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Adé: A Love Story Hardcover – October 29, 2013


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Adé: A Love Story + Black, White & Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Little A / New Harvest (October 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 054414922X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0544149229
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #269,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In a fiction debut that is as much a novel of self-discovery and identity as a lucent love story, memoirist Walker brings her background and literary strengths to bear. When the 19-year-old unnamed narrator and her Yale friend, Miriam, start their long travels, arriving in Africa becomes life-changing. In Egypt, the narrator feels she belongs for the first time, with her copper-colored skin and brown, almond-shaped eyes. Then in Lamu, an island off the coast of Kenya, she falls in love with handsome Swahili Muslim Adé, who gives her the Arabic name Farida. As Miriam resumes traveling alone, Farida and Adé live together simply and make plans to marry. But Swahili custom requires face-to-face meetings to ask for parental approval, and political realities strike previously entitled American Farida for the first time. Walker knows whereof she writes. Farida, like the author (daughter of novelist Alice Walker and lawyer Mel Levanthal), is black, white, and Jewish and a child of divorce, and Walker uses this knowledge to good effect here. A brief, sensuous love story grounded in painful reality. --Michele Leber

Review

"Read this book! An incredible journey! A beautiful LOVE story!" —Madonna

"Memoirist Walker makes her fiction debut with a short, sad tale of love that flowers but cannot take root in Kenya. The prose is gorgeous." —Kirkus Reviews

“Vivid… [Adé] will not soon be forgotten.” —New York Journal of Books

“[Adé] reads like a memoir, and its prose is as concentrated and image filled as a parable. Readers will relish the dreamlike story of love and surrender.”—Library Journal

“A fiction debut that is as much a novel of self-discovery and identity as a lucent love story.” —Booklist

“Walker’s prose aches with longing, and a knowingness… [Adé] feels as though it’s told in the weighty quiet of a late night conversation.” —STETnyc.com

“I want to say Adé reads like a memoir, but this heartbreaking, poetic tale of romance versus reality does more than that: it reads like truth. Lush, sensual, seductive, Adé is written with as much love as the story it tells.” —MAT JOHNSON, author of Pym
 
“In luminous, dreamlike prose, Rebecca Walker has written more than a love story: Adé explores the difficulty of fleeing one’s origins, of relinquishing privilege, even in the name of love.” —DANZY SENNA, author of You Are Free and Caucasia
 
“Brief and intense, Adé is a surprise gem–a sensuous feast of food, sex, danger, and the life of awakened senses from one of our most celebrated nonfiction writers. A lyrical novel as timeless as Marguerite Duras’s The Lover.—MOLLY PEACOCK, author of The Paper Garden: An Artist Begins Her Life’s Work at 72

 “If you’ve ever dared to love outside the pre­dictable geography of your origins, or wished you had, this beautiful novel will grab your heart and not let go.” —BLISS BROYARD, author of One Drop: My Father’s Hidden Life–A Story of Race and Family Secrets 


More About the Author

Rebecca Walker was chosen as one of Time magazine's fifty future leaders of America, one of the most influential leaders of her generation. She has made a substantial contribution to the global conversation about identity, power, culture, and the evolution of the human family through books, lectures, blogs, social networks, popular magazines, literary and academic journals, radio programs, film and television appearances and content development. She graduated cum laude from Yale in 1992.

She is the author of the memoirs Black, White and Jewish and Baby Love; and editor of the anthologies To Be Real, What Makes a Man, and One Big Happy Family. Her writing has appeared in Glamour, the Washington Post, Bookforum, BOMB, Newsweek, Vibe, Real Simple, Modern Bride, Essence, More and Interview, among many other magazines and literary collections. She has appeared on Charlie Rose, Good Morning America, Oprah, Fresh Air, BET, and dozens of blogs, sites, and other media.

Customer Reviews

Sweet love story.
Vicki Murphy-Kendall
This book exceeded my expectations and I could not put it down until I reached the bittersweet ending.
Dani
I fell in love with her writing as well as her characters.
Denise Pate

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By L on January 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a fan of Rebecca Walker's previous work, having loved Baby Love and Black, White & Jewish, however Ade missed the mark as her fiction debut. Reading the first few chapters was troublesome and besides the poor sentence structure (I blame the editor), I tried to put a finger on what else was bothering me. As one reviewer stated, "this story reads like a book that was written for Kindle," complete with underdeveloped characters and an oddly paced story line. I too was disappointed that it did not have a new main character. I did not expect the book to have so much autobiographical content. It almost seems like a book that was written hurriedly, without the proper attention required. Though short, I did not bother finishing it. Buy it on Kindle if you are curious, but it is not worth the price charged for the print version. This will not be a favorite of anyone who reads avidly.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Michel Short on November 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The narrator was a 19 year old first generation Ivy League freshman at Yale University, had a close relationship with both her divorced parents, her mother Christian and father Jewish. When she meets her 21 year old free spirited feminist friend Miriam in a film studies class, they became fast friends. As they experienced the excitement of the college party scene, they decide to travel together to Africa, taking a year or so off from their course of study. With approval and extra funds provided by her parents, they began their travel adventure.

Landing in Cairo Egypt she and Miriam traveled south, feeling the land deeply familiar. They soon were dehydrated from the heat and saw a doctor. As they learned to keep time by muezzins call to prayer, they could feel the silent intense observations and stares of the women hidden in the hajab covering of muslim dress. The men mostly wore white shirts and skullcaps. Taking a fast dip in the Nile River, they traveled seeing the vastness of the Arabian Sea and the desolation of the Sinai desert, and Mount Sinai, where Moses received the 10 Commandments. In the desert they marveled at how their tour guides navigated around without landmarks, maps, or a compass. Miriam was annoyed at the tourists overall and the disrespect of Muslim men towards women.

They traveled by ferry to "Lamu" the island of sand and stone, in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Kenya. Here, our narrator meets Ade`, a handsome young highly respected Swahili man, who worked very hard, visited his mother in the evenings at Ramadan, and gave her all his money to support their large family. His mother, was one of his father's five wives, who all lived away together on another island.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Rebecca for a while, but I am wholly disappointed by this book.

First, I hesitate to call it a novel because it is so short. More like a novella. Then, for anyone who has read her memoir, you will see that half of the book is borrowed from her real life. Ugh.

I know that writers infuse themselves into their characters but this is a whole new level. I was hoping for creativity. Something new and refreshing from her, but I was sadly let down.

The book is an extension of her memoir with a standard love story woven through. By the time you start caring about this couple, she's quickly ending the story.

She's lucky she had the connections to get this published.

Very disappointed.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sarra on January 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author seems to be infatuated with her writing, rather than the story. I was lured in by the love story because I have been to Kenya and Lamu and loved it all; an enchanting, exceedingly romantic place. I wanted it to capture the old island of Lamu, but the author could have placed it anywhere in the world and we would never have known the difference. A boring, flat, and disappointing short story. I gave up after the first two chapters or so.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BestfieldMom on January 19, 2014
Format: MP3 CD
I agree with another reviewer that the editing could've been better. And its more a novella than a novel. Nonetheless, I think its worth reading if you're a Walker fan. It's not really well developed in terms of back stories and characters. But I enjoyed it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Geneva Lake on November 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Rebecca's work is always artistic, compelling and beautiful. Her style embodies the best storytelling while staying true to the cultural challenges she's faced her entire life.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alegra S. on April 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first heard about this book from a friend and was not at all interested in reading it due to the seemingly cliched plot-line. After finding out that Rebecca Walker was Alice Walker's daughter, I was intrigued, and gave it a try. From what I understand, Rebecca Walker has written some strong non-fiction; perhaps she should stick that that? I found the writing in this novella to be hackneyed and trite. I even highlighted sentences that made me cringe they were so underwhelming. Needless to say, I was disappointed. I think I'll give her non-fiction writing a fair shot before I give up on her.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tandoori Fromage on May 17, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is short and bittersweet. Reviewers have stated that the characters are not that well developed or the plot doesn't carry as much depth... and while I do agree that the story is most definitely rushed and wished there was more in the last few pages... Its impact and the emotion you feel after reading it does stay with you... If you want a quick and satisfying read and to feel very much moved about a somewhat cliche story of star-crossed lovers.. this is it. Despite being a cliche coming of age story, the anguish of the characters sticks with you for quite some time even after you put the book down.
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