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You can feel her desire to tell the blunt truth and to give a voice to people who might not have it. Walker educates us on the plights affecting Native populations all around the world; Hawaii and Australia in particular. Alice Walker preaches being in touch with oneself, with others, and with the land. Beautiful writing, tough, visceral subject matter at times; ethereal characters.

Despite the hippyish vibe, I am giving it 5 stars. View all 10 comments. Jul 12, Alison rated it it was amazing Shelves: fiction-read. Alice Walker is a sage. She is pain, love, beauty and soul. If I could have one wish it would be just to have a conversation with her over tea. She makes me see myself all old and tattered one minute and all new and shiny the next, and I love her and myself all the more for it.

This book had such great timing, like I couldn't believe. I picked it up at a used bookstore a few months ago, thinking, "Alice Walker is a good author, I bet I'd like this When I picked it up to begin reading I couldn't believe the timing. It was about exactly the kind of things I'm interested in at the moment: how to serve the planet and the great spirit all around us, but from a fictional viewpoint.

This book is hardly the book for everyone. It jumps back and forth in tim This book had such great timing, like I couldn't believe. It jumps back and forth in time, switches between characters, sometimes uses dialogue tags and sometimes doesn't. If you want a good plot and a pace that pushes along, this book isn't for you. If you like books which explore human character and spirituality, this book is for you. It takes its time telling its story of love and healing and relating to the Earth and the beings on it. What can I say? I really liked it, and am going to look for more recent Alice Walker books.

If you live your life in such a way as to become free rather than to become not free, she continued, you will find Life presents you with regular summers and winters and autumns and springs. There will be times when the masculine will demand your interest and attention, she said. Times when the feminine will rise and exact her due. Many people exist in their lives in this way.

I say exist because it is not really living. It is akin to being suspended in a dream one is having at night, a dream over which one has no control. You are going here and there, seeing this and that person; you do not know or care about them usually, they are just there, on your interior screen. Once immersed in Kate and Yolo's very separate, but not quite so different as they think, journeys, I felt renewed when I finished the novel, like I had also journeyed to my most secret and inner core, to rediscover my old surroundings with pleasure, able to appreciate once again what drew me to the beauty of the mountains.

Yet at the same time, I know that it is okay to leave the beauty, to search for something new, and it doesn't mean I lose anything, the old beauty, only maybe that I learn something new to enhance it. Mar 29, Cheryl Klein rated it it was ok Shelves: fiction. What am I missing? My tolerance for New Age anything is fairly low, and for all the factoids about oppressed peoples that Walker tosses in, her main characters are well-adjusted Americans who live off their art, can afford fancy retreats and don't have any problems that aren't solved immediately.

The latter was my real issue with this novel: Every character has an epiphany on pretty much every page. The protagonist learns in a dream that she's afraid of growing old, and that she shouldn't be. Except she'd been prancing around loving her gray hair up until that point, so it was hardly rewarding to see a resolution to a problem I didn't know existed. I'm sure it's really eye-opening and life-changing to go on a rain forest retreat.

Not so much to read about one. Mar 03, Celia rated it really liked it Shelves: read , booklender , ten-year-challenge. I listened to this book on Audio CD. Read by Alfre Woodard, it was a rare gem. The book reads like short stories but they are linked by the spiritual encounters and thoughts of Kate. I loved listening to it. Alice Walker has a beautiful way with words and expressing ideas.


  1. Alice Walker!
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I recommend this book for the romantic in you. Feb 10, Eba rated it it was amazing. I really needed this book. I read it at just the right time of my life. Parts of it are really out there, and the ending was disappointing, but the quest for spiritual re awakening that happens in this book almost moved me to tears.

This book was very well-written, and though I wanted to read it all in one sitting, I found it is much better to read it in bits and to slowly digest it. I thought I would love, love this book but I had so much trouble getting through it. I made it about a third of the way through on audio and, as another reviewed noted, "I just don't get it".

Healing for a hurting world

I think Walker's writing is beautiful; it's just that her style is not my cup of tea. I had so much trouble following the chronology and found myself constantly going back to re-listen to parts in an attempt to understand where she was going. This is my first of her books so I may have to give her another ch I thought I would love, love this book but I had so much trouble getting through it. Reading the works of Alice Walker is nothing short of transformative.

When I first began to read her books, I was an awkward and shy 18 year-old; her generous vision of the world and of humanity changed me forever. It really doesn't matter which of her books I pick up to read and reread; the fictional space I enter is vast, hopeful, uplifting, progressive, and nonjudgmental. There is welcoming room for women and men of all sizes, and for all races.

Everyone can rewrite their story, revise their Reading the works of Alice Walker is nothing short of transformative. Everyone can rewrite their story, revise their life, and regain a connection to others and the greater world. Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart is a book about two middle-aged lovers, Kate and Yolo, who go on personal journeys one to the Amazonian jungle and one to lesser-populated Hawaiian island in order to become closer to themselves, closer to stronger and healthier versions of themselves.

Although Kate and Yolo are at a different stage in their lives than I am even more so when I first read this book in , I can't help when I read this book but want to change my life, too! Walker's prose is prophetic, often sage-like, and at times I feel I'm reading the reflections of a Buddhist monk or a spiritual shaman.

Walker is certainly concerned with the spiritual pulse of the Earth, but she is also concerned with relationships between family members, feminist issues and environmental needs. All of these get addressed over the course of this short novel, and when I finish it, I'm left with this feeling that I should do something more to help the world be a better place.

I am a more compassionate human being because of her work. Alice Walker is a generous writer. Her activist and passionate love for humanity and the Earth is palpable in her prose, and for that hopefulness, I will consider her a personal treasure. Jun 16, Danielle Ryan rated it it was amazing. This book is everything short of amazing. I blindly purchased this book at a used book store several months ago and it patiently collected dust on my book shelf until recently. I am so thankful that I pulled it off of the shelf and indulged in it. This book is exactly what I needed Alice Walker has a beautiful way of pulling you into each of her poignant characters and launching you on a journey with each of them; This book is everything short of amazing.

Alice Walker has a beautiful way of pulling you into each of her poignant characters and launching you on a journey with each of them; to the point that I lost track of what was fiction and what was merely fragments of my own journey or that which I feel I am being led to. My spirit resonates in both Yolo and Kate, and though this was a novel, they still continue to dwell in my mind.

But this book? The couple, Kate and Yolo, had me in the beginning.

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I loved that they went on separate self-exploration vacations. However, it seemed like life was happening to them instead of them actively recovering from their own internal traumas. View 1 comment. Aug 25, Jennifer James rated it did not like it Shelves: novels , african-american , stopped-reading. I couldn't finish this book. I had trouble following the chronology -- I got halfway through the book and still couldn't tell if the action was taking place before or after the first chapter.

The characters' values and thought processes were so foreign to me that I had trouble following the action and dialog. That's an unusual experience for me, since I cut my teeth on speculative fiction. I usually like Alice Walker, which is why I picked this book up, but this one was just a little weird for m I couldn't finish this book. I usually like Alice Walker, which is why I picked this book up, but this one was just a little weird for me. Maybe I'll come back to it in 10 years or so and see if it makes any more sense to me. Mar 03, Brooke rated it it was amazing. I found this book to be very healing and such a relaxing read.

Like sitting in the sun with an old friend, listening to them reflect on their life and troubles. A tale of self revelation and preservation, this story takes you on a journey to your own self discovery along with the characters. Jan 06, Karson rated it liked it.

Written by The Color Purple lady! It's a spiritual journey that an older woman takes. It was really pleasurable. I have a qoute from this book on my wall "opening beyond where i am afraid to go will be the medicine for my cure. Oct 11, Judy King rated it it was amazing. Alice Walker has a list of memorable books and been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, yet for this book she drew on the depths of her skill and talent to record an evocative personal story and spiritual journey.

Maybe the truths in the book rang so clear because the book centers on the searches of a woman of age trying to resolve her youth, her relationships, her joys and her fears in order to move fearlessly into, as the Mexicans call it, her "Third Age. Reading this book in , it was surprising and strangely eerie to discover that a book that so aptly described many of today's international problems and the distress within the U. Walker has outdone herself this time. The lessons she shares are not new, nor are the experiences of the principle characters.

Still, the expert way she presents them create a moving story while giving the reader food for thought for days and weeks to come. It tells the story of a year in the life of a woman named Kate as she travels the world visiting various gurus and healers. The plot is not nearly as important as the many revelations she has during her journey. Although a lot of them are really out there, Walker relates them in such a calm, peaceful manner that I always felt safe and intrigued.

Like a lot of other reviewers here, I feel that I was drawn to this book at just the right time to ponder its mysteries. Walker is definitely one of the very few writers that I can take a sad read and still enjoy it. Apr 05, Toni rated it it was ok. This reads more like a character study of Kate than as a novel. What saved it from being a one is that it does make you feel and think in spots and in those spots ,there are some wonderful thoughts or quotes that I could extract.

What transpires on those trips is quite fantastical. One has to remember that they are in their 60's and have lived the 60's revolution of drugs,civil rights, sex,freedom,etc.

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There is a lot about "medical" hallucinogens and their necessity for healings-I took umbrage to some of this. The shamanism was interesting and easier for me. I am not against ethnobotany ,I just question these uses and results as portrayed and praised in the book. So we meander and we read hallucinations in abundance I hoped that it is a parable that we should keep dreaming..

I also had trouble with Kate from the beginning in that she leaves her husband at the beginning of the book- good riddance, c'est la vie BUT she also leaves her children - never to be heard of again- I know what she is searching for --relief from her guilt. She is so concerned to become a "Grand Mother of the Earth" at the end - Hey girl you probably have a grandchild and child out there calling you,too.

Any way, yes, it is good book for discussion. You could pick out many good and not so good quotes and thoughts to discuss andKate and Yolo's experiences ,too but it is strange read. I can't call it enjoyable. One last comment, Alice Walker at age 61 is called one of the main writers of Matron Lit- a term that I had not even heard of until recently.

It states that women of a certain age cannont empathize with or identify with chick lit or romance lit so a new category where women want to see themselves as women who are mature but pert and healthy and financially secure and are not carrying the emotional baggage that comes with family chldren or parents are the protagonists has emerged. I have to try another one but if the only way to be free and pert and healthy is without emotional baggage,I probably won't be able to relate anyway.

Reading this book was, well, an interesting experience.

Alice Walker

The author's world view is very different from my own, so I would be inclined to interpret things quite differently from the way she interprets them. For example, here's an excerpt taken from pages "And, said Kate [the main character] into Anunu's [a shaman Kate was opening up to] silence, there is the question of sex. One's sexuality.

If they're wonderful, sexy, and cute, I want to snuggle up and be enchanted. That's not a problem. The other two [issues previously mentioned by Kate] might be, but that's not. I don't understand why people have such a hard time seeing it's impossible to be only one thing; and to love only one gender or one race.

At least it seems impossible to me. It would be like thinking only beautiful people have green eyes.


  • Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart by Alice Walker | Penguin Random House Audio.
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  • Limitation is willful and childish, she said, And so much less fun. In the author's view, she has lived a life rich with explorations into the natural world and the human soul. Since I am a Christian, most, if not all, of the foregoing is contrary to how one's life should be lived. On the other hand, Kate also shows great compassion for others, and this I can relate to. So I have mixed feelings about the value of this book as anything other than a window into the thoughts and beliefs of a popular non-Christian feminist, or, perhaps preferred by Walker, womanist.

    Jul 02, Jenny rated it liked it.

    Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart: A Novel Audiobook by Alice Walker

    I just love the vibe I get from Alice Walker's books, so much about self-care and empowerment, totally in a California style. That being the case, this book's certainly not for everyone. Here's some of my fave quotes: --"He did not use these things anymore, and yet, the thought of letting them go made him sad. He felt they represented times in his life he could not recall without their presence. In the collection In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose , she introduced readers to a new ideological approach to feminist thought.

    Her term womanist characterizes black feminists who cherish women's creativity, emotional flexibility, and strength. Womanism is further used to suggest new ways of reading silence and subjugation in narratives of male domination. The collection won the Lillian Smith Book Award in Like her short stories, Walker's six novels place more emphasis on the inner workings of African American life than on the relationships between blacks and whites.

    Her first book, The Third Life of Grange Copeland , details the sorrow and redemption of a rural black family trapped in a multigenerational cycle of violence and economic dependency. Walker also fictionalizes a young civil rights activist's coming-of-age in the novel Meridian The Color Purple has generated the most public attention as a book and as a major motion picture, The Color Purple. Set in rural Georgia during segregation , The Color Purple brings components of nineteenth-century slave autobiography and sentimental fiction together with a confessional narrative of sexual awakening.

    Walker's harshest critics have condemned her portrayal of black men in the novel as "male-bashing," but others praise her forthright depiction of taboo subjects and her clear rendering of folk idiom and dialect. In the novel was adapted into a film, directed by Steven Spielberg. The musical stage adaptation premiered at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta in and opened on Broadway in Literary scholars often link The Color Purple with Walker's next two novels in an informal trilogy.

    In Walker's novel By the Light of My Father's Smile , strong sexual and religious themes intersect in a tale narrated from both sides of the grave. The novel features a family of African American anthropologists who journey to Mexico to study a tribe descended from former black slaves and Native Americans.

    In Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart the main character, Kate, embarks on a literal and spiritual journey to find a way to accept the aging process. Walker says that Kate's search is necessary because the territory is largely "uncharted," and "people seem to lose their imagination about what women's lives can be after, say, 55 or Reflecting on the unique perspective and versatility of her literary career, Walker says, "One thing I try to have in my life and my fiction is an awareness of and openness to mystery, which, to me, is deeper than any politics, race, or geographical location.

    Emory University in Atlanta acquired Walker's personal and literary archives in and began cataloging her papers the following year. Hide Caption. Alice Walker. Revolutionary Petunias.

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    The Color Purple. Further Reading. Harold Bloom, ed. Ikenna Dieke, ed. Henry Louis Gates and K. Appiah, eds. Martin's Press, Deborah G. Evelyn C. Cite This Article. Voices from the Gaps: Alice Walker. New York Times: Alice Walker. Southern Literary Trail: Milledgeville. Lev T. Mills b. Jane Seville. Wiregrass Folklore. Charles Morgan. James Morgan Meaders b.

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