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The Way Forward Is With A Broken Heart

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The Way Forward Is With A Broken Heart

Current Status:
In Season
Alice Walker
Random House
Short Stories, Fiction

We gave it a B

In what seems to be a memoir curiously masquerading as 13 autobiographical short stories, Alice Walker explores the intimate relationships of a world-famous African-American activist-feminist-writer. Linked by this distinctive protagonist, whose name changes with her stage in life (exhausted young divorcée ”Rosa” becomes confident middle-aged bisexual ”Anne”), The Way Forward Is With A Broken Heart resembles a passionate but piecemeal roman a clef — one marred by occasional streams of self-help platitudes (see the title). Nonetheless, the novella-length ”To My Young Husband,” which viscerally fictionalizes Walker’s 1960s-era ”magical marriage” to a Jewish civil rights lawyer and their wrenching divorce, boasts Walker’s most commanding, moving writing since The Color Purple, prose that forges personal and political insights into shimmering poetry. B