Friday, April 23, 2004

Book Non-Recommendation: "Now is the Time to Open Your Heart," By Alice Walker

This National Review piece brought this New York Times book review to my attention. Michiko Kakutani, take it away:

"If this novel did not boast the name of Alice Walker, who won acclaim some two decades ago with 'The Color Purple,' it's hard to imagine how it could have been published.

'Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart' is a remarkably awful compendium of inanities. There are New Age inanities: 'She had an instinctive understanding, perhaps from birth, that people and plants were relatives.'

Feminist inanities: 'She had seemed to feel, and to wonder aloud, about the possibility that only women, these days, dreamed of rivers, and were alarmed that they were dry.'

Flower children inanities: 'What would happen if our foreign policy centered on the cultivation of joy rather than pain?'

And plain old bad writing: 'The moment I stood in front of any one of his paintings, she elaborated, my bird nature became activated. I felt I could fly!'"

And here's my favorite:

"So Kate sets off on an all-women boat trip down the Colorado River. She tells her therapist: 'I cannot believe my dry river, that we have been discussing for months, and that is inside me, is unconnected to a wet one somewhere on the earth. I am being called, she said.'

Oooh, a river metaphor. Deeeeep. Like . . . a river!

Conclusion: "Now is the Time to eBay This Book."

But heed Jay Nordlinger's warning:

". . . watch Kakutani: She will have to counter this was a fire-breathing slam of some conservative or conservative-leaning book. William Raspberry and Richard Cohen — two Washington Post columnists, as it happens — do this: If they publish a column that is a little right-leaning, or that may give comfort to conservatives, they make up for it with about three wildly left-wing columns in a row."

Well, sometimes conservative books are awful.

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