Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Word: Black Writers Talk About the Transformative Power of Reading and Writing” as Want to Read:
The Word: Black Writers Talk About the Transformative Power of Reading and Writing
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Word: Black Writers Talk About the Transformative Power of Reading and Writing

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  72 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Critically acclaimed Black writers reveal how books have shaped their personal lives—in often unexpected ways.
In these thirteen strikingly candid interviews, bestselling authors, winners of the Pulitzer Prize, and writers picked by Oprah’s Book Club discuss how the acts of reading and writing have deeply affected their lives by expanding the conceptual borders of their co
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 11th 2011 by Broadway Books (first published January 1st 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Word, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Word

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Nov 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
“The symbiotic relationship between reading and writing is a cornerstone of our individual intellectual journeys and our educational system. We write as an act of self-expression. We read because language renders unto us the vitality of real and imagined experience.” - Marita Golden

An excellent book, a collection of 13 (14 if you count the editor’s) interviews of prolific black (African-American, African and Caribbean) writers, men and women whose writing covers a wide range (poetry, fiction, n
Leslie Reese
Nov 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book came out in 2011, but I just discovered it. Hallelujah! Book lover, esteemed author and editor of several books, educator, and co-founder of the [Zora Neale Hurston]Hurston/[Richard] Wright Foundation---Marita Golden is the interviewer and editor of this collection of 13 writers from the African diaspora talking about how reading and writing have impacted their lives. (In the introduction Marita Golden writes about her own background as a reader and writer, and shares her list of influ ...more
Apr 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic book. Marita Golden asked great questions, not only about reading and writing, but also about the state of education in our country and the recent decline in reading for pleasure. All of the writers she interviewed have inspirational stories to tell; inspirational not only for young people, but for adults, too. My full review can be seen on my book blog:
Feb 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A great book for readers and writers alike. If you want to be inspired to write, listen to some of these great writers. And if you want to be inspired to read, hear what these authors say about the power of reading. I thank Ms. Golden for crafting such a book. To hear such writers talk about the transformative power of reading, and the inspirations they received from the printed word is refreshing. Im sure as you read through the interviews some of the responses will mirror the average readers b ...more
Dec 28, 2013 rated it liked it
The interview format in this book made it a pleasure to read. The dominating thought while reading this book was 'If it makes you happy, do it.' I have been extremely critical of myself. Over-analyzing is a repeated barrier in taking a hold of life. Instead of enjoying these journeys, I've always questioned myself 'Why do I love to read so much?' and 'Why should a begin writing?' Golden's interviewees have implied that these activities can expand the human soul and enhance all that you're doing. ...more
Joshunda Sanders
Jul 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a great read with some of my favorite writers and journalists, including Edward P. Jones and Wil Haygood. It's great to hear them talk about the importance of reading and writing, either in tandem or just for the sake of loving the written word. My favorite thing about picking this up was that I stumbled across it at the library, and almost all of the writers mention their love for libraries, which they talk about as sacred spaces. The chapters end with great book recommendations, too.
Sep 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Word is an excellent book that provides valuable information from the persepctives of various Black writers about the significance of reading and writing; and how writers help teach and shape world history and culture. It's inspirtational as much as it is informative and as someone that has finally decided to pursue my gift of writing professionally, I am encouraged. Writers and bookworms every where will find enjoyment in reading this book.
Jan 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
I could not stop reading this book. The power of the written word, as discussed by some of the leading Black fiction and non-fiction writers, including Nikki Giovanni and the late John Hope Franklin. I felt like it was my story being told-their love of books, libraries, the written word, the drive and *need* to read. It was refreshing. I am definitely passing this book along-it needs to be widely read.
Jun 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Excellent collection of contemporary writers who share insights into their writing life. Quite a few of them came to love reading (and writing)not as children, but a bit later. A variety of backgrounds--some came from homes with books and stimulation--and others found it outside of the home. Golden usually holds interviews either in their homes or nearby and each one is a gem.
Jan 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
I loved the title because it attests to a recent transformation I experienced through reading and writing. Once I got a copy of the book I was completely in love. The interviews give access to some of my favorite writers and sometimes I felt like I was sitting there with them. I loved the Q&A format for its quickness and convenience.
Aug 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Truly inspirational! A wealth of knowledge and a list of books to add to my readings.
Oct 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Interesting interviews and great reading suggestions. My "To be read" list has definitely grown :)
Jul 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Words are there to remind us

It is inspiring to better understand the hold that reading has on many accomplished writers--writers who see the world through a lens similar to mine.
Judith Grace
rated it it was amazing
Apr 10, 2011
rated it it was amazing
Apr 17, 2017
Dusky Literati
rated it it was amazing
Apr 15, 2011
rated it it was amazing
Mar 25, 2012
rated it really liked it
Jun 24, 2013
rated it really liked it
Dec 20, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Apr 16, 2017
Paula Joh Nash
rated it really liked it
Mar 15, 2017
rated it really liked it
Oct 28, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Oct 27, 2013
Jacara Brown
rated it liked it
Apr 04, 2016
June E Dove
rated it it was amazing
Dec 27, 2014
Femi Folami
rated it really liked it
Jul 30, 2014
Anthony Williams
rated it really liked it
Jul 27, 2012
Endora harris
rated it it was amazing
Sep 11, 2011
rated it it was amazing
Nov 11, 2013
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time
  • Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America
  • Buried in the Bitter Waters: The Hidden History of Racial Cleansing in America
  • History and Historians: A Historiographical Introduction
  • The Cuba Reader: History, Culture, Politics
  • Red Summer: The Summer of 1919 and the Awakening of Black America
  • The Color Complex: The Politics of Skin Color Among African Americans
  • A Life in Letters
  • Better Than Good Hair: The Curly Girl Guide to Healthy, Gorgeous Natural Hair!
  • The Shadow King: The Bizarre Afterlife of King Tut's Mummy
  • The Rastafarians
  • The Beast Side: Living (and Dying) While Black in America
  • Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It
  • The Man Who Cried I Am
  • Destruction of Black Civilization: Great Issues of a Race From 4500 B.C. To 2000 A.D.
  • The Evidence of Things Not Seen
  • The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1440-1870
  • Improvisation: Its Nature And Practice In Music
Marita Golden (born April 28, 1950) is an award-winning novelist, nonfiction writer, distinguished teacher of writing and co-founder of the Hurston/Wright Foundation, a national organization that serves as a resource center for African-American writers.

(from Wikipedia)
More about Marita Golden...

Nonfiction Deals

  • Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Sometimes You Win--Sometimes You Learn: Life's Greatest Lessons Are Gained from Our Losses
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Long Tail: Why the Future Is Selling Less of More
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Quantum Healing (Revised and Updated): Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Funny In Farsi: A Memoir Of Growing Up Iranian In America
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Effortless Healing: 9 Simple Ways to Sidestep Illness, Shed Excess Weight, and Help Your Body Fix Itself
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France
    $8.49 $1.99
  • Bad Boy
    $7.74 $1.99
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back
    $4.99 $1.99
  • All Over But the Shoutin'
    $11.99 $2.99
  • WEIRD: Because Normal Isn't Working
    $6.99 $2.99
  • Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle
    $11.99 $1.99