The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Color Purple weaves a “glorious and iridescent” tapestry of interrelated lives in this New York Times bestseller (Library Journal).
In The Temple of My Familiar, Celie and Shug from The Color Purple subtly shadow the lives of dozens of characters, all dealing in some way with the legacy of the African experience in America. From recent African immigrants, to a woman who grew up in the mixed-race rainforest communities of South America, to Celie’s own granddaughter living in modern-day San Francisco, all must come to understand the brutal stories of their ancestors to come to terms with their own troubled lives.
As Walker follows these astonishing characters, she weaves a new mythology from old fables and history, a profoundly spiritual explanation for centuries of shared African-American experience.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Alice Walker including rare photos from the author’s personal collection.
The Temple of My Familiar is the 2nd book in the Color Purple Collection, which also includes The Color Purple and Possessing the Secret of Joy.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Pulitzer Prize winner Alice Walker’s powerful 1989 novel is a sequel of sorts to her 1982 blockbuster, The Color Purple. The Temple of My Familiar revolves around Fanny, the granddaughter of Purple’s Celie and Shug, who surface briefly in the story. Against the backdrop of Fanny’s search for her father—which deepens into a quest for self-understanding—the book explores many of Walker’s signature themes: the subjective nature of written history, the urgent necessity of feminism, and the often deadly consequences of being a black woman. We highly recommend this prismatic, poetic exploration of female power and identity.
Part love story, part fable, part feminist manifesto, part political statement, Walker's new novel follows a cast of interrelated characters, most of them black, 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. As each tells of his or her life (and sometimes, previous lives in various reincarnations), Walker relates the damage inflicted on blacks by the oppression of slavery in Africa and in the South, and less visibly but just as invidiously, by the racial prejudice existing today. Because her characters are intrinsically interesting, (one is the granddaughter of Celie from The Color Purple ) this device works most of the time. But when Walker hypothesizes that Western civilization stole and subverted the ancient African deities, metamorphosing their worship of the Mother Goddess into a patriarchal line, the narrative takes on the strident tones of a polemic. Black women have suffered most, is Walker's message, since they were subjugated both by whites and by men. Unfortunately, didacticism mars the narrative; theorizing and pontificating take the place of action. Thus, though it has its own strengths, the book never achieves the narrative power of The Color Purple . 175,000 copy first printing; major ad/promo; BOMC featured alternate; paperback sale to Pocket Books, author tour.