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The Chicken Chronicles: A Memoir by Alice Walker

The Chicken Chronicles: A Memoir

Biography / Autobiography   The Real World   
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Sue Baker's view...

If you’ve ever kept a few chickens then you’ll know where Alice Walker is coming from. How different they all are - from the bubbling extrovert happy to sit on your shoulder to the lowering introvert, the bully, the hapless drudge - but whatever their personality, they present you with eggs, manure for the garden and as well as eating your favourite plants they do at least hoover up the insect pests. In short, chickens are a blessing, a joy to know and through their lives we can meditate on our human existence, their basic needs for food and shelter offsetting human complications and watching them brings relaxation, balm for the soul. They also bring back memories and it was the memories of a happy childhood in which chickens were a large part that spurred Alice Walker to keep them once again later in life. Her memories are mixed with reflections, enjoying the contentment that happy chickens can bring, how caring for them appeals to our nurturing natures and how grateful we must be for the gifts they bring.

Like for Like Reading:
Hen and the Art of Chicken Maintenance, Martin Gurdon
Chicken and Egg: How I Came to Love My Backyard Chickens – with 120 recipes, Janice Cole

If you like Alice Walker you might also like to read books by Terry Mcmillan, Toni Morrison and Kathleen Grissom.

Who is Sue Baker


The Chicken Chronicles: A Memoir by Alice Walker

When Alice Walker grew up in the deep south of America, her family always kept chickens - for meat and for eggs - and her job was to chase down the Sunday dinner! In later life, when she settled in Mexico and was growing her own food, she realised how much she missed keeping them and decided to get a brood of her own. So into her life came Gertrude Stein, Babe, Babe 2, Hortensia, Splendor, Glorious, Rufus and Agnes of God, not to mention a few others. She discovered a deep contentment in keeping chickens, looking after them and watching them develop. This also made her think about her own life and brought back severed memories of her childhood. This book isn't a 'how to' on keeping chickens, it is a warm memoir chronicling her journey and the way in which keeping chickens led her to a fuller understanding of herself.


That is when you realize how powerful Walker is, how she draws you through trauma into an Eternity, a chicken house on her peaceful bit of land in Northern California, next to her garden, where she sits on a green metal stool and watches her chickens. It's a book-long spell--hypnotic. -- Los Angeles Times

With an eye for wonderment and plenty of surprisingly wry humor, author Alice Walker shakes up fans with a memoir that's nothing like her novels. Instead, The Chicken Chronicles is a series of enchanted musings on Walker's life and charitable works, the richly-imagined life of her pets, and a powerful sense of gratitude for friends, the Earth, and its gifts. I flew through this book, loving every page of it. For pet lovers, chicken people, or anyone who craves a perfectly charming memoir, here's one to read. The Chicken Chronicles is worth bringing home to roost. --Terri Schlichenmeyer, Life After 50

Walker invites her readers into her personal spaces t

About the Author

Alice Walker

Alice Walker won the Pulitzer prize and the American Book Award for The Color Purple. She is the author of many bestselling novels, essays and collections of poetry including Meridian, By the Light of My Father's Smile and The Third Life of Grange Copeland.

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Book Info

Publication date

12th April 2012


Alice Walker

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Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co


208 pages


Biography / Autobiography
The Real World

Birds, including cage birds, as pets
The countryside, country life



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