In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Prose

Open Road Media
12
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A collection of early personal and political essays from the Pulitzer Prize–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. 
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Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, this novel about a resilient and courageous woman has become a Broadway show and a cultural phenomenon.

A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick

Celie has grown up poor in rural Georgia, despised by the society around her and abused by her own family. She strives to protect her sister, Nettie, from a similar fate, and while Nettie escapes to a new life as a missionary in Africa, Celie is left behind without her best friend and confidante, married off to an older suitor, and sentenced to a life alone with a harsh and brutal husband.
 
In an attempt to transcend a life that often seems too much to bear, Celie begins writing letters directly to God. The letters, spanning twenty years, record a journey of self-discovery and empowerment guided by the light of a few strong women. She meets Shug Avery, her husband’s mistress and a jazz singer with a zest for life, and her stepson’s wife, Sophia, who challenges her to fight for independence. And though the many letters from Celie’s sister are hidden by her husband, Nettie’s unwavering support will prove to be the most breathtaking of all.
 
The Color Purple has sold more than five million copies, inspired an Academy Award–nominated film starring Oprah Winfrey and directed by Steven Spielberg, and been adapted into a Tony-nominated Broadway musical. Lauded as a literary masterpiece, this is the groundbreaking novel that placed Walker “in the company of Faulkner” (The Nation), and remains a wrenching—yet intensely uplifting—experience for new generations of readers.

This ebook features a new introduction written by the author on the twenty-fifth anniversary of publication, and an illustrated biography of Alice Walker including rare photos from the author’s personal collection.

The Color Purple is the 1st book in the Color Purple Collection, which also includes The Temple of My Familiar and Possessing the Secret of Joy.
 
Compelling collections of short fiction and essays by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Color Purple and “marvelous writer” (San Francisco Chronicle).
 
Whether she is writing fiction or nonfiction, sharing personal reflections or expressing political views, Alice Walker is without question “one of [our] best American writers” (The Washington Post). The first African American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize—for The Color Purple—Walker is both a committed artist and engaged activist, as reflected in the four works in this volume.
 
Living by the Word: In this “entertaining and often stirring” follow-up to In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens, Walker reflects on issues both personal and global, from her experience with the filming of The Color Purple, to the history of African American narrative traditions, to global threats of pollution and nuclear war (Library Journal).
 
You Can’t Keep a Good Woman Down: The women in these “consummately skillful short stories” face their problems head on, proving powerful and self-possessed even when degraded by others—sometimes by those closest to them (San Francisco Chronicle). But even as the female protagonists face exploitation, social inequalities, and casual cruelties, Walker leavens her stories with ample wit and “[enters] their experience with sympathy but without sentimentality” (The Washington Post).
 
In Love & Trouble: Walker’s debut short fiction collection features stories of women traveling with the weight of broken dreams, with kids in tow, with doubt and regret, with memories of lost loves, with lovers who have their own hard pasts and hard edges. Some from the South, some from the North, some rich, and some poor, the “marvelous characters” that inhabit In Love & Trouble “come away transformed by knowledge and love but most of all by wonder” (Essence).
 
In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens: In essays both personal and political about her own work and other writers such as Zora Neale Hurston, Flannery O’Connor, and Jean Toomer; the Civil Rights Movement; antinuclear activism; feminism; and a childhood injury that left her emotionally scarred and the healing words of her daughter, Walker “reflects not only ideas but a life that has breathed color, sound, and soul into fiction and poetry—and into our lives as well” (San Francisco Chronicle).
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Nov 22, 2011
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Pages
360
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ISBN
9781453224069
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Black Studies (Global)
Social Science / Essays
Social Science / Feminism & Feminist Theory
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Helen Thompson's Ingenuous Subjection offers a new feminist history of the eighteenth-century domestic novel. By reading social contract theory alongside representations of the domestic sphere by authors such as Mary Astell, Mary Davys, Samuel Richardson, Eliza Haywood, and Frances Sheridan, Thompson shows how these writers confront women's paradoxical status as both contractual agents and naturally subject wives. Over the long eighteenth century, Thompson argues, domestic novelists appropriated the standard of political modernity advanced by John Locke and others as a citizen's free or "ingenuous" assent to the law. The domestic novel figures feminine political difference not as women's deviation from an abstract universal but rather as their failure freely or ingenuously to submit to the power retained by Enlightenment husbands.

Ingenuous Subjection claims domestic novelists as vital participants in Enlightenment political discourse. By tracing the political, philosophical, and generic significance of feminine compliance, this book revises our literary historical account of the rise of the novel. Rather than imagining a realm of harmonious sentiment, domestic fiction represents the persistent arbitrariness of eighteenth-century men's conjugal power. Ingenuous Subjection revises feminist theory and historiography, locating the genealogy of feminism in a contractual model of ingenuous assent which challenges the legitimacy of masculine conjugal government. The first study to treat feminine compliance as something other than a passive, politically neutral exercise, Ingenuous Subjection recovers in this practice the domestic novel's critical engagement with the limits of Enlightenment modernity.
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