Writing about By the Light of My Father’s Smile, Lovalerie King observes that Walker ‘employs recurring motifs of the spiritual journey or questing self, rebirth and transformation, the universality of pain and suffering, and a holistic view of life that brings her idea of connectedness into full relief’.1 Because this goes for Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart as well, the two novels can usefully be discussed together, because they are both distinctively part of Walker’s later work. From The Temple of My Familiar (1989) onwards, described by herself as a ‘wisdom tale’, and ‘a romance of the last 500.000 years’, she begins to develop what we might call a ‘spiritual activism’ that is communicated through storytelling.2 Writing about real and invented tribes, whether it is the fictional African Olinka in The Color Purple, the Dogon of Mali in Possessing the Secret of Joy (1992), the Mundo of Mexico in By the Light of My Father’s Smile (1998) or the Mahus of Hawai’i in Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart (2004), Walker draws on the creative and spiritual insights and practices of peoples all over the world. Her interest in writing about or creating such tribes is not merely ethnographic, however.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
- The Later Fiction: By the Light of My Father’s Smile (1998) and Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart (2004)
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number