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Meridian (1976)

von Alice Walker

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1,1581113,036 (3.57)24
Meridian is a poignant and powerful story of the American South in the 1960s and of one woman who risks her life for the people she loves. Meridian Hill, a courageous young activist, creates peace and understanding by dedicating herself heart and soul to her civil rights work, touching the lives of all those she meets even when her health begins to deteriorate. With the old rules of Southern society collapsing around her, Meridian fights a lonely battle to reaffirm her own humanity, and that of all her people.… (mehr)
Kürzlich hinzugefügt voncalebcbenjamin, LSUwomenscenter, private Bibliothek, OrinocoBooks, AAAS.Dartmouth, lwpeterson, UppermanLibrary, etpoa, OhHenry
NachlassbibliothekenThomas C. Dent
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Meridian Hill is a silent, eccentric, and determined woman who has held onto her strength and dignity despite the many hardships she has faced throughout her life. The events leading up to the opening chapters are dispersed throughout the novel in scattered, yet plausible flashbacks. Meridian's life is filled with many unique people and events that shape her into a seemingly worry free woman, the outcome being the opposite of what would normally be expected with her experiences.

The one thing that impassioned Meridian in her childhood was the mysticism of her Indian ancestry, a haunting love and power shared by both her father and her deceased grandmother, Feather Mae. The mysteries of her ancestry are furthered by her unforgettable ethereal experiences while in the coils of the Sacred Serpent, that incredible land phenomenon built thousands of years by Native Americans. Used as a Cherokee burial ground, an interesting family conflict in the novel rests on this hallowed land.

Alice Walker takes us through this book with an effective, poetic, and sweeping type of prose. The book spans Meridian's amazing life, from her time with her mother, Mrs. Hill, her time as a teenager with an ignorance about sex (attributed mostly to Mrs. Hill), and her life as a stoic, nearly certifiable single parent.

One of the interesting periods of Meridian's life takes place in Saxon College in Atlanta. This time of her life is especially turbulent, and filled with unique characters like Anne-Marion, the Sojourner, and the Wild Child, people that will live forever in Meridian's memory as those who were able to teach her things that Saxon's beloved professors did not.

These tumultuous years were preceded by an awareness of the Civil Rights movement. A bombing of a neighboring house brought Meridian to the door of a voting coalition office where she met Truman, a man with whom she has an on-and-off affair. Thought-provoking presentations of race and love are presented in this and other parts of this multi-faceted novel, with that unique tinge of magic that Walker brings to all her works.

Meridian moves from place to place in this novel, sprinkling little pieces of resolve into the minds of all the townspeople who were fortunate enough to be in her presence. Walker's rich protagonist presents many important issues in a subtle way, touching upon racism and prejudice, religion, and the right to human life. Meridian's endearing qualities will easily find a place in the hearts of Ms. Walker's readers. ( )
  irrelephant | Feb 21, 2021 |
[This is a review I wrote in 2008]

**Not an easy read, but courageous, heartfelt and very real.**

Alice Walker's second novel, 'Meridian' (published 1976), is huge in scope but well-orchestrated and written, and she compresses a 25-year span into just 242 pages.

'Meridian' is tricky to get into. It's not at all that clear what's what & who's who to begin with & it would be easy to put the book down without going quite far enough to hold your interest. Persevere though, and you are rewarded with snippets of Meridian's story - her struggle into adulthood, to self-awareness, public-awareness, and ultimately her struggles for civil rights.

Meridian, as a young 17-year-old - married, divorced, one baby son, all of which happened almost without her even realising - kind of unintentionally stumbles upon some civil rights activists in her home town in the deep South... and from there, as she awakens into a world she has been sheltered from during her childhood, her involvement gets deeper and deeper. Reading just a little about the author's own life, you can see it's impossible to separate book and author here, as a number of parallels with Alice Walker's life in the 60s and 70s run through the novel.

Parts of the story are revealed in a non-chronological way, with themes running through that tie all the threads together - about losing children, inter-racial stuggles both in friendship and marriage and outside of it, the tensions between love and friendship, violence and peace, and of course the very human struggle for human rights. There are a few more themes to contemplate besides these.

It's a powerful and enlightening novel. Personally, I couldn't get on with the ending. I don't want to give anything away, but it doesn't really do justice to the Meridian we've followed haphazardly throughout a 25 year span - not quite a satisfying conclusion to an otherwise excellent read. ( )
  ArdizzoneFan | Nov 12, 2020 |
dust jacket
  Sheila01 | Jul 27, 2019 |
Alice Walker is not afraid to tackle some challenging subject matter in this book - such as human rights, black history, feminism, motherhood and love. There were parts that were amazingly insightful and heart rending, as seen through the almost saint like Meridian's eyes. She's a very human character - fallible, confused and capable of making bad choices but she possesses a calm, deep felt spirit that sets her apart from those around her.
Set in the American South during the civil rights movement it tells Meridians story as she falls in love, meets radical friends and becomes a mother. It's a coming of age story really but it also explores how the racism of the 60s and beyond affects those around her at a personal level and transforms their relationships - leaving deep scars for generations to come. The only issue was that the story as a coherent whole seemed to struggle under such a heavy weight of content. ( )
  sarahpeacock28 | Oct 21, 2018 |
I enjoyed this book. I found myself more interested in Meridian's personal life than the racial frustrations though. I don't know if Walker meant to make it that way or not though. It took me a little longer to finish this book than most books, but not because it was difficult to read, more because it took a while to become attatched to the main character. ( )
  Borrows-N-Wants | Sep 22, 2018 |
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» Andere Autoren hinzufügen (4 möglich)

AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Walker, AliceHauptautoralle Ausgabenbestätigt
BascoveUmschlagillustrationCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Emeis, MarijkeÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Lockowitz, LindaGestaltungCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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I did not know then how much was ended. When I look back now... I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them with eyes still young. And I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people's dream died there. It was a beautiful dream... the nation's hoop is broken and scattered. There is no center any longer, and the sacred tree is dead. -- Black Elk, Black Elk Speaks
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Truman Held drove slowly into the small town of Chiokema as the two black men who worked at the station where he stopped for gas were breaking for lunch.
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Meridian is a poignant and powerful story of the American South in the 1960s and of one woman who risks her life for the people she loves. Meridian Hill, a courageous young activist, creates peace and understanding by dedicating herself heart and soul to her civil rights work, touching the lives of all those she meets even when her health begins to deteriorate. With the old rules of Southern society collapsing around her, Meridian fights a lonely battle to reaffirm her own humanity, and that of all her people.

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