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The Way Forward Is with a Broken Heart

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,137 Ratings  ·  94 Reviews
"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 emot ...more
ebook, 240 pages
Published February 1st 2012 by Ballantine Books (first published October 3rd 2000)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,307)
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Abby Rosmarin
There's no doubt that Alice Walker writes beautifully. And I loved some of these short stories. However, there were some that just completely lost my interest. I know there's truth in the fiction, but I can only read about a woman who is with a cheating man and also is in love with another woman so many times.
Alison
Jun 18, 2010 Alison rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I loved the Colour Purple so was a little disappointed to read this collection of short stories. There is no doubt that Alice Walker is a spiritual and poetic writer but the rawness of her stories was too uncomfortable for me. I enjoyed the beginning of the book – a memoir of the relationship with her first husband, but the rest of the stories, the ‘fiction’ were too transparently taken from her experiences and I found it all too repetitive and wacky.
Ally
Feb 02, 2016 Ally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came upon this book by "accident" at the library. I couldn't find the autobiography I was looking for, noticed this book by Alice Walker, and, since I was a fan of her work, decided to check it out. The saying goes that people enter our lives for a reason, and I believe that books do too. Walker's work is both autobiographical and fictional, representing the stages of the loves and losses of various couples--the endings and beginnings--and, I would argue, also the beauty of flawed relationship ...more
Yn
May 03, 2009 Yn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a very hard book to read. The first 100 pages just broke your heart and left you wondering if you had it in you to read the next 100 pages. The last 100 healed the wounds and left new ones. As expected, a beautifully written book.
Indrani
Aug 14, 2012 Indrani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am still pondering what to put in this review...

For those unfamiliar with her work (my friends and I are sci-fi/fantasy geeks, just before anyone starts in with "How can you not know..."), Alice Walker writes beautifully. She is lyrical, and real, and emotional. This collection of stories is very personal (by the author's own admission), and it shows.

Some may complain that the material here is too repetitive. To me, the repetition was necessary and symbolic: we all have patterns and cycles tha
...more
Erin Sunderland
Jan 31, 2012 Erin Sunderland rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reread
"...the Universe is not that interested in punishing us. Every move we make is simply part of its reflection. " So this is one of those books. The kind that you immediately want to reread as soon as you are done. And it's a really fast, succulent read. I'm sure everyone says this about Alice Walker but it's as if she can see into my head, my heart and my soul. In general, I have a promiscuous relationship with books and I devour them, moving quickly from one to the next but I want to have a mo ...more
Claire Melanie
Mar 29, 2015 Claire Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written stories with so much to say about race, gender and sexuality in America. Glorious, tragic and deeply moving.
Maria
Nov 12, 2014 Maria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Seven sensitively written short stories that made me say, "Yes. This is great writing."
Susan
Jul 14, 2009 Susan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
Although Alice Walker is a well-admired author, I read only about 60 pages of this book before I gave up. A collection of autobiographical and semi-autobiographical stories, this book was just too bitter and sad for me to want to continue. I don't doubt her ability as an author, it is just that this book isn't for me.
Chris
This book was kinda strange to evaluate. It started off well, but then got kinda sidetracked and confusing from there. It's like there's a main story with some thematically related but separate side stories interwoven throughout. The beginning was so great. The situation is clear, the emotions are poignant but real. Walker's depiction of the loss of a great love comes off strong but genuine. Unfortunately, it all just goes downhill after that. Then the story diverges into talking about all these ...more
Linda Joy
I read this book during a time when I was questioning whether or not I mattered in the lives of some of the people I know. I could easily put some of my story beside this story, which in a way was both healing and validating.
Carly
Nov 10, 2014 Carly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
My first Alice Walker book. I will definitely be reading more. Blunt and flowery, somehow at the same time. A mind I would like to know more of!
Christina
Aug 10, 2015 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this at a time where my life felt like it was ending in a completely unhappy, upside down way. It's rawness touched my rawness and soothed it. It's stark reality met mine in a dark hallway, grabbed me by the hands and led me into light. It's bitterness found mine and rooted it out. I identified, I cried, I learned, I grew. I feel like you have to know the depths of despair before a book like this can be more than just words on a page or short stories to be critiqued. You have to feel them ...more
J
(FROM JACKET)"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
...more
Lauren
Dec 30, 2015 Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of short stories, I found them less enchanting than Ms. Walker’s poetry. I’m not sure what I was expecting out of this collection – and I’ll admit to rather traditional views on relationships while this collection embraces a more modern understanding of interpersonal connections – but these stories felt more like figments of ideas than fully formed stories with complete plots and arcs. Quasi-recommended.
Sonia
Feb 08, 2009 Sonia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The title of this book interested me. This is a collection of stories based in part on Walker's early marriage to a white man (a Jewish civil rights attorney). Living happily in the racially volatile and violent Deep South state of Mississippi, a place and time in which their union was not only unconventional but illegal. Then she goes on to say (on the inside flap of the book) "These are the stories that came to me to be told after the close of a magical marriage to an extraordinary man that en ...more
Karen
Jun 23, 2013 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a weird book. It starts out with a (mostly true) biographical story of Walker's early marriage to a white civil rights lawyer. It ends with another "letter" to him. In between are a number of short stories about family, relationships, love, and the search for identity. Those are the unifying themes. Walker does make significant points about love and marriage, sexual identity, race, feminism, religion, and so on. But the stories are unsatisfying. They are fragments, unfinished thoughts. T ...more
Wendy Lu
Oct 16, 2014 Wendy Lu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wishlist
ohhh, that was lovely. that was beautiful. i'm halfway through my first soupy midterm month, and tonight was nice. this is such an unselfconsciously brazen book. and very homey, very comforting. easy to read and to love and to feel good and safe in, you know?

i want a copy.
Lisa
Nov 28, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love to be immersed in language. But I loathe that the country is as racist now as it was when she wrote these stories 16 years ago. Some stories are better than others but all are emotionally intense in friendships and romantic relationships.
Oso Punchard
This was a great book. I just felt that Alice walker has written better and that is why I did not give her 5 stars and instead gave 3. These short stories were very well written and beautiful.
Susanna Holmstrom
This was gorgeous. After reading, I felt nourished, reassured, and committed to this life.
Aroua Gharbi
The beginning of the book was good. You can tell how close it was to the writer. Afterwards it is just scattered stories. It is my first time reading for Alice Walker. I like her style but I guess I need to read more of her to understand her better.
Tiffany
Mar 08, 2014 Tiffany rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this collection of short stories. Walker writes with full honesty and not a single ounce of shame. Her thoughts on love and relationships were refreshing and liberating.
Georgia
Aug 01, 2015 Georgia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whenever I need to be found again Alice always does the job.
Janet Ollman
Jan 06, 2010 Janet Ollman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved Alice Walker’s The Color Purple and was anxious to read her work again. In this book, there are different characters and story lines, woven together into one story of how love and relationships evolve and change. My favorite characters were Big Sister, Little Sister. My favorite line: “Do you ever wonder, old lover of mine, where so much loves comes from? I wonder this often, because no matter how distressing the world is, wherever I am, there never seems to be a shortage of love. Is thi ...more
Meredith Gray
It's been too long to remember...
Saliny
Mar 02, 2015 Saliny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
thought provoking..
DamnUnwitty
I really, really, really wanted to like this book because *Alice Walker* but it was not for me. I enjoyed a handful of the short stories but overall this collection fell a bit flat for me. Perhaps it's my age? I hope I'll have better luck with her work.
Tessyohnka
Walker's writing is lovely and filled with insight but this collection has an unfinished quality and moments when I felt pushed away.
Jen
Sep 26, 2007 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Walker does not shy away from the complex subject of love and relationships in her collection of stories, related or otherwise, that reveal some startling situations in all their gory and unappealing, yet very real, detail. The difficult subjects of falling out of love, overcoming extramarrital affairs, parental expectations for their children's relationships, amorphous sexualities, prejudices and racism, and more are brought up. This is definitely not a read for the idealistic or the optimistic ...more
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Alice Walker, 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, and Possessi ...more
More about Alice Walker...

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“You are all talking a bit too much, said Armando, who had cautioned them from the beginning to stay out of popular culture and in their own interior worlds.

When you are caught up in the world that you did not design as support for your life and the life of earth and people, it is like being caught in someone else's dream or nightmare. Many people exist in their lives in this way. I say exist because it is not really living. It is akin to being suspended in a dream one is having at night, a dream over which one has no control. You are going here and there, seeing this and that person; you do not know or care about them usually, they are just there, on your interior screen. Humankind will not survive if we continue in this way, most of us living lives in which our own life is not the center.”
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