In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose


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, ...

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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.

A collection of 37 essays, articles, reviews, and talks.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
This first collection of nonfiction from the author of The Color Purple includes a vivid and courageous memoir of a scarring childhood injury and her daughter's healing words.
From the Publisher
“Reflects not only the ideas but a life that has . . . breathed color, sound, and soul
into fiction and poetry—and into our lives as well.”
Library Journal
Along with the early novels (cited above), Harcourt is reprinting collections of Walker's poetry and essays. Like the fiction, these focus on her pet issues, ranging from civil rights and feminism to the antinuclear movement. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Ben Okri
This is one of the healthiest collection of essays I have come across in a long time. We seldom get writers writing so personally, so appealingly about the need to be saved, about the way in which that personal salvation can be achieved. What she says about the black woman she says from the depth of oppression. What is said from the depth of oppression illuminates all the other opressions.
The New Statesman
Gabrielle Daniels
This... collection of Alice Walker's best essays... reflects not only the ideas but a life that has for fifteen years breathed color, sound... in fiction and poetry - and into our lives as well.
San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780156028646
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 5/5/2003
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 299,220
  • Lexile: 1160L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Meet the Author

Alice Walker

Best-selling novelist ALICE WALKER is the author of five other novels, five collections of short stories, six collections of essays, seven volumes of poetry, including the most recent Hard Times Require Furious Dancing, and several children’s books. Her books have been translated into more than two dozen languages.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Alice Malsenior Walker (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      Mendocino, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 9, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Eatonton, Georgia
    1. Education:
      B.A., Sarah Lawrence College, 1965; attended Spelman College, 1961-63

Table of Contents

Part 1
Saving the Life That Is Your Own: The Importance of Models in the Artist's Life 3
The Black Writer and the Southern Experience 15
"But Yet and Still the Cotton Gin Kept on Working..." 22
A Talk: Convocation 1972 33
Beyond the Peacock: The Reconstruction of Flannery O'Connor 42
The Divided Life of Jean Toomer 60
A Writer Because of, Not in Spite of, Her Children 66
Gifts of Power: The Writings of Rebecca Jackson 71
Zora Neale Hurston: A Cautionary Tale and a Partisan View 83
Looking for Zora 93
Part 2
The Civil Rights Movement: What Good Was It? 119
The Unglamorous but Worthwhile Duties of the Black Revolutionary Artist, or of the Black Writer Who Simply Works and Writes 130
The Almost Year 139
Choice: A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 142
Coretta King: Revisited 146
Choosing to Stay at Home: Ten Years after the March on Washington 158
Good Morning, Revolution: Uncollected Writings of Social Protest 171
Making the Moves and the Movies We Want 178
Lulls 181
My Father's Country Is the Poor 199
Recording the Seasons 223
Part 3
In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens 231
From an Interview 244
A Letter to the Editor of Ms. 273
Breaking Chains and Encouraging Life 278
If the Present Looks Like the Past, What Does the Future Look Like? 290
Looking to the Side, and Back 313
To The Black Scholar 320
Brothers and Sisters 326
Part 4
Silver Writes 335
Only Justice Can Stop a Curse 338
Nuclear Madness: What You Can Do 343
To the Editors of Ms. Magazine 347
Writing The Color Purple 355
Beauty: When the Other Dancer Is the Self 361
One Child of One's Own: A Meaningful Digression within the Work(s) 371
Publication Acknowledgments 395
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2006

    A great feminist work

    This book was one which I had the option of reading for school, and I'm glad I chose it. Although it particularly addresses issues faced by women of color, the book really discusses issues that any woman might face in a world still dominated by men (although perhaps not as much as once was true). I found her ideas and feelings easy to relate to. The only drawback to reading this might be that many of her essays might be about people whose writing the reader might be unfamiliar with, especially if he or she happens to be in high school--this was the case for me, but it didn't prevent me from enjoying the essays. If anything, I'm curious to read the works of some of the writers Walker mentioned.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2009

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