As a Black woman raised in the South in the mid-twentieth century, Walker has seen it all.
She has personally experienced racism and sexism, and has ample reason to be bitter, resentful, distrustful, and cynical.
What struck me about "Living by the Word" was just how much the book seemed a process of healing.
Many of the essays seemed as if they were written during a period of hibernation.
Cut off a star because of the horrible essay "Am I Blue?
" because it was comparing eating animals to slavery and rape. I'm a vegan and I still think that Alice Walker's comparisons to eating animals to slavery was totally uncalled for and messed up. Walker's words are beautiful and heartbreaking and powerful.With age and experience, you will be happy to know, growth becomes a conscious, recognized process.Those long periods when something inside ourselves seems to be waiting, holding its breath, unsure about what the next step should be, eventually become the periods we wait for, for it is in those periods that we realize we are being prepared for the next phase of our life and, in all probability, a new level of the personality is about to be revealed."As it happens, I have never read any of Walker’s fiction.", "Coming in from the Cold", "A Name is Sometimes an Ancestor Saying Hi, I'm With You", "Everything is a Human Being", and "The Universe Responds: Or, How I Learned We Can Have Peace on Earth".There are so many fantastic quotes from these essays, especially the last two, that made me think about life differently, question why things are the way they are, or made me appreciate the little things more. Living by the Word is a collection of essays and journal entries spanning the years from 1973-1987."We grow, including the intellectual and the spiritual, without being deeply aware of it.In fact, some periods of our growth are so confusing that we don’t even recognize that growth is what is happening.Many of the essays seemed as if they were written during a period of hibernation. Some of them are just journal entries, private thoughts made public. If you didn't pick up this book to read someone's very personal thoughts and feeling, you'll probably be left disappointed.It seemed that for Alice Walker, major writing projects were a source of great physical strain as if the act of writing some works was a battle for her soul. If you're hoping for a "book" in the sense of a coherent sum of its various parts (in the same way songs make up an album), then I think you'll be disappointed.They are very much rooted in events of the 80s, and thus, they are also a window into times and places. In fact, some periods of our growth are so confusing that we don’t even recognize that growth is what is happening.We may feel hostile or angry or weepy and hysterical, or we may feel depressed. Of course there were a couple of essays that didn't do it for me, but the great thing about anthologies is you can skip something if you don't like it after a page or five.