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The Way Forward Is with a Broken Heartby Alice Walker
Synopses & Reviews
Alice Walker won the Pulitzer Prize and American Book Award for The Color Purple and became known as one of the most important American writers in the twentieth century, she was very active in the Civil Rights movement. While working door-to-door in 1966 to register voters in Mississippi, Walker met Jewish law student Mel Levinthal and the two married not long afterward. Their union met with formidable resistance both publicly and in private; interracial marriages were illegal at the time and Levinthal's own mother declared him dead and sat shiva for him [more details are available in their daughter Rebecca's memoir]. The two divorced in 1976, and Walker, heartbroken, moved on to explore human relationships of many kinds. The Way Forward Is with a Broken Heart is a lyrical and moving collection of stories that sprang from her freedom and grief. Autobiographical in part, the collection is deftly narrated in many voices (a technique that Walker employs like few authors can) and pays homage to communication, passion, love, and the complex emotional toll extracted by each. Fans of course will not be disappointed. Readers unfamilar with Walker's unflinching yet compassionate gaze will likely emerge with newfound respect — and the urge to pick up another of her books. Malia, Powells.com
"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."
So says Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker about her beautiful new book, in which "one of the best American writers today" (The Washington Post) gives us 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. Filled with wonder at the power of the life force and of the capacity of human beings to move through love and loss and healing to love again, The Way Forward Is with a Broken Heart is an enriching, passionate book by "a lavishly gifted writer" (The New York Times Book Review).
"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." Publishers Weekly
"Brave and passionate, audacious and wise, this is Walker at her best." Library Journal
Fictional stories based on Walker's life, "The Way Forward Is with a Broken Heart" is a wise and moving treasure about love and life by the author of "The Color Purple" and "By the Light of My Father's Smile."
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.
Table of Contents
To my young husband. To my young husband — Kindred spirits ; Orelia and John. Olive oil — Cuddling — Charms ; There was a river. There was a river ; Big sister, little sister. Uncle Loaf and Auntie Putt-Putt — Blaze ; Growing out. Growing out — Conscious birth ; This is how it happened. This is how it happened — The brotherhood of the saved ; The way forward is with a broken heart. Epilogue : The way forward is with a broken heart.
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