Meridian

by Alice Walker

Paperback, 1977

Status

Checked out

Genres

Publication

Washington Square Press (1977), Edition: 1St Edition, Paperback

Description

Meridian is a poignant and powerful story of the American South in the 1960s and of one woman who risks her life for the people she loves. Meridian Hill, a courageous young activist, creates peace and understanding by dedicating herself heart and soul to her civil rights work, touching the lives of all those she meets even when her health begins to deteriorate. With the old rules of Southern society collapsing around her, Meridian fights a lonely battle to reaffirm her own humanity, and that of all her people.

User reviews

LibraryThing member PinkPandaParade
Meridian Hill is a silent, eccentric, and determined woman who has held onto her strength and dignity despite the many hardships she has faced throughout her life. The events leading up to the opening chapters are dispersed throughout the novel in scattered, yet plausible flashbacks. Meridian's life is filled with many unique people and events that shape her into a seemingly worry free woman, the outcome being the opposite of what would normally be expected with her experiences.The one thing that impassioned Meridian in her childhood was the mysticism of her Indian ancestry, a haunting love and power shared by both her father and her deceased grandmother, Feather Mae. The mysteries of her ancestry are furthered by her unforgettable ethereal experiences while in the coils of the Sacred Serpent, that incredible land phenomenon built thousands of years by Native Americans. Used as a Cherokee burial ground, an interesting family conflict in the novel rests on this hallowed land.Alice Walker takes us through this book with an effective, poetic, and sweeping type of prose. The book spans Meridian's amazing life, from her time with her mother, Mrs. Hill, her time as a teenager with an ignorance about sex (attributed mostly to Mrs. Hill), and her life as a stoic, nearly certifiable single parent. One of the interesting periods of Meridian's life takes place in Saxon College in Atlanta. This time of her life is especially turbulent, and filled with unique characters like Anne-Marion, the Sojourner, and the Wild Child, people that will live forever in Meridian's memory as those who were able to teach her things that Saxon's beloved professors did not. These tumultuous years were preceded by an awareness of the Civil Rights movement. A bombing of a neighboring house brought Meridian to the door of a voting coalition office where she met Truman, a man with whom she has an on-and-off affair. Thought-provoking presentations of race and love are presented in this and other parts of this multi-faceted novel, with that unique tinge of magic that Walker brings to all her works.Meridian moves from place to place in this novel, sprinkling little pieces of resolve into the minds of all the townspeople who were fortunate enough to be in her presence. Walker's rich protagonist presents many important issues in a subtle way, touching upon racism and prejudice, religion, and the right to human life. Meridian's endearing qualities will easily find a place in the hearts of Ms. Walker's readers.… (more)
LibraryThing member monado
A book from Alice Walker on the realities of U.S. racial relations in the near past and black-on-black mistreatment among traumatized people. It's sad in spite of its "triumphant" ending. Written in 1966.

It must be more subtle now, but racial discrimination is still alive and well, leading to very visibile inequities in employment and a huge waste of talent. Alice Walker records the unpublicized facts of history that led down this unhappy path.… (more)
LibraryThing member Magadri
I enjoyed this book. I found myself more interested in Meridian's personal life than the racial frustrations though. I don't know if Walker meant to make it that way or not though. It took me a little longer to finish this book than most books, but not because it was difficult to read, more because it took a while to become attatched to the main character.… (more)
LibraryThing member HenryG
Not as well-structured as _The Color Purple_, but presents an interesting depiction of the way an individual's struggle for civil rights can take a huge emotional and physical toll on that person. You also can see Walker's gorgeous writing style begin to develop. One of my favorite last pages of any book ever.
LibraryThing member Borrows-N-Wants
I enjoyed this book. I found myself more interested in Meridian's personal life than the racial frustrations though. I don't know if Walker meant to make it that way or not though. It took me a little longer to finish this book than most books, but not because it was difficult to read, more because it took a while to become attatched to the main character.… (more)
LibraryThing member briannad84
A good book with some great characters in it.
LibraryThing member MarysGirl
Still in awe of Ms. Walker's insight and writing. This was an early book and shows her promise.

Language

Original publication date

1976

Physical description

6.7 inches

ISBN

0671472569 / 9780671472566
Page: 0.2523 seconds