FANNY AND SUWELO: SHADES OF LOVE IN ALICE WALKER’S “THE TEMPLE OF MY FAMILIAR”
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In the 1980s, African American literature and culture reached new heights. Many women authors composed masterpieces and received a lot of critical attention and acclaim. Alice Walker had already unsettled and divided the public opinion with the publication of The Color Purple in 1982, when she decided to continue some of the characters’ story in The Temple of My Familiar seven years later. The Temple of My Familiar proved to be her most ambitious book in terms of narrative structure, themes and motifs, character development, and setting. The novel failed to capture the critics’ and readers’ attention or it was critiqued for its inconsistencies and didacticism. Nowadays it remains largely forgotten and overshadowed by its predecessor. The aim of this paper is to shed light on the mostly unexplored issue of love and human relationships in the novel and to reassess its literary merit. Fanny and Suwelo, one of the leading couples in the book, offer different aspects for consideration that ultimately uncover the connection between love and identity. This paper is part of a larger comparative discussion on the topic of love and relationships in Alice Walker and Toni Morrison’s novels.