5 thoughts on “A Short Walk

  1. You know why they don’t teach “A Short Walk” in schools? Probably, because they’re afraid of all the sex in it. (The part where an aspiring church deacon teaches his new wife to call him “Daddy” cracked me up!) Or maybe they’re afraid of the book’s unblinking look at race, violence, queers, poverty, whoring, you know the drill. Whatever the reason, Alice Childress’ novel deserves a wider readership and increased recognition. I love it something hard. My determination is to spread the word.

  2. First of all, this particular cover gives me a wrong impression of the book. The cover implies that this is a modern/contemporary book when in fact it takes place in the early 20th century.

    I reread this book once every two years, or when I stumble upon the well-worn paperback when I sort my books. It moved me. It gave me a glimpse of a life that wasn’t a long song of despair, but the ups and downs of finding yourself that many of us go through. I also feel it gives a different perspective on the

  3. Wonderful book, should be more well known. The main character moves from the Jim Crow south to New York, through the travelling black performance circuit,house parties, Marcus Garvey’s ship launch, Harlem drag balls,and all in between. This is so well written that half way through you forget that the book started at her birth. Childress manages to present major points of black liberation through the life of the mail character, Cora. This book is better than anything I can describe, and I would c

  4. Supposedly a somewhat autobiographical novel. Title refers to the saying ‘life is a short walk from cradle to grave’. Cora James grows up as a black in Charleston under Jim Crow laws. When her father dies, she marries rather than go to Edisto Island with mother’s family. Her husband abuses her and she leaves him and heads for Harlem to live with cousin. She learns to host gambling / drinking parties and later learns some road shows and travels. She reconnects with childhood friend Cecil, she tra

  5. Alice Walker slammed this book when it first came out (she though the language of the characters too parochial–not believable enough), which may have been one of the reasons its first printing didn’t do very well. I know that most of you all hate the cover too (I’m not sure about it anymore), but the story is of a woman from the south moving north and figuring her way from card dealing to vaudeville performing. It’s a bit historically fantastic at times–Marcus Garvey even makes an appearance–

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