In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose

by Alice Walker

Hardcover, 1983




Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (1983), Edition: First Edition


Sociology. Women's Studies. Nonfiction. HTML:A collection of early personal and political essays from the Pulitzer Prize´┐Ż??winning author of The Color Purple. What is a womanist? Alice Walker sets out to define the concept in this anthology of early essays and other nonfiction pieces. As she outlines it, a womanist is a person who prefers to side with the oppressed: with women, with people of color, with the poor. As a writer, Walker has always taken such people as her primary subjects, and her search for paths toward self-possession and freedom always holds out hope for the transformative power of compassion and love. Whether she's taking on nuclear proliferation, the promise and problems of the civil rights movement, or her own creative process, Walker always brings to bear a fearless determination to tell the truth. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Alice Walker including rare photos from the author's personal collection.… (more)


(134 ratings; 4.2)

User reviews

LibraryThing member aliaschase
i have yet to read a book by alice walker that i did not love... her ability with writing, whether fiction or non-fiction, is astounding and i enjoyed these essays as much as i have enjoyed her fiction. i've also been prompted to look into reading some of the black authors she mentions and
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recommends in this book.
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LibraryThing member omame
read this after reading Their Eyes Were Watching God to get a sense of who Zora Neale Hurston was and where she stood in the general sense of things. i found alice walker's first essay on having a literary role model illuminating.
LibraryThing member Airycat
I enjoyed reading this book. I find Alice Walker to be an intelligent, thoughtful woman. While we are not particularly alike in any way, I found that I related to a lot of what she says. She's Southern Black and I'm Northern White, but we are both women. She grew up rural and I grew up inner city.
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In an odd way that's a connection. Her essays open doors and windows for me, help me to see, to better understand a life other than one like my own. I would recommend it to anyone, particularly White women wanting to better understand our Black sisters, anyone wanting in insiders view of feminism from a Black woman's perspective, and anyone wanting to understand why the Civil Rights movement was so important. She covers all these topics and more.
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LibraryThing member DVerdecia
We have all pretty much seen the movie. However, the book was far more detailed oriented.

A collection of letters detailing the life of Ciele. This book was an excellent read. A tear jerker for sure. I could not stop reading it once I picked it up. The interaction and growth of all the characters
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was very well written.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone reading it. I do not want to give spoilers here other than, if you think you know the whole story by watching the movie? You are missing out on all the tiny details if you do not read this book.
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LibraryThing member keylawk
Alice Walker is a formidable novelist and "theologian" in her own right [write / rite / rights]. She is also infamous for defining "Womanist", and for resurrecting the treasure trove of Zora Neale Hurston, whose anthropology novels had been deliberately subordinated. In this "Search", Walker
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provides perspective on that discovery. It is a brilliant unfolding of stories within stories--gems poking out from the vein of treasure in the cordillera of literature. Walker steps boldly into authentic theology with the first Chapter--"Saving the Life that is your own". She begins by recounting the letter written by an obscure French painter to another. Within six months, the writer put paint to canvas, fell into depression, mutilated his ear, and destroyed his life "behind a pile of manure in the yard". Knowing the story, the message of the letter itself jumps off the page. She presents the "salvation" model of caring, and explains Why. This is robust Theology.
Walker also answers questions often put to her, by telling stories that reflect on the "Southern experience" she shares with other writers. Her sketches are the "anatomically correct" perspective needed for reading literature. For example, noting the fact that the writings of white male racist Faulkner are well-known, a rich legacy of black writers remains--"continues"--to be subordinated. However, this book is not bitter, and is whine-free. She mirrors the "advantageous heritage" bequeathed to Southerners, and to those of color whose morals, achievements and intelligence far exceeds those who claim to be entitled or "superior". In her words, "We inherit a great responsibililty as well, for we must give voice to centuries not only of silent bitterness and hate but also of neighborly kindness and sustaining love." The volume is a resource for those who are building and repairing the Kin-dom of god on Earth.
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