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Overcoming Speechlessness: A Poet Encounters the Horror in Rwanda, Eastern Congo, and Palestine/Israel Paperback – April 6, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 24 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Following visits to Rwanda in 2006 on behalf of Women for Women International, Walker was nearly overcome with the aftermath of the genocidal violence, particularly aimed at women and children. On behalf of the antiwar group Code Pink, she traveled to the Gaza Strip in 2009 to witness the suffering caused by the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. In this slim volume, she tells the stories of women and children brutalized by war. She recalls visiting villages reduced to rubble, listening to women mourn the death of their children, sharing modest meals, and sharing stories of her own struggles growing up in the South, the U.S. civil rights movement, and learning the importance of connections to friends and family. She links modern-day atrocities to older cruelties, including the Holocaust and the Trail of Tears. Finding resilience in the midst of atrocities, Walker uses her own voice, as poet and activist, to speak out against injustices in the world’s trouble spots. --Vanessa Bush

Review

“Perhaps ordinary language cannot convey adequately the horrors of our time. Perhaps it takes a poet to reach into her own heart and into ours, to break out of silence and despair, to speak the unspeakable truth. Alice Walker, a poet who does more than write, declares, by her words and by her actions, that she will not, that we must not, let this go on. She insists, in this poetic, powerful essay, that we will reach out to one another, across all boundaries, to create a better world.” —Howard Zinn

“Walker has done what few North American writers are able to: bear witness to atrocities in places that are geographically far away, but politically connected to the West.” Feministe

“[Walker] links modern-day atrocities to older cruelties, including the Holocaust and the Trail of Tears. Finding resilience in the midst of atrocities, Walker uses her own voice, as poet and activist, to speak out against injustices in the world's trouble spots.” —Vanessa Bush, Booklist

“Alice Walker's Overcoming Speechlessness leaves me breathless. She shocks us with stories of the most horrifying human interactions then pulls us out of despair with the most tender stories of compassion.” —Medea Benjamin, cofounder of CODEPINK

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Seven Stories Press (April 6, 2010)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 80 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1583229175
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1583229170
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 2.47 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 4.93 x 0.22 x 6.98 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 24 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
24 global ratings
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Top reviews from other countries

Nudi
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read about Palestine and Rwanda
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 30, 2020
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freestar
5.0 out of 5 stars so beautiful
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 23, 2014
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Grylla S. Noab
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for timid people
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 29, 2013
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Paul Vincent Cannon
5.0 out of 5 stars harrowing reading but a must for living as a global community
Reviewed in Australia on May 23, 2014
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