By the Light of My Father's Smile: A Novel and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

By The Light of My Father's Smile Unknown Binding – January 1, 1998


See all 18 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$11.50 $4.90

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Random House (1998)
  • ASIN: B005208FUK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,489,543 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alice Walker (b. 1944), one of the United States' preeminent writers, is an award-winning author of novels, stories, essays, and poetry. In 1983, Walker became the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction with her novel The Color Purple, which also won the National Book Award. Her other books include The Third Life of Grange Copeland, Meridian, The Temple of My Familiar, and Possessing the Secret of Joy. In her public life, Walker has worked to address problems of injustice, inequality, and poverty as an activist, teacher, and public intellectual.

Customer Reviews

Tapesty comes to mind when I think of this book.
MCSD at last
I felt such relief to read this attempt at restoring female sexuality to an altar of acceptance, respect, love, social esteem.
Jenny J.J.I.
Alice Walker is truly one of the most gifted writers of our time - this story is no exception.
Crystal M. McGee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
Alice Walker is one of those writers whose work has the power to reach out and touch you when you need it most. This and I believe many of her other works are meant to be read at certain critical points in a specific persons life. Points when it is necessary to come to terms with a particular complex of issues. I thought it was telling when one reviewer said that the pre-occupation by some of the characters in this book with their personal traumas was unrealistic. Trauma is by its very nature pre-occupying. And what becomes lodged in an individual persons psyche as a result of the trauma they have experienced is typically unique to that individual (no one can judge the magnitude of pain in anothers heart). As a person who has been hurt reading the words of Alice Walker not only lets me know that another is serving as a witness to my pain it also shows me that there is joy waiting behind a door that I hadn't even realized existed. And it is in those moments that I feel truly blessed my her writing. Perhaps this and her other works are not perfect, in truth they are not. But in that moment when she has captured the pain in ones heart and soul, given it voice and a means to move forward who cares if it isn't the perfect novel? I guess those who haven't felt the coldness of a heart alone and bereft. For my part I say thank you Alice and keep writing, at least for me!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 16, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I knew Alice Walker's name, but had never read her, and thus it was on a whim that I plucked this book from the library shelf.
By the Light of My Father's Smile is easily the best reading I have ever enjoyed. Walker's words are beautiful, grotesque, gentle, raw, passionate,honest. Her lovemaking scenes are intensely physical and emotional; metaphors about life itself and not the characters individually, and deliciously loving. It was refreshing to see a male point of view from a female writer, a male point of view on sexuality, a deceased male point of view on his daughter's intimate lives and his impact therein.
I read this book with no preconceived notions about Walker's writing style, no idea what the context of the book would hold, no expectations of character development, description, or prose--and I'll repeat, this is the best book that I have ever enjoyed. I have returned it to the library, but plan to purchase it to add to my small collection of books that make me feel so good I read them over and over.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Maurice Williams on August 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
By The Light of My Father's Smile explores the past, present, and future connection of the female characters in the novel to their father. Walker uses a multi-voiced approach in revealing the complexities of relationships both parental and romantic. The characters' speak from both life and deaths experiences revealing to the reader that issues not resolved in life must certainly be reconciled in death. Walker delivers insight and wisdom through the use of folklore, and the spiritual philosophy of an ancient Mexican/African tribe. She is able to demonstrate with clarity how male oppression of women, specifically a father's oppression of his daughter, effects a woman emotionally, sexually, and spiritually. A definite must read for the masses.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jenny J.J.I. VINE VOICE on February 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
I love Alice Walker. She is an exceptional writer. "By the Light of My Father's Smile" is as easy to read as "The Color Purple" and as inspirational as The "Temple of My Familiar." Her ideas about the spirituality of sexuality are so beautiful.

"By the Light of My Father's Smile" gathers up so much of women's history and experience, all previously ignored or misrepresented and takes this history/experience as an important given, uses it to explain our human quest to seek sexual and spiritual fulfillment, to know ourselves. Speaking so honestly about female sexual hurt, female sexual maiming, female sexual shaming within the family, within the father/daughter relationship and imagining a way to heal this experience was powerfully brave of Walker. I felt like I was is a long darkened and forbidden room now amazingly and lovingly explored, revealed. I felt such relief to read this attempt at restoring female sexuality to an altar of acceptance, respect, love, social esteem. It seemed almost possible to live in a society, a family that really could anticipate female sexuality with joy, freedom and respect on an equal footing with male sexual importance. But my awe and gratitude for the subject and Walker's attempt is still tempered by my real sense, in the reading of it, that it was not entirely successful. I'm not sure why. Some of the sexual imagery, the dominating type sexual play in some scenes seemed artificial, unreal. If it were real, it wouldn't be so undisturbing to the participants, it would raise issues, and it would be unsettling, not just accepted as part of their sexual bliss identity.

But over all, the story reads like a fable, a fairy tale, really and that is fine with me.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Reader in Dubai on September 18, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read this book several times. The events are startling, the characters are fascinating and unexpected. The story is told from multiple viewpoints, which creates the effect of a flower opening for the reader. The themes of the book are universal: cultural differences, father-daughter relationships, sisters, death, afterlife, sexuality. It's all there! This is not a book for the uptight! For the open-minded only!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?