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In Love & Trouble: Stories of Black Women

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Admirers of The Color Purple will find in these stories more evidence of Walker’s power to depict black women—women who vary greatly in background yet are bound together by what they share in common. Taken as a whole, their stories form an enlightening, disturbing view of life in the South.


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Admirers of The Color Purple will find in these stories more evidence of Walker’s power to depict black women—women who vary greatly in background yet are bound together by what they share in common. Taken as a whole, their stories form an enlightening, disturbing view of life in the South.

30 review for In Love & Trouble: Stories of Black Women

  1. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Reading Road Trip 2020 Current location: Georgia Alice Walker was a no-brainer for me, as the writer to represent the state of Georgia on my road trip, but Ms. Walker and I have always had issues. She's a genius, as a writer, an almost peerless technician of words, but, like Annie Proulx, she too often writes of dark, violent worlds that I blessedly don't inhabit and thankfully don't understand. I come back to her, again and again, as a writer who is hungry and jealous of her skills, but I don't li Reading Road Trip 2020 Current location: Georgia Alice Walker was a no-brainer for me, as the writer to represent the state of Georgia on my road trip, but Ms. Walker and I have always had issues. She's a genius, as a writer, an almost peerless technician of words, but, like Annie Proulx, she too often writes of dark, violent worlds that I blessedly don't inhabit and thankfully don't understand. I come back to her, again and again, as a writer who is hungry and jealous of her skills, but I don't like to stay in her worlds long. In this collection Ms. Walker offers us 13 brief worlds in 13 brief stories. “Lucky 13!” you might be inclined to think, but you'd be a fool if you did. “Lucky” isn't a word you would use to describe a single character in this mess. Ain't nobody lucky in these stories. I did something here, with my reading response, that I've never done with a short story collection before. I gave myself a writing assignment, to find one sentence in each story of Ms. Walker's and challenged myself to make a short story out of these thirteen unrelated fragments. So, here's my imagination mixed with Alice Walker's words. Let's call this weird hybrid story: Fragments Her husband's hand is like the clasp of an iron gate. (And you know how sick he makes me now when he grins). If her husband laughed at her high heels as she teetered and minced off to church on Sunday mornings, with her hair greased and curled and her new dress bunching up at the top of her girdle, she pretended his eyes were approving. If he cannot frighten her into chastity with his voice he will threaten her with the gun. She stood there with her scarred hands hidden in the folds of her skirt. [She] had been married already five years and had four small children and a husband with a wandering eye. She was angular and lean and the color of poor gray Georgia earth, beaten by king cotton and the extreme weather. Her dark dirty eyes clinging to his face with such hungry desperation made him nervous. In the South, in a hate-filled state complete with magnolias, tornadoes and broken-tongued field hands, they had settled down to raise a family of their own. In this way will the wife of a loveless, barren, hopeless Western marriage broadcast the joys of an enlightened religion to an imitative people? [Alas]. . . summer is over. When she passes him at the door his heart flutters like old newspapers in a gutter disturbed by a falling gust of wind. He was like a piece of rare and delicate china which was always being saved from breaking and which finally fell.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Keli R

    Writers MUST HAVE a third eye and a second mouth to be able to tell stories this bravely, this graphically, this bizarrely! Stories in this one had me reading them aloud to my husband trying to reach the bottom of their meaning. But not all of these are meant to be beaten to death for meaning: some are for feeling only. Here are my top 5 stories from the collection: 5: “The Child Who Favored Daughter”- this one outraged me; I thought it was borderline sick and I wanted to hate the book after I re Writers MUST HAVE a third eye and a second mouth to be able to tell stories this bravely, this graphically, this bizarrely! Stories in this one had me reading them aloud to my husband trying to reach the bottom of their meaning. But not all of these are meant to be beaten to death for meaning: some are for feeling only. Here are my top 5 stories from the collection: 5: “The Child Who Favored Daughter”- this one outraged me; I thought it was borderline sick and I wanted to hate the book after I read it. But couldn’t. 4: “Her Sweet Jerome”- the extended metaphor of black love...:whew! #JeromeIsABastardTho 3: “The Revenge of Hannah Kemhuff”- I was hysterical with so many emotions but that one part with the assistant made me gag from laughing so hard. This one should be made for tv! 2: “To Hell With Dying”- so sweet; should be read to every child at bedtime. 1: “Strong Horse Tea”- What in the Horse Tea Hell Black Magic is this??? Couldn’t tell if this was about faith or fear. You a fool for this one Alice Walker!!! Guys, truly a gem! Truly a collector’s item!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Courtney H.

    The stories are fantastic, almost too much so. Each story plunges you into a fully realized world of characters and circumstances, the kind of world that could propel an entire novel. And Walker is so good at making these character breathe for us, so good at making their concerns and lives vital to the readers, that it's like a slap in the face when the story ends and a new story abruptly begins--on the very next page, with not even a blank page to give us a moment to digest and mourn what we lo The stories are fantastic, almost too much so. Each story plunges you into a fully realized world of characters and circumstances, the kind of world that could propel an entire novel. And Walker is so good at making these character breathe for us, so good at making their concerns and lives vital to the readers, that it's like a slap in the face when the story ends and a new story abruptly begins--on the very next page, with not even a blank page to give us a moment to digest and mourn what we lost. Because what we lost was everything that comes next. Each story should be a first chapter, and that's perhaps the problem with stories that are too good, combined perhaps with stories written by someone who has mastered the novel as Alice Walker has. Should she get deducted a star for that? Probably not--it seems more like proof that she is a five-star story writer. But in my sulkier moments, I want to air my frustration that this is a collection of novels, and not, at least, a series of novellas.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lucynell

    For what it's worth I think In Love and Trouble is the best thing I read so far this year. As usual, I didn't see it coming. Maybe I should - that Southern Gothic link, but I think I was distracted by all the feminism and racial talk that surrounds Alice Walker's work. Subjects that I tend to avoid unless I am absolutely sure I'm not traveling down the same old same old. If that's what interests you the most (feminism and racial politics) you'll have your fill, no worries, and probably more than For what it's worth I think In Love and Trouble is the best thing I read so far this year. As usual, I didn't see it coming. Maybe I should - that Southern Gothic link, but I think I was distracted by all the feminism and racial talk that surrounds Alice Walker's work. Subjects that I tend to avoid unless I am absolutely sure I'm not traveling down the same old same old. If that's what interests you the most (feminism and racial politics) you'll have your fill, no worries, and probably more than you expected. But, as always, at its core, it's about the stories - thirteen in all, spread over 138 pages. Themes vary. All are excellent. One or two I can count as among the saddest fiction I've ever read. The language is proudly Southern, rough yet lyrical, and so beautiful as it blurs the line between prose and poetry. Awesome stuff here. Highly recommended.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cynda

    I read these stories during a time when I still remember ed details of when I lived in Jackson, MS. I saw how black women were treates, no, not as badly as they had been in the past, but I inexcusable ways. I related Because I am a woman in a society that is beginning to understand women's value. I read these stories during a time when I still remember ed details of when I lived in Jackson, MS. I saw how black women were treates, no, not as badly as they had been in the past, but I inexcusable ways. I related Because I am a woman in a society that is beginning to understand women's value.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    This is an incredible collection of stories. They reminded me of Flannery O'Connor, but told from a black woman's point of view. The reader is immediately dropped into tense, sad stories of everyday people frequently having horrifying things happen to them. The stories don't have the eccentricity and bizarreness that mark O'Connor's stories, but they have the same unexpected endings. Some have a sense of hopelessness, most have the context of reluctant but inevitable acceptance of the long centu This is an incredible collection of stories. They reminded me of Flannery O'Connor, but told from a black woman's point of view. The reader is immediately dropped into tense, sad stories of everyday people frequently having horrifying things happen to them. The stories don't have the eccentricity and bizarreness that mark O'Connor's stories, but they have the same unexpected endings. Some have a sense of hopelessness, most have the context of reluctant but inevitable acceptance of the long centuries of abuse and mistreatment of blacks by whites. Some of the stories tear your heart out. I'd recommend it to anyone who is interested in what I would guess is the typical experience of the black woman in the United States.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nea

    This is one of my favorites by Alice Walker. The stories are rich, deep, and lyrical. Poetic prose you might say. Some in this collection are so sad, with no happy ending in sight. They leave your heart ripped open, your mind desperate for a more consoling conclusion. But isn't that life? Sometimes things just don't end well. My absolute favorite is The Diary of an African Nun. Walker masterfully explored the internal spiritual conflict that plagues daughters of Africa, even when they don't know This is one of my favorites by Alice Walker. The stories are rich, deep, and lyrical. Poetic prose you might say. Some in this collection are so sad, with no happy ending in sight. They leave your heart ripped open, your mind desperate for a more consoling conclusion. But isn't that life? Sometimes things just don't end well. My absolute favorite is The Diary of an African Nun. Walker masterfully explored the internal spiritual conflict that plagues daughters of Africa, even when they don't know it. I also loved To Hell with Dying, for its sweetness, innocence, and message about love and loss.

  8. 4 out of 5

    J

    (FROM JACKET)Readers of Alice Walker's "The Color Purple" will find in these stories further evidence of her power to depict black women-women who vary greatly in background but are bound together by their vulnerability to life: Roselily, on her wedding day, surrounded by her four children, prays that a loveless marriage will bring her respectability; a young writer, exploited by both her lover and her husband, wreaks an ironic vengeance; a jealous wife, looking for her husband's mistress, finds (FROM JACKET)Readers of Alice Walker's "The Color Purple" will find in these stories further evidence of her power to depict black women-women who vary greatly in background but are bound together by their vulnerability to life: Roselily, on her wedding day, surrounded by her four children, prays that a loveless marriage will bring her respectability; a young writer, exploited by both her lover and her husband, wreaks an ironic vengeance; a jealous wife, looking for her husband's mistress, finds a competitor she cannot fight; an old woman, thrown out of a white church, meets God on a highway. These are just a few of the seekers of dignity and love whom Alice Walker portrays in this astonishing collection.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    these stories are wild, often painful, and perfectly executed. walker's ability to create intense and highly imaginative short stories with masterful language is incredible. she addresses womxnhood, marriage, race, identity, social injustice, and so much more in a way that provides the reader with a lens to better feel and understand it all. these stories are wild, often painful, and perfectly executed. walker's ability to create intense and highly imaginative short stories with masterful language is incredible. she addresses womxnhood, marriage, race, identity, social injustice, and so much more in a way that provides the reader with a lens to better feel and understand it all.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Deirdre

    This is a beautiful collection of short stories. "The Welcome Table," is a story I return to again and again. I have used it in my classes and find the students respond to it quite well. This is a beautiful collection of short stories. "The Welcome Table," is a story I return to again and again. I have used it in my classes and find the students respond to it quite well.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lizzie

    (I read "Everyday Use," anthologized separately from this book. I'm going to mark this read for lack of having another way to add the story here.) "Everyday Use" was interesting though not particularly moving to me. There is a lot to pull apart inside it: the limited narration of the poorly-educated and poorly-equipped mother, and the thematic contrasts between her adult daughters. The narration is good, and I liked it. The contrasts were less exciting. Her daughter who's stayed home is sheltered (I read "Everyday Use," anthologized separately from this book. I'm going to mark this read for lack of having another way to add the story here.) "Everyday Use" was interesting though not particularly moving to me. There is a lot to pull apart inside it: the limited narration of the poorly-educated and poorly-equipped mother, and the thematic contrasts between her adult daughters. The narration is good, and I liked it. The contrasts were less exciting. Her daughter who's stayed home is sheltered and shown to be as unintelligent and unambitious as the mother, but this seems to be a virtue in the author's view. They live plainly and with some limited amount of strength. The daughter who left produces all kinds of issues. She was given an education to surpass them, and here returns for a prodigal, condescending visit. Aside from disrespect, she's representing the black power movement, having chosen an African name and wanting to collect some "artifacts" from home. There's a debate. There's also a man she's with. It's kind of odd that he's there. No one knows if she's married him or if he's just running a lot of influence with her. Are we supposed to think that she's becoming like this for him? Is he representing a woman's leaving her family behind for marriage? Is the author saying this is a betrayal? The thing is I suspect these questions I want to be asking are a lot more interesting than the ones the story is really about. And now I'm tired of talking about it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    Obviously, Alice Walker possesses writing skills that exceeds those of most human beings. This book exhibited all of those, and more. To say that I've never read a better book would be unfair, I think. However, a lot of the writing had me spellbound. Some of the stories in this book transcended my, perhaps, common appreciation of literature. Or perhaps they just weren't her best work. On the other hand, some of these stories were like magic. They transported me to another dimension. It's writing Obviously, Alice Walker possesses writing skills that exceeds those of most human beings. This book exhibited all of those, and more. To say that I've never read a better book would be unfair, I think. However, a lot of the writing had me spellbound. Some of the stories in this book transcended my, perhaps, common appreciation of literature. Or perhaps they just weren't her best work. On the other hand, some of these stories were like magic. They transported me to another dimension. It's writing like that that makes me want to recommend this book to everyone. If there are stories in there you don't care about, you can just read on.

  13. 4 out of 5

    A.J. Seiffertt

    Well written, but mostly heartwrenching and devastating. Which, fair, obviously. But if there were any hope to be had I'd give it 5 stars. Well written, but mostly heartwrenching and devastating. Which, fair, obviously. But if there were any hope to be had I'd give it 5 stars.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Macey

    This book was a compilation of short stories about black women. It showed their struggles in relationships with their family and towns. These stories were extremely shocking and heartbreaking to read. Despite the surprising stories it was hard to keep reading this book. The stories didn’t connect with each other which made it confusing at times. I think it would be a good book to have in your library to occasionally pick up and read a story or two. However reading from start to finish is difficu This book was a compilation of short stories about black women. It showed their struggles in relationships with their family and towns. These stories were extremely shocking and heartbreaking to read. Despite the surprising stories it was hard to keep reading this book. The stories didn’t connect with each other which made it confusing at times. I think it would be a good book to have in your library to occasionally pick up and read a story or two. However reading from start to finish is difficult.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sefu Chikelu

    I'm giving this three stars. And this is me being generous. Alice Walker is a phenomenal writer, but this novel was extremely boring with lots of access "blahhs" that made a few of the stories hard to read. There are 13 stories total, and I honestly only enjoyed about 7 of them. All of the stories centered Black women, and the trials and tribulations can come alongside that. All 13 of the stories ended in on rather negative notes, a common critique that you'll read in other reviews. Here's what I'm giving this three stars. And this is me being generous. Alice Walker is a phenomenal writer, but this novel was extremely boring with lots of access "blahhs" that made a few of the stories hard to read. There are 13 stories total, and I honestly only enjoyed about 7 of them. All of the stories centered Black women, and the trials and tribulations can come alongside that. All 13 of the stories ended in on rather negative notes, a common critique that you'll read in other reviews. Here's what I enjoyed: 1. The centering of Black women. 2. It is very descriptive and it paints a clear picture. Here's what I didn't like about the novel: 1. It seemed like she had a hard time deciding whether she wanted to do a poetry book or a short story book. In some of the short stories, you will see random stanzas smack dab in the middle of it, most times with no relevancy to the story itself. It's distracting, puzzling and it doesn't help the reader much. 2. It's basically the same settings, same contexts, with different character names. Most (or maybe all?) of the stories take place in the slavery/Jim Crow era, and they all carry some sort of background stories that relate to that era in time. I typically don't mind stories that take place in that time period, but when you have 13 short stories and they ALL take place in that time, it really doesn't captivate me. I just wish there was a bit more diversity in the settings and in the scenarios. 3. In one of the stories, there is two characters who both go by the name 'daughter'. This can be VERY confusing (atleast it was for me), and I wished that one of the characters had just used another name to spare all of the head spinning. 4. 2 of the stories have severely awkward "happenings" that make you want to ask Alice, "what in the Hell were you even thinking?!" I won't say what happens exactly, but I will tell you that the stories are 'The Child Who Favored Daughter' and 'Strong Horse Tea'. Check it out yourself! 5. Lots and lots of words in sentences that could've been eliminated. Alice has a very unorthodox writing style that one has to get used to, but when reading word for word as it is written, you almost feel compelled to skip the pointless words and get to the gist of what she is saying. Of course, however, when you do that, you miss the essence of what she's saying and you have to re-read the sentence. Some stories just flow better than others. In closing, if you are an Alice Walker fan, check out some of her other works. She's written countless novels, and you can definitely do without this one. If you do choose to read it, there are a few ones in there, but it's totally understandable if you're not interested in reading all 13 stories. If you have not read anything from Alice Walker before, I would NOT recommend that this be your first read of hers. Check out The Color Purple first.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ananya Ghosh

    I'll admit I love Walker. In Love and Trouble is a collection of some of the most brilliant stories about African American women that I have previously read, and though the first story in the collection was a little vague and made me feel unequipped, with every next story, I found myself loving it more and more. The collection has authentic stories of black experiences, most of them inspired by her own life and the stories she has heard from her mother or in her community rolled with a little fi I'll admit I love Walker. In Love and Trouble is a collection of some of the most brilliant stories about African American women that I have previously read, and though the first story in the collection was a little vague and made me feel unequipped, with every next story, I found myself loving it more and more. The collection has authentic stories of black experiences, most of them inspired by her own life and the stories she has heard from her mother or in her community rolled with a little fiction and includes "Everyday Use", her most popular short story, along with so many other gems and I feel it's a must read for someone as enthusiastic about short stories and African American literature as me. Even if you are not, you should still read it. And though 'Everyday Use' was great, I loved so many of the other ones. ‘Really, Doesn’t Crime Pay?’talks about a black woman who is driven mad after lover steals her stories and publishes them under his name after breaking up with her. It raises important questions about black female creativity and such issues as stealing works etc. Also, the story that the protagonist writes is an amazing one, again raising many issues of women's, especially black women's lives. Her Sweet Jerome, The Child who Favoured Daughter, Strong Horse Tea and To Hell with Dying are my other favourites. However, the best one I liked was The Revenge of Hannah Kemhuff, which I later realised upon reading her non-fiction work, 'In Search of Her Mother's Gardens' was adapted from her mother's actual experience. It talks about a woman getting mistreated due to her race during the Depression and being haunted by that mistreatment throughout her life and using voodoo to take revenge, paying for it with her life. All in all, I'd just recommend this to everyone because it holds a few beautiful stories that need to be read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tara Bloom

    Am I dense or is this not good writing? I so dislike having this reaction to any book: not being able to discern if it’s a quality of literature over my head or if it’s just not good. It’s Alice Walker, so it must be my shortcoming, right? I just didn’t feel the women in this collection of short stories, and I can’t help but feel that it’s because the author didn’t feel them herself. There’s a feeling of contrivance in this book, yet also a frustrating disjointedness. Is that an intentional struc Am I dense or is this not good writing? I so dislike having this reaction to any book: not being able to discern if it’s a quality of literature over my head or if it’s just not good. It’s Alice Walker, so it must be my shortcoming, right? I just didn’t feel the women in this collection of short stories, and I can’t help but feel that it’s because the author didn’t feel them herself. There’s a feeling of contrivance in this book, yet also a frustrating disjointedness. Is that an intentional structure meant to communicate something to the reader? Or is it just that the stories were hastily assembled into a book for the sake of publishing a book? The stories feel incomplete. Is that making an artistic statement about the incomplete ways in which black women are portrayed in the world, or is it just that the stories are...incomplete? The last story about Mr. Sweet was a pleasure to read, but the remaining stories stirred nothing in me—no excitement or admiration; no frustration or fear; no interest or empathy. Rare were the moments of either tenderness or revulsion. Alice Walker is a stirring writer. She’s written dialogue so real you can hear it, and stories so powerful you’ll never forget them. She has a tremendous voice and she’s altered the course of American history with her writing and her activism. But I didn’t feel anything like that from this collection. It was just sort of ok and confusing and inaccessible.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Trista

    This is the first work I've read by Alice Walker. It is a remarkable, poetic collection of stories. You never know what you're going to get from one story to the next. Traveling through different times, lives and perspectives, you're first brought into the book by two stories that challenge the standard literary narration. The format of these first two stories is perhaps designed to make you feel before you think, to perhaps wipe clean your senses and even challenge your sense of self. Character This is the first work I've read by Alice Walker. It is a remarkable, poetic collection of stories. You never know what you're going to get from one story to the next. Traveling through different times, lives and perspectives, you're first brought into the book by two stories that challenge the standard literary narration. The format of these first two stories is perhaps designed to make you feel before you think, to perhaps wipe clean your senses and even challenge your sense of self. Characters that are distraught in love or by love, you have such an intimate sense of but you only get a glimpse of their lives, it's like walking down a corridor full of a stranger's family pictures; memories that are almost tangible but still foreign and almost secretive in their silence. The jarringly poetic impressions left by each portrait stays with you and haunts the reader from one story to the next: A woman whose ex lover steals her great writings; a little girl who comes upon the corpse of a man who was lynched and left to rot in the woods, a tale of voodoo in a tribute to Zora Neal Hurston, an old woman fighting for the life of her child whom no one in the white community will help. This is a beautiful, memorable work, well worth a read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Himari Amakata

    My first book by Alice Walker, and it was definitely a good read. Her writings are smooth, poetic, and intriguing. Most of her sentences are short.. making intense scenes spine-chilling, dreamy scenes even more dreamy, and overall, very very fascinating. In this book are 13 short stories of black women who each have lived different lives and have suffered different problems which changed their lives forever. Some are terrifying, with an horrific ending that is so.. realistic. I can't spoil the st My first book by Alice Walker, and it was definitely a good read. Her writings are smooth, poetic, and intriguing. Most of her sentences are short.. making intense scenes spine-chilling, dreamy scenes even more dreamy, and overall, very very fascinating. In this book are 13 short stories of black women who each have lived different lives and have suffered different problems which changed their lives forever. Some are terrifying, with an horrific ending that is so.. realistic. I can't spoil the story here because you have to read the book the feel what she wants you to feel. The stories here make you think of many things. Family. Race. Freedom. Love. History. There are people like Walker, who have experienced an much unfair, unjust world than we live in today. They have seen scarred hearts and faces we have never seen. What can we learn from them? What can we do? This book made me think of those things. I recommend this book to everyone, but especially to women, young women today. The power she holds in her writings are real! Scary, intriguing, deep... I would love to read some more books by Alice Walker. :)

  20. 4 out of 5

    James Stamoulis

    Overall I enjoyed this quick read mostly because of the authors writing style. I have already read Alice Walkers, You can’t Keep a Good Women Down, which I enjoyed very much. I thought that this book wasn’t as good as that one but still would suggest it to others. Walker reaches out on black women or black people throughout the novel. She addresses the stereotypes and shows how she feels in her stories. I felt that Walker could really relate to her stories as she is a black women herself which m Overall I enjoyed this quick read mostly because of the authors writing style. I have already read Alice Walkers, You can’t Keep a Good Women Down, which I enjoyed very much. I thought that this book wasn’t as good as that one but still would suggest it to others. Walker reaches out on black women or black people throughout the novel. She addresses the stereotypes and shows how she feels in her stories. I felt that Walker could really relate to her stories as she is a black women herself which makes her stories more personal and that much more interesting. I would definitely suggest this to many others as Alice Walker is a great author.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Roxie

    I rarely give story collections 5/5, because there's always that one story (or a couple, tbh) that doesn't reach the A-level. In this case, they were all pretty much amazing. Not all of them are 5 stars, but most; and the compiling of the stories was done quite well. It was my first Alice Walker and I was moved to the core, these stories will definitely stay with me. Can't wait to get my own copy and re-read. (I'd do a better review, gushing about form and structure and themes, but I'm too tired I rarely give story collections 5/5, because there's always that one story (or a couple, tbh) that doesn't reach the A-level. In this case, they were all pretty much amazing. Not all of them are 5 stars, but most; and the compiling of the stories was done quite well. It was my first Alice Walker and I was moved to the core, these stories will definitely stay with me. Can't wait to get my own copy and re-read. (I'd do a better review, gushing about form and structure and themes, but I'm too tired. Just read the book, guys.)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Christiane

    I didn't have the time to read all the stories but this collection has one of my favorite short stories that I was able to track down again thanks to David W. "The Revenge of Hannah Kemhuff" tells the story of a woman wronged and now, near death, all she wants is revenge. It is one of those short stories where every word is perfect, and it will stay with you for a long time. I didn't have the time to read all the stories but this collection has one of my favorite short stories that I was able to track down again thanks to David W. "The Revenge of Hannah Kemhuff" tells the story of a woman wronged and now, near death, all she wants is revenge. It is one of those short stories where every word is perfect, and it will stay with you for a long time.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Syd

    I really loved these short stories, written from the perspective of women of color of different ages and social status. My favorite story was of an older woman obsessed about her bookworm husband's fidelity. I really loved these short stories, written from the perspective of women of color of different ages and social status. My favorite story was of an older woman obsessed about her bookworm husband's fidelity.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    Stories from human beings that do not share the same life experiences as me. Common themes though. Power and gender roles. Alice Walker writes in a style that is enjoyable to read. An excellent book to take traveling because of short story format.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rowena

    Nice collection of short stories, some I liked more than others.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    I hate to be negative but this was just not for me. Most of these stories felt unfinished to me and, even more, I didn’t “get” them. As in, what is this story trying to say. It made me feel dumb and I definitely don’t like THAT. I can appreciate each of these stories but I did not enjoy.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Slocombe

    I always struggle to review short story collections, the content and the quality tends to vary a lot within. . These stories are all about black women and, with one exception, are set in the American South. There's a fair amount of violence and none of the women are happy. The effect of white supremacy is clear and more than one black child's death is caused by the indifference of white characters. . I felt like the second half of the book was better than the first but I was dipping in and out betw I always struggle to review short story collections, the content and the quality tends to vary a lot within. . These stories are all about black women and, with one exception, are set in the American South. There's a fair amount of violence and none of the women are happy. The effect of white supremacy is clear and more than one black child's death is caused by the indifference of white characters. . I felt like the second half of the book was better than the first but I was dipping in and out between other books so it may have been my mood that effected my experience. . My favourite stories were 'The Diary of an African Nun' and 'To Hell With Dying' which were both beautiful and mournful. . If you enjoyed The Colour Purple and are looking for more by Walker this one is definitely worth picking up.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Marube

    This book gets a 5 star from me and a standing ovation. As a short story collection, it's a cohesive body of work that immerses the readers in black southern women's lives. Even though each story is different, they all together forms an organic living tapestry that's bewitching. The arrangement of the stories is also thoughtful. Each story giving way to the next in a natural way that makes the transition from one to the next feel like a melody. I haven't read something that made my heart sing in s This book gets a 5 star from me and a standing ovation. As a short story collection, it's a cohesive body of work that immerses the readers in black southern women's lives. Even though each story is different, they all together forms an organic living tapestry that's bewitching. The arrangement of the stories is also thoughtful. Each story giving way to the next in a natural way that makes the transition from one to the next feel like a melody. I haven't read something that made my heart sing in so long!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Fraser

    The original subtitle for this book was “stories of black women”, and I wonder why this edition decided to truncate it; after all, the stories in this (fairly small) collection are rooted in a series of very specific perspectives that, speaking as someone who can’t claim expertise on any of the pithy descriptors on the jacket copy (not a woman, not black, not from the southern states of the USA), felt profoundly different to my own experience and the experiences of those around me. Maybe that’s t The original subtitle for this book was “stories of black women”, and I wonder why this edition decided to truncate it; after all, the stories in this (fairly small) collection are rooted in a series of very specific perspectives that, speaking as someone who can’t claim expertise on any of the pithy descriptors on the jacket copy (not a woman, not black, not from the southern states of the USA), felt profoundly different to my own experience and the experiences of those around me. Maybe that’s the point, though - after all, I couldn’t help but notice that the stories Alice Walker writes are, funnily enough, in a similar style to stories we’d often see from countless privileged white men. There’s a strong emotional focus and a relatability to her protagonists that might offer an unpleasant description while remaining wholly sympathetic. Stories like these act as a tool of validation - a way to say that experiences of the people who don’t necessarily dominate public discourse are just as important as the experiences of those who do, if not more so given the saturation of the market when it comes to men wanting to be the next Jack Kerouac, or Ernest Hemingway, or Hunter S. Thompson. The political angle of a collection like this, though, is only one facet, even if it is an important (and apparently conscious) one. There’s an easy, sparkling style to Walker’s writing, often communicating an entire mood with a few words, scoping her stories perfectly, holding the reader’s interest even on topics that with duller authors would provoke yawns. One story in particular sticks in my mind - that of a married woman who suspects her intellectual husband is cheating on her, who goes around town, aggressively trying to find out who the focus of his affections might be. With a less deft hand, a story like this might condescend, or become a righteous, sanctimonious sermon; instead, Walker blends tragedy and comedy, recognising the absurdity of the situation while staying in touch with the emotions that her protagonist can’t quite articulate. Walker doesn’t edify her characters, but neither does she cast them in one-dimensional roles. Even the villains have depth. This book was incredible.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Alice Walker is the author of ”The Color Purple” for which she won the National Book Award for fiction, as well as a Pulitzer Prize in 1983. She was the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize in fiction. Walker has also published a number of successful novels as well as collections of poetry, essays, and short stories. She has been an activist in the civil rights movement, as well as an outstanding writer. “In Love & Trouble”, a collection of short stories, is her first short story collec Alice Walker is the author of ”The Color Purple” for which she won the National Book Award for fiction, as well as a Pulitzer Prize in 1983. She was the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize in fiction. Walker has also published a number of successful novels as well as collections of poetry, essays, and short stories. She has been an activist in the civil rights movement, as well as an outstanding writer. “In Love & Trouble”, a collection of short stories, is her first short story collection and was published in 1973, 10 years before she won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. The stories portray the poverty, depression, and hopelessness in the lives of Black women. The exception is “To Hell With Dying”, a story that is bittersweet but more uplifting. It also has a strong role for a male character although it is seen through the eyes of a little girl and later from her perspective as a grown woman. Alice Walker’s brilliance is apparent, but many of the stories are either depressing or really gruesome and hard to read. I cannot recommend all of the stories, only some of them. “Entertaining God” is disturbing but well written. “The Flowers” is also a powerful story. “To Hell With Dying” is exquisite. My favorite story is “To Hell with Dying” which tells the story of Mr. Sweet and his relationship to a little girl and her siblings. The little girl (as her older brother did before her) brought him back from death many times by tickling and kissing him. Mr. Sweet was the little girl’s first love. This endearing old man played with her and her siblings when they were children. He was often drunk but lucid at the same time. He smelled of liquor and tobacco and had thick curly white hair and a white beard. He played a steel guitar and sang songs such as “Sweet Georgia Brown”. This story was such a relief from the stories of pain, suffering, and hopelessness.

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