Alice Walker: The Achievement of the Short Story
By Alice Hall Petry, accessed from JSTOR
In this article, the Pulitzer Prize winning author, Alice Walker, is narrowly described as a phenomenal writer; yet her short stories, 1973’s In Love and Trouble and 1981’s You Can’t Keep a Good Woman Down, are criticized for their individual uniqueness that sets them widely apart from her prized writing, 1982 novel, The Color Purple. The author of this article goes into great detail about each short story, contrasting almost line by line. Alice Petry, the author, gives a slight glimpse into Alice Walker’s road to success as a writer; yet, her reason for writing this article is immediately apparent. Upon reading this article, you learn of Alice Walker’s start as a poet and novelist, that her essays were published in magazines, and her1982 novel, The Color Purple claimed her name to fame. Yet the disgust with her short stories, as shared in this article, is clearly expressed as the author writes, “the theme is stale; worse, the writing itself is trite, clichéd; and frankly one wonders how anyone with so unoriginal a mind could be receiving her one hundred and eleventh major award.” She also wrote, “Alice Walker needs is to take a step backward: to return to the folk tale formats, the painful exploration of interpersonal relationships, the naturally graceful style that made her earlier collection of short stories”(Petry 18). This article definitely says a mouthful and beyond, as the writer provides detailed information through her research to back up her opinion. I was initially worried about my ability to navigate my way around and find what I needed, but my fears were soon put to rest, as the Galileo-JSTOR database turned out to be just as easy as searching through any other search engine.
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