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Meridian [PDF / EPUB] Meridian The second novel written by Alice Walker preceding The Color Purple is a heartfelt and moving story about one woman's personal revolution as she joins the Civil Rights Movement Set in the American Sou The second novel written by Alice Walker preceding The Color Purple is a heartfelt and moving story about one woman's personal revolution as she joins the Civil Rights Movement Set in the American South in the s it follows Meridian Hill a courageous young woman who dedicates herself heart and soul to her civil rights work touching the lives of those around her even as her own health begins to deteriorate Hers is a lonely battle but it is one she will not abandon whatever the costs This is classic Alice Walker beautifully written intense and passionate.

10 thoughts on “Meridian

  1. says:

    Thought provokingEducationalA great discussion book The inside cover over of this book says it was published in 1976 and this fits I can see it The Civil Rights 60's are over What was The Movement has either died or morphed into something else This book is almost a reflective look at its history humble beginnings the height and what became of it All this metaphorically speaking through the protagonist character of Meridian the books namesake In an Alice Walker book Alice is a good story teller but you won't read one sentence that within its lines she isn't try to teach you a lesson She wants you to think You could things to be the straight story line but you just know she meant it to be a metaphor for the subject at whole Meridian is the story of a black woman who grows up in the south We learn by looking back into her childhood and moving up through her adulthood how she experienced and then combatted and later became involved in the Civil Rights Movement We learn the story of her parents grandparents and even people in her community who shaped her life We peek into glimpses of her various trials and tribulations in relationships in the ever changing world around her And all the while as Meridians story is the main story Meridian is almost a code word if you will the whole thing a metaphor for the history of the beginning middle and death or transmutation of the 1960's Civil Rights movement as per the eyes of the author It's very interesting to see the growth from a change in thought to fliers voter registration and sit insto speeches marches and arrests To enduring hatred and violence but determined peace To the point when all the leaders have met with violence and suddenly there is chaos and a change in action to militancy or a dropping of the subject as a whole Meridian also has a few close friends Truman Lynne AnneMarion and even her mother who's very character existence and relationship to Meridian is metaphor for life in this time It all reminds me very much of a song by hip hop artist Common called I Used To Love Her where he used the story of his relationship with a woman as a metaphor for the history of hip hop and how it grew and changed I always thought that was so cleaver but now wonder if he may have been reading a bit of Alice Walker and was inspired Meridian is a woman character but also she is the Civil Rights movement and all other characters and locations are their involvement and relationship to it There is so much to think about Truman a black mans perspective AnneMarion a young black woman with college communist thoughts but capitalist dreams Lynne a white woman who enthusiastically gets involved at the height the Movements popularity out of a rebellious spirit and a sense of curiosity but who in old age lives to hate and regret not only herself but the very people she aligned herself with Meridian's mother who is an embodiment of the old uiet fearful ways This book makes you think a lot It was a complete learning experience for me Having read some of Ms Walkers books previously I was reminded of why I don't do it so very freuently It can be a bit exhausting because it does make you think It drills up in you emotion and consideration I felt sometimes sad disgusted annoyed in disagreement or angered at times I also was told a lot I didn't know or just don't bother to consider and was grateful for the lesson It prompted a lot of discussion for me My best friend said of Alice that she writes the uncomfortable to make you think I say maybe she writes to make you think and doesn't care that it may make you feel uncomfortable because she wants you to hear and feel it I also had some great discourse with my husband in regards to the male and female point of view regarding the triangle of Meridian Truman and Lynne This is definitely a thought provoking book and would be a wonderful suggestion for a group or buddy read as it absolutely lends itself to discussion You have to discuss it You can't have read this and keep it to yourself You'll burst Heavy no Educational and thought provoking oh yes I would like to ask Ms Alice now in 2015 is Meridian still alive? Is Truman? Is AnneMarion? Where have they gone? What would she say they are doing now? Because I don't know that I have ever come across any of them Lynne Well we won't say anything about the Lynne's of the world There are too many to talk about 4 stars from me I do recommend it but one does have to have a certain temperament and openness to an Alice Walker book because oh yes you will get a story but you will also get an education and be expected to go out and participate in the conversation as a whole

  2. says:

    Meridian is a challenging read It dips into places that are often raw and sometimes beyond comprehensionThe novel is described as being about a woman named Meridian hill an activist in civil rights work in the American South in the 60's I found that it was eually the story of the white woman Lynne who also joined the Civil Rights MovementThis is not a 'read for pleasure' book but of an understanding of the distortion experienced in relationships affected by racismThe story zig zags around in time and I found this confusing as well as sometimes not knowing which character was now speakingThere's something of a tightness in the writing style a containment that made me wonder what it would be like to write such a book

  3. says:

    Though Alice Walker has worked in a variety of genres including children’s literature poetry nonfiction and screenwriting she is best known for her novels which give voice to the concerns of an often doubly oppressed group African American women She is best known for her Pulitzer Prize–winning novel The Color Purple which extends and solidifies many of the themes she first touched upon in her early work which includes Meridian In many ways Meridian anticipates and paves the way for Walker’s future preoccupations it focuses on women’s lives and examines how the past and the present interconnect and construct the future Meridian Walker’s second work of long fiction is set against the turbulent backdrop of the civil rights movement which gained force in the 1960s triggering sit ins demonstrations and protests against the racist and segregationist policies that controlled and shaped the lives of African Americans in the SouthMeridian is in some respects autobiographical but Walker and Meridian Hill the novel’s protagonist differ in many significant ways Both Walker and Meridian were raised in rural Georgia and became pregnant as young students though Walker unlike Meridian did not have the child While Meridian’s relationship with her mother was fraught with problems Walker blossomed under the influence of her mother Minnie Minnie bought the young Walker three pivotal and symbolic gifts a sewing machine to encourage self sufficiency a suitcase to nudge her curious and errant spirit and a typewriter to nurture the gifted wordsmith and budding writer in her daughter Additionally Meridian’s Saxon College is loosely based on Spelman College the all black women’s college in Atlanta where Walker started her formal education in 1961 At the time Atlanta was a hotbed of civil rights activism but like the young women of Saxon Spelman’s students were viewed as ladies in training too refined and upstanding to throw themselves into the fray of social protest Walker resisted such rigid control of her life and transferred to Sarah Lawrence College north of New York City Walker returned to Georgia during the summer of 1965 to canvass voters in Liberty County When she sat down to write Meridian almost a decade later she drew from these experiences walking the dusty roads and encouraging residents to register to voteA tireless crusader on behalf of women Walker in her later career defended her work against censorship and continued to speak out against the horrors of domestic violence sexual abuse and genital mutilation a ritualistic practice employed by several native African cultures Not precisely aligned with broad feminist concerns Walker has often labeled herself a “womanist” establishing her primary goal as a writer and individual to free women from oppression in all of its forms Walker is also a student of history and she strives to create a dialogue in her work between the past and the present in an attempt to elucidate eternal truths as well as eternal struggles and hardships Like Meridian’s father Walker has an abiding love of and respect for Native Americans and sees their plight as instructive and an important correlative to the black experience in the United States throughout the centuriesWalker’s various aesthetic and social concerns are harmoniously combined in Meridian an exploration of a young woman’s coming of age and her journey from loneliness guilt and self doubt to self acceptance empowerment and love Like Walker once was Meridian is set on a path to greater self realization and endures the hardships of firmly and irrevocably establishing her identity amid the chaos of social upheaval sexual alienation and people who are not always approving or supportive of either the woman or the causeMeridian is energized by a younger generation coming into its full power and raising its voice in dissent against the institutional racism that prevailed through the 1960s Through occasionally violent protests and demonstrations Meridian and other activists attempt to institute change and alter perceptions Idealistic as they are they ultimately find various degrees of satisfaction with the goals and ideals of the civil rights movement Meridian feels that she will always stand on the fringes of the movement since she is unprepared to take her dissent to a radical if not murderous level Lynne struggles with adapting and applying her own idealism to meaningful change in the lives of southern blacks Truman eventually sours to the movement having lost sight of its intentions in his self absorption In the end Meridian realizes the fatuousness of dying or killing for the movement concluding that the battle is won in small ways such as getting blacks registered to vote and improving the lives of people victimized by the unchecked expression of racismIn Meridian young activists attempt to break with tradition by bringing an end to the racism and segregation that had overshadowed black Americans for centuries Walker shifts her focus from the present to the past to explore the lives of people who helped pave the way to the present moment The experiences of Louvinie and Feather Mae for example frame the issues that Meridian and her father face The serpent mound also evokes this powerful historical precedent serving as a vital connection between Meridian her father and the ancestors who came before her Throughout Meridian Walker stresses the universality of the human experience and suggests that no one has cornered the market on suffering Rather many individuals from a variety of groups and backgrounds share a common history of exploitation guilt suffering violence and ultimately freedom triumph and acceptanceMeridian is plagued by a mysterious inherited illness much like epilepsy which parallels and triggers her spiritual and physical transformation The sickness renders her unconscious episodes she refers to as “falling down” and it subjects her to paralysis blindness and hair loss On one hand the condition connects her directly with her father and great grandmother who suffered the same burden The illness is also the physical rendering of Meridian’s deep emotional and spiritual angst the grief and sadness that have marked and gripped her throughout her life The illness becomes a means for Meridian to suffer to perform penance for this ambiguous wrong she felt she has done It also offers her atonement and ultimately self acceptance When she is well again rising out of her sick bed and heading full force into the future she can finally forgive herself and love and accept herself for who she isWalker prefaces her novel with a lengthy list of definitions and traditional usages of the word meridian A total of twelve different meanings are included for both the word’s noun and adjectival form This alone signifies the fact that Meridian resists easy definition or simple categorization She is a complex and capacious character whose presence and identity cannot be reduced to a simple phrase or formulation The term also sets up a comparison between Meridian and the growing civil rights movement One of the most common definitions of the term is “zenith the highest point of power prosperity splendor” Not only does the novel trace the rise and growing power of social activism united in the face of racist and segregationist policies but it also tracks the ascent of Meridian from her spiritual and physical pain to a newly whole being in full charge of her capacities and inner wealth An alternate meaning “distinctive character” applies just as well to the novel’s protagonist and namesake

  4. says:

    This is definitely a book I will have to read multiple times to catch all of the hidden themes and messages so I cannot give a complete review of my thoughts uiet yet I will say however that Alice Walker stunned me with her uncanny ability to speak on behalf of the generation and to give voice to the needs of women everywhere On the first go round I have to say this book was a delicious read

  5. says:

    PBS recently aired a fascinating documentary on the writer Alice Walker who rose literally from a hardscrabble existence to reverence as writer and activist I have always been a fan of her clear prose and rich characters and I was reminded that I had never read Meridien her second novel which is now available for e readers as are all her worksWhile The Color Purple The Temple of My Familiar and Possessing the Secret of Joy are better known novels and worthy of their accolades and readership I found this early work especially interesting as I felt I was taking Walker's journey to activism with her When you re read a writer you like you immediately settle into their prose as if you've just run into an old friend Walker never manipulates her reader she just tells it like it is Taking place largely during the sixties a young woman is thrust into the harsh realities of sex and racism too soon to make sense of it at first Living in a small southern black community she encounters civil rights fighters in black and white and discovers the depth of the divide between the races while also discovering her own desire to make a difference However the path to change for Meridian like her people is fraught with obstacles not the least of which is her own community filled with an assortment of unusual charactersThe majority of black townspeople were sympathetic to the Movement from the first and told Meridian she was doing a good thing Her mother however was not sympathetic God separated the sheeps from the goats and the blacks from the whites Meridian is the embodiment of truth She suffers physically for her own and others' sin a lightning rod for the storms around her She struggles to forgive and to be forgiven She longs for what she cannot describe The man in her life Truman who also evolves over the decade abandons her after a heated affair for a long term relationship with a white woman Lynne whom he also ultimately abandons in the hopes of rekindling his life with Meridian who by then has found her voice and her mission Lynne like many Jews who supported the civil rights movement is one of the fascinating characters for me as Walker digs deep into her psyche revealing her motives for activism a woman who suffers for the oppression of her people Like Germans who sheltered Jews during WWII were they compassionate or were they compensating for the sins of their nations? Walker also deftly portrays the mixed feelings among her people towards the whites who invaded their movement and some like Lynne who loved their men as wellBy being white Lynne was guilty of whiteness Then the uestion was is it possible to be guilty of color?In my own novel Colors of the Wheel I explore contemporary challenges of race and novels like Meridian that reflect with such authenticity on the civil rights movement confirm that much has changed and too much hasn't Read Alice Walker for your own edification and reading pleasure or consider Meridian for your book group definitely good material for dialogue

  6. says:

    Meridian is the story of a black woman in the South during the 60s Meridian Hill is only 17 when she has been married pregnant and divorced and after giving her child away she becomes politically involved in the 60s civile rights issuesHmm I didn't really get the point of the book I think The plot was very diffuse well the Swedish word 'flummig' which I never use would be the most right word There wasn't that much happening in the book and it took very long to get into the book and figure out what it was actually about At times it was uite boring Not a very deep book I would say I would have wanted to know especially about Meridian and her feelings So all in all not a very easy book to read Maybe I should go back to reading Alice Walker in Swedish

  7. says:

    The book that lit my activist fire

  8. says:

    This is another one of my favorite books that I read many years ago

  9. says:

    At certain points throughout the book I thought to myself I'll need to read this again I can see this as one of those books that gives you with every reading Well this time around I saw race racism and how people related to each other because of these two pathologies largely within the context of the struggle of the Civil Rights movement in the American South With these characters though Meridian Hill Truman Held and Lynne Rabinowitz this novel gave me a three dimensional appreciation for the cancer that race thinking has been for humanity bloody Gobineau's of this world From this one extremely flawed pseudo scientific rationale with a strong economic motivator that one race was better than another the Europeans and Americans enslaved Africans and later African Americans Keeping this is mind as a starting point as it were makes it easier to understand the relationships and the dynamics of how these work in the novel The relationship between Meridian and her mother Meridian's adolescence and the sexual abuse at the hands of Daxter etc the concept of black family sexuality and citizenship and the way black women know white men have perceived them and acted on those perceptions The inclusion of Lynne as a character and her rape by Tommy Odder was an interesting wrench to throw in the mix There is so much for instance society's warped conception of what motherhood should be the nature of revolution and how survival fits into that and The inclusion of an indigenous presence within the novel was also really good to see A lot of American novels simply ignore or write out the Native Americans oddly enough so this simply added to the list of things I appreciated about Meridian

  10. says:

    I found the main character Meridian fascinating in this novel by the eminent Alice Walker Set in the early 60s to the late 60s this novel is about race particularly about a black women undergoing personal and political changes Some beautiful images see Sojourner tree fertilized by the cut out tongue of slave woman Structurally the chapters shift from past to present and the reader must pay attention I like that However this is a story of a powerful story of race in America made very personal similar to my novel and different LIE is primarily about the aftermath of a hate crime of the white suburban response in the 21st century now told in immediate first person Meridian feels historical or perhaps a classic but still powerful Someone in goodreads community urged me to read this and so I did I'm glad I did But I think LIE is immediate But you judge at wwwcarolinebock on LIE Onward to books maybe a 19th century classic or two

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