Compelling collections of short fiction and essays by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Color Purple and "marvelous writer" (San Francisco Chronicle). Whether she is writing fiction or nonfiction, sharing personal reflections or expressing political views, Alice Walker is without question "one of [our] best American writers" (The Washington Post). The first African American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize—for The Color Purple—Walker is both a committed artist and engaged activist, as reflected in the four works in this volume. Living by the Word: In this "entertaining and often stirring" follow-up to In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens, Walker reflects on issues both personal and global, from her experience with the filming of The Color Purple, to the history of African American narrative traditions, to global threats of pollution and nuclear war (Library Journal). You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down: The women in these "consummately skillful short stories" face their problems head on, proving powerful and self-possessed even when degraded by others—sometimes by those closest to them (San Francisco Chronicle). But even as the female protagonists face exploitation, social inequalities, and casual cruelties, Walker leavens her stories with ample wit and "[enters] their experience with sympathy but without sentimentality" (The Washington Post). In Love & Trouble: Walker's debut short fiction collection features stories of women traveling with the weight of broken dreams, with kids in tow, with doubt and regret, with memories of lost loves, with lovers who have their own hard pasts and hard edges. Some from the South, some from the North, some rich, and some poor, the "marvelous characters" that inhabit In Love & Trouble "come away transformed by knowledge and love but most of all by wonder" (Essence). In Search of Our Mother's Gardens: In essays both personal and political about her own work and other writers such as Zora Neale Hurston, Flannery O'Connor, and Jean Toomer; the Civil Rights Movement; antinuclear activism; feminism; and a childhood injury that left her emotionally scarred and the healing words of her daughter, Walker "reflects not only ideas but a life that has breathed color, sound, and soul into fiction and poetry—and into our lives as well" (San Francisco Chronicle).