The Same River Twice

The Same River Twice

  • Washington Square Press | 
  • 304 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780671003777 | 
  • January 1997
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Reading Group Guide

Reading Group Discussion Points
  1. Why might Walker have felt compelled to step into The Same River Twice, as her title implies? Why might it have been important for her to look back on her experience of The Color Purple? What do you get as a result? Is your conception of The Color Purple different now that you've read The Same River Twice? If so, how? Why might it be important to visit works more than once? How does time serve to alter our perceptions?
  2. Compare and contrast Walker's book The Color Purple with the film. What are the similarities and differences between Walker's book and her own screenplay? How are Walker's screenplay and Meyjes' screenplay similar? How are they different?
  3. When Walker first viewed the film, The Color Purple, in a huge theater with only two other people, "everything about it seemed wrong," she said. But at the premiere in New York, with a magic wand in hand, she watched the film in a packed theater and was able to say she loved the film. Why might her opinion of the film have changed so drastically? What effect might an audience have on one's perception of a film? Can one's perception of a novel change with different readings? If so, how and why might this be so? What might this say about perception and works of art?
  4. How do you feel about the fact that a white dutchman wrote the screenplay which a white man directed based on a black woman's book? What mi
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About the Author

Alice Walker
Photograph by Ana Elena Pena.

Alice Walker

A prolific writer in multiple genres, Alice Walker has become a canonical figure in American letters. Her writings have been translated into more than two dozen languages, and more than twelve million copies of her books have been sold.