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The Cushion in the Road: Meditation and Wandering as the Whole World Awakens to Being in Harm's Way

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  120 ratings  ·  24 reviews
This gorgeous collection gathers Alice Walker’s wide-ranging meditations—many of them previously unpublished—on our intertwined personal, spiritual, and political destinies. For the millions of her devoted fans, and for readers of Walker’s bestselling 2006 book, We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For, here is a brand new "gift of words" that invites readers on a journey ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 9th 2013 by The New Press (first published January 1st 2013)
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3.94  · 
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 ·  120 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Alice Walker is without a doubt one of my favourite authors of the 21st century! She is a fantastic human being. She is a great comfort and wonderful writer. Full of insight and hope in a world that has so much sorrow she is able to show us again the joys and beauty that also exist in the world. With open eyes and an open mind Alice Walker goes to Congo, Cuba, Palestine, Brazil, Mexico-where she has been she always been compassionate and understanding. Everything she writes is well thought out a ...more
Alice Walker is an old radical. Just when you thought the U.S. government under Obama must indeed be “liberal” because the Republicans keep telling us so Walker comes along to say, no, Obama’s policies are a long way from liberal. Reading Walker, we can see what “liberal” really means.

It is refreshing to me to have someone thoughtful (but not a political consultant) give a considered opinion on anything these days. Walker surprises me with the range of her concerns and the vehemence with which s
Thomas DeWolf
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
I checked this one out at the library and added it to the significant stack of books on my nightstand. I realized there's no way I'd get through them all so figured this to be among those I'd return unread. I opened it to the middle and read a random essay and was pulled right in... strong. I began reading, and savoring, each page, each word, slowly... tok omy time... reading as if I'm sitting on the cushion meditating...

I love Alice Walker's super power; what she does with words. The stage she
Cara Byrne
Dec 18, 2014 rated it liked it
"And so, my dears, Grandmother and you now share a history that connects us to our common horse. Get on. Don't be afraid. I know it's dark. But darkness, like truth, exists to be made visible. An old white-haired man named Jung that Grandmother like a lot has written about this. And yes, it's going to be a long and bumpy ride" (177).

Overall, this book captures Walker's current state of being and her viewpoints, whether on Palestine, Cuba or contemporary novels/films (like _The Help_ and _Frozen
Nov 23, 2013 rated it liked it
This has been my non-fiction book for the last several months. Alice Walker is a good writer even when her subjects veer widely and her take on subjects are intensely personal. This is perhaps the 5th or 6th book by her that I've read. She always makes me think and sometimes adjust my own thinking. The last third of this book is about Palestine and her trip to Gaza. She calls the pre-Civil Rights South equivalent to apartheid but one of the most encouraging things she says in the book is that sh ...more
May 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Alice Walker is one of my favorite authors. She never disappoints and often shocks.

This is a collection of meditations and essays.

From the cover: ..Walker explores her conflicting impulses to retreat into inner contemplation and to remain deeply engaged in the world."

With age one has experience and wisdom to share, but at the same time there is a pull towards going inward for peace and self exploration.

Finding the balance between the two is the struggle.

Jul 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Meditations and essays. Worth reading for the history of Israel/Palestine alone.

"I see policemen as victims of the very system they're hired to defend.....I see soldiers the same way."

"How anyone can not see that Nature is God is amazing to me: that they'd rather worship something that can only exist, really, in their own minds."
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
She's not the Alice Walker most folks think they know. She's a firebrand and a rebel, and I love her. She's the one author I'd most like to meet (although I suspect I'd be speechless in her presence).
M. R.
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ms. Walker's incredible ease in style makes heavy subject matter feel like a light breeze from an open window on a summer night. She also pulls no punches. Some people might have trouble with this book due to its subject matter, but Ms. Walker has no time to beat around the bush.
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great writing
Sep 13, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I realize that some of the reasons I didn't like this book may have been due to certain failures on my part: plowing through it, for instance, from beginning to end as if it were a novel instead of a collection of essays on different topics ideally meant to be sampled at random when the inclination arises. Once I realized this, I relaxed into it a little more. And it did teach me things, and there were some gems in it, but to say that I enjoyed it would be false. I couldn't get over the impressi ...more
Aug 06, 2014 rated it liked it
I thought this book was okay, but I found it a little disappointing. I was hoping for some really deep and hard-hitting calls to justice, truth, and integrity, but I found it to be a bit soft and self-indulgent on all these fronts. I felt that some spaces with potential for really critical analysis were instead filled with sentimentality and creature comforts. Basically, I wanted this book to push me a little harder and to hear less about the author's massages and smoothies. I enjoyed reading it ...more
Nov 14, 2014 rated it liked it
I got the best explanations of what was going on in Burma (Myanmar) and Anh Sang Suu Kyi, as well as several quotes and ideas from Howard Zinn, and a thorough discussion of Palestine/Israel relations and why Israel is very, very wrong in their actions.

There is a map presented of Palestine as it was before Europeans came in and began messing in folks' business. The reduction in the land mass of Palestine and the increase for Israel is stark and startling.

I read AW for techniques. She always giv
Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: have-read
Alice Walker's views on the things she sees as important and she feels we need to be aware of. It is an insight to the workings, non-workings, grief, pain and mistreatment of many peoples of the planet. This book moves you to action, expands your mind and your understanding of the workings of our civilization at large. Walker should write more if these types of books so we can learn at her feet.
Jun 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a series of essays, focusing on all of the injustices human beings inflict on each other, given Alice Walker's personal and political perspective. She is a wonderful writer, and her words have forced me to examine some of my own beliefs and perspectives, and perhaps to adjust them. Highly recommended.
Oct 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Although I may not agree with everything Alice Walker says, I certainly would like to sit down with her in a circle and drink tea and discuss problems and solutions. Well written essays about our current times-I wonder what she is saying about the current shenanigans.
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Romance and true love are different. True love is only possible when you do not need men for your happiness. All my ex-lovers are my family now. Hyun Kyung - Gloria

By far my favorite portion of the book is the "12 Questions: Korean Women's Soul Questions".
Mary Osborn
Dec 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Not so good. I read it after hearing her being interviewed which was very inspiring
Jan 18, 2015 rated it liked it
An interesting read. A bit repetitive towards the end but it was good to read something that really challenged my thinking and inspired me to consider things on a deeper level.
May 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
It has been quite awhile since reading something by Alice Walker. This book reminded me why I enjoy reading her works. This book consists of brief writings on either certain events or people.
Winter Sophia Rose
Dec 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Moving, Heartbreaking & Insightful!
Sep 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Dear Lord, I love this woman. Solid intermittent crying during the last 60 pages or so.
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Donna Singer
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Aug 28, 2018
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May 25, 2016
rated it it was ok
May 30, 2015
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May 08, 2013
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Jan 22, 2019
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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
“When I was a child I read books for entertainment and information; I now think of books as lifeboats.” 1 likes
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