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Overcoming Speechlessness: A Poet Encounters the Horror in Rwanda, Eastern… (2010)

por Alice Walker

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758281,030 (3.54)7
Poet Alice Walker writes of her personal encounters with the cruelty and horror in Rwanda, Eastern Congo and Palestine/Israel through her work with Women for Women International and Code Pink and of finding her voice again after a period of speechlessness. Bearing witness to a range of depravity, Walker presents the stories of the individuals who have crossed her path and shared their tales of suffering and courage. Self-imposed silence has slowed global response to those suffering and with this book, Walker aims to redress the balance.… (mais)
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Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
This is a brief but beautiful memoir of Alice Walker's travels to various war-torn places over the past decades. It is not an explicitly political book, but rather a series of short pieces that reflect her experiences and the stories she encountered.

I can't give it five stars because I felt it fell far short of the depth and meaning it could have had, but it was an enjoyable and interesting foray into Alice Walker's mind. ( )
  monarchi | May 29, 2011 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
Very short, very righteous, and very much preaching to the choir.
Although we all need to hear much more about crimes against humanity in Rwanda, the Congo, and Palestine/Israel, this book presents mostly individual stories and the author's reactions. Political horrors are made of individual horrors, to be sure, but without exploring a far greater context, we're left only with mysteriously occurring atrocities and brave survivors.
Walker refers to herself as a poet several times, including in the book subtitle, but there is nothing whatsoever poetic in this volume. Speaking hard truths may be done poetically, but it is not poetic by default. Exhortations, while they may also be done poetically, are not poetic in themselves. Using lofty abstract nouns-- Hate, Justice, Healing-- does not make an essay poetic.
Three stars for the topic and good intentions. ( )
  7sistersapphist | Jul 27, 2010 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
Alice Walker's latest work is a series of short essays about her travels and experiences in Rwanda, Congo, and the Gaza Strip. Working with Women for Women International and CODEPINK, Walker’s trips reveal a side of war and conflict that many are not aware of, specifically how everyday people are devastated and how in the direst circumstances they are able to rebuild their lives and their spirits.
After seeing the unthinkable Walker writes that she was thrust into a state of speechlessness. And more generally it seems that the world has been overcome with speechlessness and the inability to act; we are constantly bombarded with wars, conflicts, a mountain of ‘isms’, and environmental assault.
Whether it is because of media or our own shielding of the eyes Walker revealed for me that truth is relative to what you see and what you feel, what you allow yourself to see and feel. I find it an act of bravery for one person to reach in deep and pull out these stories, to start a dialogue so that we can un-shield our eyes and discuss. I’m sure others are doing similar work, I only hope that we will hear their voices.
Sharing these stories Walker is able to overcome speechlessness, to reclaim her voice and perhaps to give voice to others who are victims or who will propel change forward.

This review has been crossposted on my blog http://leaningtowardthesun.wordpress.com/
  noodlejet22 | Jul 22, 2010 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
While those of us who sit comfortably in front of our televisions to learn of the devastation occurring in the areas of focus in Overcoming Speechlessness, Walker was on the front lines sharing in the pain and the healing of those affected. She believes "whatever is currently happening to humanity, it is happening o all of us." This is the essence of this very brief work. But its brevity reveals the real meaning of humanity. Walker allows her voice to be that of the survivors of these tragedies. Overcoming Speechlessness also gives us glimpses of humanity in persons like the woman she meets in Kigali who was a sex slave and claims that Women for Women International "saved" her or the sacrifice of life made by a young woman attempting to save the home of her Palestinian friends from demolish. It's a moving piece that should force any reader to re-think remaining silent about atrocities committed against our global mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and children. ( )
  browngirl | Jun 28, 2010 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
This is a very slim (too slim) volume about being able to speak about the atrocities that go on all over the world. After touching on the horrors of Rwanda and Eastern Congo, Walker turns her eyes to Gaza in order to reveal some of the stories of the people who live there. As she points out, these stories are not easy for Americans to come by and she wants to change that by her visit there. However, because I was looking forward to hearing these stories, I felt that Walker shortchanged her subjects by spending a large part of these very few pages talking about the Civil Rights movement. It's a somewhat apt comparison, but it doesn't really say much about current conditions in Gaza. Also, she spend even more pages talking about how much time she spent entering the area, filling out paperwork and waiting at the border. Again, an apt description - Israel is normally a hard country to enter for obvious reasons - but, again, it means that this thin volume is left with very few actual stories from the population of Gaza. Perhaps it would have been a successful attempt had it been longer than 80 pages, but as it is, this volume is severely lacking in detail and background information. ( )
  -Eva- | Jun 27, 2010 |
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Three years ago I visited Rwanda and eastern Congo.
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Poet Alice Walker writes of her personal encounters with the cruelty and horror in Rwanda, Eastern Congo and Palestine/Israel through her work with Women for Women International and Code Pink and of finding her voice again after a period of speechlessness. Bearing witness to a range of depravity, Walker presents the stories of the individuals who have crossed her path and shared their tales of suffering and courage. Self-imposed silence has slowed global response to those suffering and with this book, Walker aims to redress the balance.

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Seven Stories Press

2 edições deste livro foram publicadas por Seven Stories Press.

Edições: 1583229175, 1609800788

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