Read Anything We Love Can Be Saved by Alice Walker Online


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 deIn 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 describes her own spiritual growth and roots in activism. She goes on to explore many important private and public issues: being a daughter and raising one, dreadlocks, banned books, civil rights, and gender communication. She writes about Zora Neale Hurston and Salman Rushdie and offers advice to Bill Clinton. Here is a wise woman's thoughts as she interacts with the world today, and an important portrait of an activist writer's life....

Title : Anything We Love Can Be Saved
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780345407962
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Anything We Love Can Be Saved Reviews

  • Jesi
    2019-03-02 14:45

    wonderfully spiritually refreshing. my heart/soul badly needed this book. the first half struck me as much stronger and more cohesive than the second half, which was mostly just speeches, letters, and very short occasional essays. but ahh, alice walker has such a beautiful soul.

  • Diane
    2019-03-15 12:24

    This book is one of a very few that remind me to hope.

  • Akho
    2019-03-21 09:40

    Amazing! Some essays took my breath away. I loved Sunnies and Shade, I think I'm going to buy my own copy of this book. Alice is so real and is not afraid to go theeerreee*! her way with words is mind blowing. I am so so inspired! I need to read The Colour Purple again

  • Orna Ross
    2019-03-02 16:21

    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."The letter alludes to the 1962 `Hands Off Cuba' protest rally in which Walker took part, to how she loves Cuba and its people (including Fidel), to the effect of Clinton's embargo on Cubans, especially children. "Their way of caring for all humanity," she writes, "has made them my family. Whenever you hurt them, or help them, please think of me."This short letter represents much of what people find disagreeable in the work of Alice walker. Her brand of basic, sometimes essentialist, truth jars in a postmodern world where irony, apathy and relativity rule. Her statements can feel too banal, too touchy-feely, too "all-you-need-is-love" to 21st century first-worlders.This collection traverses her thoughts on the trials of Winnie Mandela and Salman Rushdie as well as Castro; on being banned, treasured and criticised as a writer; on genital mutilation; on her mother, father, brother, daughter and cat. On when she told her friend to stop saying "you guys" to her ("I don't respect `guys' enough to obliterate the woman that I see by calling her by their name"). On organised religion; on other writers whom she honours like Zora Neale Hurston and Audre Lorde; on the Million Mile March and her mother's blue bowl.The forms are as eclectic as the contents - letters, essays, speeches, conference addresses and what can only be described as musings. Some pieces are only three paragraphs long, others run for many pages. What links them is their author's commitment to activism and her unique take on the world.Walker has been involved in political protest all her adult life. "As a poet and writer, I used to think being an activist and writing about it `demoted' me to the level of `mere journalist', "she writes. "Now I know that, as with the best journalists, activism is often my muse." These are not simply writings about activism, they are in and of themselves activist.It is easy to accuse Alice Walker of naivete. Certainly she can make questionable statements with supporting evidence that is scanty or arguable; for example, her assertion that pre-patriarchy "women headed vibrant cultures that traded, reasoned and celebrated with each other without the need to erect forts or walls".But to say she is naive is not just inaccurate, it is to miss the point. Walker is not so much engaging in political argument as extending the boundaries of political thinking. Not just criticising white, Euro-American, male thought but challenging its dualistic, either / or approach with a writing style that seamlessly integrates the political with the cultural, the spiritual and the creative. Not just cutting through the discharge of prejudice that the "free" world calls information but helping us see with what another courageous black woman writer, Audre Lourde, called the "outsider's eye".Unlike other 1960s radicals, Alice Walker's courage and integrity have sharpened, not mellowed, with age. Despite half a lifetime fighting wrongs, she still believes in truth, justic and - she's not ashamed to say it - love, of people and the planet."All we own, at least for the short time we have it, is our life," she says in her introduction. "With it we write what we come to know of the world."Whether we care for her style, or not, the world is a better place for having Alice Walker to write about it.

  • Megan
    2019-03-07 17:15

    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 travels to Cuba and her encounters with Fidel Castro. This includes a letter written to President Bill Clinton around the time he tightened the embargo on Cuba. Walker raises good questions here: Castro may be no saint, our relationship with Cuba may not be so simple, but what right have we to continue punishing an entire nation simply because its leaders took away property from U.S. fruit companies decades ago? Especially in a post-Cold War era, what are we doing causing the impoverishment of children in another country simply because of disagreements with the political philosophy of its leaders? (One should also note the irony here: allegedly we are punishing Cuba for not capitulating to 'free' capitalism, yet we are doing so precisely by further control and restriction of a market.) The embargo has been labeled a violation of international law by the United Nations since the 1980s (not that such violations seem to bother the U.S. too much). Isn't it high time we lifted it?

  • Patricia
    2019-03-03 14:43

    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 this is certainly a very close second. You can read this book many times over and will still catch something you didn't see before. Definitely give this one a read.

  • Kristen
    2019-02-24 15:25

    I wanted to like this so badly as I adore Walker's prose, but this essay collection fell short for me. Many letters and stories were quite compelling, but that was a rarity. As well, one essay in particular seems Islamophobic while also including a defense of Farrakhan, who is a known homophobe and anti-Semite. This was very surprising to me, as Walker is such a champion for social justice. Overall, this is a good read and many of her stories feed my soul. However, I'm sure there's better collections of her work out there.

  • Richard
    2019-02-28 17:43

    This is a collection of letters, speeches and essays reflecting Alice Walker's life as an activist. Some are absolutely beautiful, while others seem naïve or simplistic. But she is an incredible writer and admirable for her courage. I agree with her on almost everything.

  • Lacy
    2019-02-23 17:16

    I will now read everything Alice Walker has written.

  • Karen
    2019-03-09 17:26

    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 briefly acknowledges.Also, after knowing what I now know about her estranged daughter, Rebecca, the essays which include her are that much more poignant. At the time the book was written, they were still on speaking terms. Walker writes about how hurt Rebecca was when she left her behind for writing and activism. Maybe it's none of our business and we certainly don't expect male artists to defend their actions where child-rearing is concerned, but that's one of the reasons I re-read this book. After I learned about Rebecca's resentment over the times she was left to fend for herself as a child, and her mother's subsequent "disowning" of her as an adult, I started to question my admiration for Alice Walker, which really bothered me because I love her books, I read them voraciously throughout my 20s and they helped me shape my ideas about women, culture, society, etc. Why couldn't the title of this book, Anything We Love Can Be Saved, be applied to the relationship between mother and daughter? Anyway, brilliant people have flaws, too, obviously, and it was interesting to re-read this book with the flawed Alice Walker in mind, and not the one I idealized as a young person. I think it made the book richer this time around, and certainly didn't take away from the writing.

  • Jendi
    2019-02-26 10:19

    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 the role that my racial group and religion have played in this oppression. (I know, "duh", but hey, that is what white privilege means - I have been able to avoid thinking about uncomfortable things.)However, the collection felt padded with other pieces that were lightweight or dated. In my opinion, she has a tendency to make universal principles out of her own preferences and experiences.Most crucially, I didn't feel I could rely on her political analysis because she seemed to romanticize and oversimplify controversial figures like Winnie Mandela, Fidel Castro, and Louis Farrakhan. I almost gave up when she compared Castro to the Dalai Lama. One is a nonviolent spiritual leader, the other allowed the Soviet dictatorship to point nukes at America. She comes across as so heartbroken about America's human rights abuses that she needs to believe in revolutionary heroes, and maybe suspends some critical judgment.I do now feel compelled to learn more about Cuba because her take on it was the polar opposite of everything I hear in mainstream media, but I can't take her reports at face value either.

  • Kat Trina
    2019-03-02 15:24

    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 symbol against whom all women, of colour or otherwise, are held up to, and made to feel unworthy. I totally get it. But she really lays into this poor woman she never knew. I get the anger, but it's too easy to dismiss her as a vacant vessel valuable only as a white man's sex fantasty. She was a woman of flesh, blood, and tears the same as any, and i feel for the poor woman, who was so abjected by what she was reduced to that she ultimately killed herself. other than that, I thought it was brilliant. Her article about hugging Fidel Castro was hilarious, and her bit about her work on the documentary "warrior marks" was touching, and her article about religion was spot on.

  • Alex
    2019-03-20 13:39

    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 walks the walk actively advocating and fighting for causes in which she believes. She takes you on a few of her journeys in the book, introducing you to, or showing you another side of people you have probably heard of before and some that you haven't. She also takes you to a various places around the world. I recommend for those who like other works by Walker. I also recommend for those interested in social activism, as she has done a great deal of it. I also recommend for those who generally care about people and their well-being across the globe, especially women, and especially children.

  • E
    2019-03-05 15:17

    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 sewing her life experiences into meaningful philosophy and witty observation. It has no explicit political agenda and is therefore all the less pompous.

  • Melissa Mcdonald
    2019-03-17 11:30

    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 lessons her daughter taught her. Walker's opinions are enriched by her poetry and highlighted by the whimsical phrases and titles with which she frames serious subjects.

  • Leela
    2019-03-05 17:23

    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 professional bookshelf, dog-eared and soft.

  • Kathryn
    2019-03-14 15:21

    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 has always scared me. Alas, it is a petty, but honest sentiment that I admit to.

  • Bob
    2019-02-21 09:21

    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.

  • Jeannie
    2019-03-06 11:39

    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.

  • Craig
    2019-03-15 12:31

    While this contains quite a number of good to great individual pieces, like her visit to find & reclaim Zora Neale Hurston, the overall unity/ cohesion of the text is lacking. Alice Walker, though, is not always about unity & cohesion. Sometimes she's about the individual moments in life, the individual memories, and that's okay, too. I guess I just wanted...more?

  • Beverly Atkinson
    2019-02-24 16:24

    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.

  • Liza
    2019-03-17 14:35

    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.

  • Pamela Detlor
    2019-02-27 17:37

    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 thetopics 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!

  • Lynn
    2019-03-08 11:32

    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."

  • Rosie
    2019-03-22 16:31

    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.

  • Noelle (Pandora) Kukenas
    2019-03-05 10:33

    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.

  • Alison
    2019-03-05 13:26

    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.

  • Kl Baudelaire
    2019-03-16 16:25

    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.

  • Berni
    2019-02-23 10:29

    Superb! The delight of reading an author who is as good at writing nonfiction as she is at fiction. Highly recommended to anyone of pale complexion who desires to understand better the experience of growing and living the revolution up black in America.

  • Claire S
    2019-03-01 09:17

    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..