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Anything We Love Can Be Saved

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  724 ratings  ·  47 reviews
In Anything We Love Can Be Saved, Alice Walker writes about her life as an activist, in a book rich in the belief that the world is saveable, if only we will act. Speaking from her heart on a wide range of topics--religion and the spirit, feminism and race, families and identity, politics and social change--Walker begins with a moving autobiographical essay in which she de ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 7th 1998 by Ballantine Books (first published 1997)
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This book is one of a very few that remind me to hope.
I found many of the essays in this collection to be somewhat uninspiring: repetitive, and often lacking either in content or subtlety. However, the last essay, "My Mother's Blue Bowl," almost moved me to tears. And overall, the collection is an interesting glimpse into the movement for social justice in the U.S. from the civil rights movement onward, and I enjoyed reading Walker's personal perspective on her own involvement and on the movement as a whole.
I also enjoyed the pieces about her tr
Patricia Howell
The essays in this book are breathtakingly beautiful. I love Alice Walker. I read this book on a road trip and several times, people wanted to know what I was reading because I had to just stop and stare. I write in books so its nice to just reread what I wrote about a particular passage or sentence. There's so much wisdom and the poetry in it is amazing. I always tell people that I don't get poetry but I get Alice Walker's poetry. The Autobiography of Malcolm X is probably my favorite book but ...more
This is a collection of essays, letters, and speeches by Alice Walker. I particularly enjoyed the ones about Winnie Mandela near the beginning of the book, and Fidel Castro near the end. You get a variety of different things with this book. There's even a little bit of her poetry here (some previously published poems, I believe). At it's core, I think the book is about love and passion. She is obviously a passionate person with strong convictions, and does not merely just talk the talk, but walk ...more
Kat Trina
3.5. I LOVE Alice Walker's writing. No matter what the topic, whether it's actual poetry or an article about dreadlocks, her writing is always lyrical and, well, pretty. Her tone, at times in this book, is a little bit too new-agey and ridiculous. But she reminds me a lot of my mom with her totem animals and whatnot, and I love it all the same. Not so fond of the way she trashes Marilyn Monroe in "Giving the Party".. I understand the sentiments, the reactionary trouncing against a beauty/sex sym ...more
Orna Ross
One of the pieces in this new collection of Alice Walker's is a letter to Bill Clinton, rejecting an invitation to the White House because of the Cuban blockades. In it she writes: "The world, I believe, is easier to change than we think. And harder. Because the change begins with each one of us saying to ourselves, and meaning it: I will not harm anyone or anything in this moment. Until, like recovering alcoholics, we can look back on an hour, a day, a week, a year, of comparative harmlessness. ...more
This was my second reading. I don't always agree with what Alice Walker says, but I'm always interested to know what she thinks. For example, re: Cuba and her admiration for Fidel Castro, she glosses over the fact that Cuban people with AIDS are kept in a segregated "village." Fidel has a miserable track record with homosexuality, but Alice Walker still adores him for standing up for the poor, which I understand, but the man is more complex than that and has a dark side, which Walker only briefl ...more
I greatly admire Walker's activism to end female genital mutilation, so I was looking forward to learning how she remains hopeful despite the awful things she's seen. But I was disappointed in this essay collection. The memoir pieces about her childhood in rural Georgia under the racist Jim Crow regime were lyrical, moving, and challenging to me as a white Christian. I am glad I finished this book because it made me more aware of the everyday abuses that African-Americans continue to suffer, and ...more
A few of the essays and letters were thought-provoking. I don't always agree in what Alice Walker's believes but she's honest with them so I respect that. I like the essay about relationships between mother and daughter.
Wasn't my cup of tea. I might have been more interested if I had read more of her books, or really had an interest in the why's and how's of their stories. I will admit that some of the topics were of interest, like the female genital mutilation.

She also seems to be a artistic writer, like I really have to decipher what she is trying to say, like poetry. I'm not a fan of poetry.
Melissa Mcdonald
Dec 03, 2012 Melissa Mcdonald marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays
This pleasing collection of short essays amounts to a very personal stroll through her psyche. Sharing touchstones and demons, she serves up a spirited defense of Winnie Mandela, accused of taking part in kidnapping and torture; a quest to mark the grave of Zora Neale Hurston, an "African AmerIndian" folklorist who chronicled the lives of Southern American blacks in the 1920s and '30s; poignant, angry witnesses at a conference in Ghana devoted to stopping female genital mutilation; and life less ...more
Walker's prose is poetic, but lacking substantive arguments in this political book. Her heart is in the right place, but even though I agreed with her I found myself answering her broad-sweeping statements with, "Yeah, but what about...?" I crave a more cerebral debate when addressing issues of feminism, civil rights, and human rights in nonfiction but I'll take inspiration from her novels any day.

While less political, Amy Tan's compendium of essays (THE OPPOSITE OF FATE) is much better at sewin
I was still in middle school when I first read this. From the opening page showing a photo of a spirited religious man (of what, I cannot recall) wrapping his arms around this tree, I was inspired since I haven't read any activist writing before that. Alice Walker had this particular hold on me, probably because my older brother (my hero at the time) gave it to me. I intend to reread this one now that I am in my mid twenties. Until this very day, I have yet to read The Color Purple because Oprah ...more
From a novelist and poet a collection of essays is a risky thing. From Alice Walker, it is a worthwhile risk. These essays comfort and inspire, tell the truth and fight for justice, demand a conversation and don't let up. I found I didn't agree with her always, but I didn't have to; images and fragments of poems have settled in my subconscious where they filter into my thinking and writing at the most unexpected times. Most telling: I pick up this book again and again, and it lives on my profess ...more
I love Alice Walker. The way she views things, her revolutionary spirit, her personal and public activism. She makes me want to change and to learn things and to be a better person. She exposes me to new thoughts and feelings.

This wasn't the best book I've read of hers (it's a compilations of articles previously published), but it had some good articles that really touched me. And it was great to sepnd some time with her. I want to go learn more about Cuba now.
I think an essay by Alice Walker a day should be prescribed to everyone. There were certain passages that I wanted to copy and keep by my bedside--like her lyrical essay about religion. You should read this.
Kl Baudelaire
Above all else, a warm book. Some of these essays are about some of the worst things humans do to each other; but Walker constantly reminds her reader of the good things in the world, and the reasons to keep working.
A valuable insight into one woman's experience of being black in late 20th century America, and an activist's journey.

This is a book of essays. I found them uneven yet interesting. Her picture getting arrested as an activist gave me pride. Seeing her in the struggle reinforced my own sense of self.
The sentence I marked on pg. xxv, she wrote speaking about her beloved friends. "But it is their struggle with the flaw, surprisingly endearing, and going on anyhow, that is part of what I cherish in them."
Beverly Atkinson
Good reading and helpful in the sense of demonstrating personal activism and the hope that such activism can engender in oneself and others, in community. I read a fair number of the early essays, but admit that I skimmed some others, and flipped through the remainder, especially when I learned (online) that Alice Walker is currently estranged from her daughter Rebecca who is also a writer.
I read this book every few years, starting when I was 16. Im 27 now and it still has new meaning. Im sure it will again in another 4 years.

I dont believe activism is ethereal. Its birthed and rooted in something. someplace.And for that reason I think its fitting that the first photo is of her childhood Eatonton church and the last, a picture of her parents.
Pamela Detlor
Anything We Love Can Be Saved A Writers Activism: Alice Walker (1997, Ballantine)

Civil rights, feminism, families, politics, banned books: these are just some of the
topics covered in this collection of essays. Alice Walker inspires me in both her creative writing and her activism. This book is hopeful in that we all have the power to make a difference. Very inspiring!
Noelle (Pandora) Kukenas
Mar 10, 2009 Noelle (Pandora) Kukenas rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Thus far, this is my favorite nonfiction book. It shouldn't surprise me that it is from the same author as my favorite work of fiction, The Color Purple. This book is full of personal accounts and insights, thought provoking and heartfelt. It reinforced within me that I am on the right path and has inspired me to keep the faith and be true to myself and honest with others.
I loved this book. Its a collection of essays from Walker during various stages of her life. The subjects are as varied, complex and controversial as Ms. Walkers writing style itself. She pulls no punches and manages to inform, educate, and captivate me by the end of the last essay. A hodge podge of poetry and activism with a dash of social commentary.
When I considered grad school in writing, I had no desire to publish-- the idea of it made me feel both self-conscious and self-importatn. And then I read this book and realized that art and writing can be another manifestation of the activism that I want to embody in my life. And Walker's activism? Inspiring in and of itself.
Good book! I really liked it! It's not the kind I normally like -- it's a series of vingettes (some essays she previously written, some letters, some speeches she's given) reflecting on her life. It's like an autobiography, but it's not a narrative. Some of the essays were better than others, but overall, very good.
Jun 01, 2015 Lanie marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-pause
well....I'm having some difficulty really getting into ANY book right now. This has been on my shelf for the last 6 years, and I think I might give it a try, since I just saw Alice Walker speak. That is if my super short summer attention span can last long enough with ANY book.....gah.
Claire S
Have been looking forward to reading this from my shelves for a long time. For when I can be a bit more active/write a bit more; or not have more time for those things, but can think about it even .. more..
Okay. I hearted this book and gave it away which was fine because that was the spirit of the book.
It gave a nice description of Wicca and insight on Jezebel. I need to buy this book again.
Some of the essays are deeply moving and beautifully written. Some are just so-so. But, Alice Walker is an amazing writing and activist, so I'm okay with it (hence 3, not 2 stars.)
A collection of essays on a variety of subjects. Engaging, smart, humbling and provocative. I love Alice Walker's work and the way it forces me to re-evaluate the world around me.
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Alice Walker (b. 1944), one of the United States’ preeminent writers, is an award-winning author of novels, stories, essays, and poetry. In 1983, Walker became the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction with her novel The Color Purple, which also won the National Book Award. Her other books include The Third Life of Grange Copeland, Meridian, The Temple of My Familiar, an ...more
More about Alice Walker...
The Color Purple The Temple of My Familiar Possessing the Secret of Joy In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose Meridian

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