that marriage—a life, she writes, that was "marked by deep sea-changes and transitions." These provocative stories showcase Walker's hard-won knowledge of love of many kinds and of the relationships that shape our lives, as well as her infectious sense of humor and joy.

  • By the Light of My Father's Smile  (1998)
    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.

  • The Complete Stories (1994)

  • Possessing the Secret of Joy (1992)

  • Finding the Green Stone (1991)
    After saying unkind things to family and friends, Johnny loses both his green stone and his interest in life, and he recovers them only when he discovers love in his heart.

  • The Temple of My Familiar (1989)

  • To Hell with Dying (1988) with Catherine Deeter, Illustrator
    The author relates how old Mr. Sweet, though often on the verge of dying, could always be revived by the loving attention that she and her brother gave him.

  • The Color Purple (1982)
    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.

  • You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down: Stories (1982)
    A natural evolution from the earlier, much-acclaimed collection In Love & Trouble, these fourteen provocative and often humorous stories show women oppressed but not defeated. These are hopeful stories about love, lust, fame, and cultural thievery, the delight of new lovers, and the rediscovery of old friends, affirmed even across self-imposed color lines.

  • Meridian (1976)
    Meridian Hill is a young woman at an Atlanta college attempting to find her place in the revolution for racial and social equality. She discovers the limits beyond which she will not go for the cause, but despite her decision not to follow the path of some of her peers, she makes significant sacrifices in order to further her beliefs. Working in a campaign to register African American voters, Meridian cares broadly and deeply for the people she visits, and, while her coworkers quit and move to comfortable homes, she continues to work in the deep South despite a paralyzing illness. Meridian's nonviolent methods, though seemingly less radical than the methods of others, prove to be an effective means of furthering her beliefs.

  • "Everyday Use" (1973) with Barbara T. Christian, ed.

  • In Love & Trouble: Stories of Black Women (1973)
    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 Third Life of Grange Copeland  (1970)
    Despondent over the futility of life in the South, black tenant farmer Grange Copeland leaves his wife and son in Georgia to head North. After meeting an equally humiliating existence there, he returns to Georgia, years later, to find his son, Brownfield, imprisoned for the murder of his wife. As the guardian of the couple's youngest daughter, Grange Copeland is looking at his third -- and final -- chance to free himself from spiritual and social enslavement.

Poetry
  • Collected Poems (2005)

  • Absolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth: New Poems (2003)
    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 up to feeling and understanding with poems that cover a broad spectrum of emotions. With profound artistry, Walker searches for, discovers, and declares the fundamental beauty of existence, as she explores what it means to live life fully, to learn from it, and to grow both as an individual and as part of a greater spiritual community.

    In “The Same as Gold,” Walker writes of the essence of grief, and of our inherent powers of love and acceptance. In “Everyone Who Works for Me,” Walker considers, with humor and grace, the frenzy that permeates modern life—a frenzy that prevents us from seeing the beauty in everything we do until we step back and take the time to look at and comprehend ourselves and those around us. In “The Love of Bodies,” Walker elegantly expresses the gratitude and tenderness we are capable of feeling for loved ones, living and dead, and the inescapable emotional connections that bind us together.

  • A Poem Traveled Down My Arm: Poems And Drawings (2003)
    In this illuminating book, Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist and acclaimed poet Alice Walker reveals her remarkable philosophy of life. Curiously, this labor of love started with the author’s signature: Faced with the daunting task of providing autographs for multiple copies of one of her poetry collections, Absolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth, Walker turned an act of repetition into an act of inspiration. For each autograph became something more than a name: a thoughtful reflection, an impromptu sketch, a heartfelt poem. The result is this spontaneous burst of the unexpected. A Poem Traveled Down My Arm is a lovely collection of insights and drawings—by turns charming and humorous, provocative and profound—that represent the wisdom of one of today’s most beloved writers.

    The essence of Walker’s independent spirit emanates from words and images that are simple but deep in meaning. An empowering approach to life...the inspiration to live completely in the moment...the chance to nurture one’s creativity and peace of mind—all these beautiful elements are evoked by this unusual and original book
    .

  • Her Blue Body Everything We Know: Earthling Poems, 1965-1990 Complete (1991)
    This anthology represents Alice Walker’s complete earlier poetry, from the summer of 1965 when she traveled to East Africa and began the poems that would form her first collection, through her poetry of the civil rights movement and beyond. Revelatory introductions to each group of poems provide a special insight into the evolving consciousness of one of the most remarkable and provocative literary minds of our time.

  • Good Night, Willie Lee, I'll See You in the Morning (1979)

  • Horses Make a Landscape Look More Beautiful (1979)

  • Revolutionary Petunias & Other Poems (1973)

  • Once (1968)

Non-fiction
  • We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: Light in a Time of Darkness (2006)
    Author of the perennially bestselling novel The Color Purple, Alice Walker has long been a force for sanity in a chaotic world. In We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For she draws on her deep spiritual grounding, her political conviction and experience, and her literary gifts to offer a series of meditations filled with wisdom, hope, encouragement, and, at times, serenity to a world in need of all these things. The perfect gift for Alice Walker fans and anyone who longs for peace, on earth and within, this lovely volume will be embraced for its wise insights and mature compassion.

  • Pema Chodron And Alice Walker in Conversation (2005)
    The seed of joy lies in the heart of suffering. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker discovered this revolutionary truth when she first heard the teachings of Pema Chodron, an American-born Buddhist nun whose popular books have helped to awaken and spread the practice of compassion in the West. On Pema Chodron and Alice Walker in Conversation, you will learn about the life-changing impact on both women of tonglen meditation: an ancient Tibetan meditation that transforms pain into compassion through the medium of your own breath. With honesty and humor, Chodron and Walker reflect on anger, joy, fear, and the union of spirituality and social activism. A deeply courageous vision of the human journey unfolds as these two thinkers from different worlds come together in a provocative exchange of insight and personal revelation. Ultimately, their combined wisdom illuminates the realm, available to us all, where the barriers between self and others dissolve. Recorded live at San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts, Pema Chodron and Alice Walker in Conversation includes a lively question-and-answer session available nowhere else. Complete with a booklet including Ane Pema's tonglen instructions, suggestions for further readings, and more.

  • Sent by Earth: A Message from the Grandmother Spirit After the Bombing of the World Trade Center And Pentagon (2001)

  • Anything We Love Can Be Saved: A Writer's Activism (1997)
    A
    lice Walker writes about her life as an activist, in a book rich in the belief that the world is saveable, if only we will act. Speaking from her heart on a wide range of topics--religion and the spirit, feminism and race, families and identity, politics and social change--Walker begins with a moving autobiographical essay in which she describes her own spiritual growth and roots in activism. She goes on to explore many important private and public issues: being a daughter and raising one, dreadlocks, banned books, civil rights, and gender communication. She writes about Zora Neale Hurston and Salman Rushdie and offers advice to Bill Clinton. Here is a wise woman's thoughts as she interacts with the world today, and an important portrait of an activist writer's life.

  • The Same River Twice: Honoring the Difficult (1996)
    Exciting collection of work based on Alice Walker's groundbreaking, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Color Purple.

  • Warrior Marks: Female Genital Mutilation and the Sexual Blinding of Women (1993) with Pratibha Parmar
    Exposes the secret of female genital mutilation, a practice that affects one hundred million of the world’s women.

  • In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose (1983)
    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.

Children's Books

There is a road
At the bottom
Of my Foot
Walking me.

In a beautifully poetic and gently provocative text, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker invites readers young and old to see the world -- and our place in it -- through new eyes.

Glowing colors and radiant images accompany this joyous celebration of the connections and interconnections between self, Nature, and creativity.  Ages 9-12

  • Langston Hughes: American Poet (1974)
    When Langston Hughes was a boy, His grandmother told him true stories of how African people were captured in Africa and brought to America enslaved. She told him about their fight for freedom and justice.

    Langston loved his grandmother's stories. To learn more stories and bear more beautiful language, he began to read books. He fell in love with books and decided that one day he would write stories too, true stories about Black people.

    When he was only fourteen, Langston wrote his first poem, and for the rest of his life he was always writing -- stories and essays and, most of all, poems. He wrote about Black people as he saw them: happy, sad, mad, and beautiful. Through his writing he fought for freedom from inequality and injustice; and his gift of words inspired and influenced many other writers.

    Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker was one writer Langston influenced. In this moving and richly detailed portrait she celebrates the life of an extraordinary man. Accompanied by stunning paintings by artist Catherine Deeter, Langston Hughes: American Poet will introduce a whole new generation to the life and works of a great African American Poet of the twentieth century, and one of the most important poets of all time.  Ages 9-12

Other
  • A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer (2007)
    Selections from the “Until the Violence Stops” Festival

    Featuring writings by Abiola Abrams, Alice Walker , Anna Deavere Smith, Ariel Dorfman, Betty Gale Tyson, Carol Gilligan, Carol Michèle Kaplan, Christine House, Dave Eggers, Deena Metzger, Diana Son, Edward Albee, Edwidge Danticat, Elizabeth Lesser, Erin Cressida Wilson, Eve Ensler, Hanan al-Shaykh, Howard Zinn, James Lecesne, Jane Fonda, Jody Williams, Jyllian Gunther, Kate Clinton, Kathy Engel, Kathy Najimy, Kimberle Crenshaw, Lynn Nottage, Marie Howe, Mark Matousek, Maya Angelou, Michael Cunningham, Michael Eric Dyson, Michael Klein, Moises Kaufman, Mollie Doyle, Monica Szlekovics, Nicholas Kristof, Nicole Burdette, Patricia Bosworth, Periel Aschenbrand, Robert Thurman, Robin Morgan, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Sharon Olds, Slavenka Drakulic, Suheir Hammad, Susan Miller, Susan Minot, Tariq Ali, and Winter Miller.

    This groundbreaking collection, edited by author and playwright Eve Ensler, features pieces from “Until the Violence Stops,” the international tour that brings the issue of violence against women and girls to the forefront of our consciousness. These diverse voices rise up in a collective roar to break open, expose, and examine the insidiousness of brutality, neglect, a punch, or a put-down. Here is Edward Albee on S&M; Maya Angelou on women’s work; Michael Cunningham on self-mutilation; Dave Eggers on a Sudanese  abduction; Carol Gilligan on a daughter witnessing her mother being hit; Susan Miller on raising a son as a single mother; and Sharon Olds on a bra.

    These writings are inspired, funny, angry, heartfelt, tragic, and beautiful. But above all, together they create a true and profound portrait of this issue’s effect on every one of us. With information on how to organize an “Until the Violence Stops” event in your community, A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer is a call to the world to demand an end to violence against women.

See also:
  • The Color Purple: A Memory Book (2006) by Lise Funderburg
    From the Pulitzer-prize winning novel by Alice Walker, and the moving film by Steven Spielberg, has come a soul-stirring new musical and landmark Broadway hit that has critics and audiences on their feet. A musical that evokes a unique emotional response, it tracks the story of its heroine, Celie, from sexual abuse by her stepfather to physical abuse by her husband to “a roof-raising story of triumph.”

    This gorgeously producedcompanion volume revisits what is so powerful about the show. The Color Purple: A Memory Book has the look and feel of a beautiful antique scrapbook, a keepsake for those who have experienced the musical and want to be able to experience its soaring emotions at any time, or who want to share Celie’s journey with their loved ones. But it will also be a memory book of the road The Color Purple took — from Alice Walker’s memories right through to the sketches for the costumes and sets, from the cast's own struggles to the entire libretto, all of which have given Celie’s against-the-odds triumph new life.

    Revealing, poignant, and stunning, The Color Purple: A Memory Book is a must-have book for anyone moved by Celie's story.  Includes a foreword by Oprah Winfrey.

  • Alice Walker: A Critical Companion (2005) by Gerri Bates
    Alice Walker, born in Eatonton, Georgia in 1944, overcame a disadvantaged sharecropping background, blindness in one eye, and the tense times of the Civil Rights Movement to become one of the world's most respected African American writers. While attending both Spelman and Sarah Lawrence Colleges, Walker began to draw on both her personal tragedies and those of her community to write poetry, essays, short stories, and novels that would tell the virtually untold stories of oppressed African and African American women, providing readers with hope and inspiring activisim. Perhaps best known for her novel The Color Purple (1982), which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1983 and became a controversial film three years later, Walker has introduced and developed womanist theory, criticism and practice, and continues to champion the causes of women of color by encouraging their strength and liberation in her life and her writings.

  • Alice Walker: A Life (2004) by Evelyn C. White

  • Black, White, and Jewish (2001) by Rebecca Walker
    Hailed as "compelling" by The Washington Post and "stunningly honest" by The San Francisco Chronicle, this memoir has hit bestseller lists and earned critical praise from coast to coast. Rebecca Walker was born in 1969 to author Alice Walker and lawyer Mel Leventhal, who met and married in the heyday of the Civil Rights movement. But after their divorce, Rebecca was a lonely only child ferrying between two worlds-and trying to figure out where she fit in.

  • Great African Americans in Literature (1995) by Pat Rediger (Author)
    Alex Haley, Alice Walker, Ernest J. Gaines, John H. Johnson, Maya Angelou, Mildred Taylor, Naomi Sims, Oprah Winfrey, Ralph Abernathy, Thurgood Marshall, and more.  Ages 9-12.

  • The Best Short Stories by Black Writers, 1899-1967 (1969), Langston Hughes, ed.
    Includes works by Alice Walker, Frank Yerby, Gwendolyn Brooks, James Baldwin, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Ralph Ellison, Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston, and others.

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