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The Temple of My Familiar
by Alice Walker

Published: 2010-09-03
Paperback : 432 pages
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First published in 1990, The Temple of My Familiar, Alice Walker’s follow-up novel to her iconic The Color Purple, spent more than four months on the New York Times Bestseller list and was hailed by critics as a “major achievement” (Chicago Tribune).

Described by the author as “a ...

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Introduction

First published in 1990, The Temple of My Familiar, Alice Walker’s follow-up novel to her iconic The Color Purple, spent more than four months on the New York Times Bestseller list and was hailed by critics as a “major achievement” (Chicago Tribune).

Described by the author as “a romance of the last 500,000 years,” The Temple of My Familiar follows a cast of interrelated characters, most of African descent, and each representing a different ethnic strain—ranging from diverse African tribes to the mixed bloods of Latin America—that contribute to the black experience in America.

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Reviews:

The follow-up to The Color Purple, Walker’s Temple of My Familiar is a thought-provoking story featuring fascinating dialogues between a diverse, rich tapestry of characters rising out of suppression and toward their best selves. Widely considered a masterpiece by one of the United States’ most preeminent writers.

“Nothing in Walker's extraordinary new novel is fixed. Time and place range from precolonial Africa to post-slavery North Carolina to modern-day San Francisco; and the characters themselves change and evolve as their stories are told, their myriad histories revealed. Most often present are Miss Lissie, an old woman with a fascinating host of former lives; her companion, the gentle Mr. Hal; Arveyda, a soul-searching musician; his wife Carlotta, who was born in the South American jungle; Fanny, a young woman who has a tendency to fall in love with spirits; and her husband Suwelo, who tries hard but simply does not understand her. Out of the telling of their stories emerges a glorious and iridescent fabric, a strand connecting all their lives and former lives and seeming to pull all of existence into its folds. Walker's characters are magnetic, even with their all-to-human flaws and stumblings; they seem to contain the world, and to do it justice. Highly recommended.”—Library Journal

"Part love story, part fable, part feminist manifesto, part political statement, Walker's novel follows a cast of interrelated characters, most of them black and each representing a different ethnic strain that contributes to the black experience in America.”—Publisher’s Weekly

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