You Can"t keep a an excellent Woman under Summary

Some renowned guy told us that "brevity is the spirit of wit," so we"ve created brief summaries for each the the 14 short stories in Walker"s collection.

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Nineteen Fifty-Five

Walker re-imagines the story of Elvis and his acquisition of the tune "Hound Dog" in this piece about fictional Gracie Mae Still and also early absent star Traynor. Traynor, who is white, rides come mega stardom on the ago of Gracie Mae"s song but spends his life do the efforts to understand the significance of the song and also the experiences the led Gracie Mae to create it.

An uneasy friendship springs up in between them, through Traynor lavishing extravagant presents upon Gracie Mae. They compose to every other and visit as soon as they can. In the end, Traynor wants the human being to admire Gracie Mae as lot as he does and also to offer her the credit transaction she deserves for her song. The 2 of them go on The Johnny Carson Show together—and it"s a flop. The white audience laughs in ~ obese Gracie Mae, and also Traynor is enraged.

Traynor dies a lonely, early death, and also Gracie Mae deserve to hardly stand to look at the mobs of pan who never ever knew anything about "the boy" and also what he"d want to achieve.

How did I acquire Away v Killing among the greatest Lawyers in the State? It to be Easy.

A young black color girl is raped by one of her mother"s clients, a prominent white lawyer. That professes love for her and promises to pay for her to walk to university if she continues on through him.

She feels nice ambivalent about the entirety thing, yet growing increase in poverty and also without a loving family, she accepts the situation. This goes on for part time.

When her mom finds out about it, she freaks out and also beats she daughter. The lawyer decides that the mother has to be obtained out that the way if things space to proceed as the wants, so v the daughter"s help, he has actually Mama cursed to one asylum. By the time the daughter realizes how awful this is, it"s also late: her mom has died of abuse and heartbreak at the asylum, and the daughter is left with nothing.

She decides to take the law right into her own hands and also shoots the lawyer in ~ his house. Then, she bring away his an individual stash that money come make great on his promise to salary for she college. The killing is seen as a robbery, and also she it s okay away through it; she"s also asked by his widow to babysit for their kids while she attends her husband"s funeral.


A young black color woman renders the exploration that an effigy that a former local slave, Uncle Albert, that stands in the window of a whites-only restaurant is, in fact, actually the stuffed body of Albert Porter. One night, she and her friends steal the body from the restaurant. Lock cremate that in the high school"s incinerator, and also each of castle keeps a little bit of Albert"s ashes.

But it doesn"t end there. Together Elethia moves with the world, she notices various other "Uncle Alberts," effigies in museums that were yes, really people. Elethia can"t perform anything around them due to the fact that she doesn"t know what castle would have actually wanted. She had known Albert through regional legend and also aging eyewitnesses, who stories around Albert make up the rest of this piece.

The Lover

A young, beautiful, and also talented black color poet heads to a writers" retreat in brand-new Hampshire to job-related on a new collection that poems. She"s married and also has a child, yet she has actually an adventurous mind—meaning that she"s top top the lookout for she very very first lover.

And she finds him pretty quickly, if she"s enduring boring conversations with self-important writers.

The guy"s name is Ellis, and also he"s tall and handsome. Unfortunately, he"s likewise bigoted, sexist, and has the stink that failure almost everywhere him. But she"s no gonna allow that prevent her since it yes, really isn"t about Ellis. It"s about the idea of gift in love.

Ellis find the narrator quite intense and wants to back off, but by the time, her mind is already on she lovely husband—and every the potential lovers she will discover in the future.


A woman"s child comes back from Vietnam and tells her he knows how to make bombs. The mrs had operated with the Civil rights Movement, and also in retaliation, part white human being dig up her grandmother"s body and leave she leg bone in the woman"s petunias.

comes Apart: By way of advent to Lorde, Teish and Gardner

Walker write a "fable" around a pair whose connection suffers indigenous the exploitation and manipulation that the porn industry. The husband can"t seem to component with his porn collection. Also worse? that can"t give up the fantasies that keep him indigenous connecting through his wife and understanding his very own emotions.

His wife institutions him difficult by reading essays indigenous womanist writers. It doesn"t walk well in ~ first, and also the two decide to "take a break" from each other. Self-growth and also awareness happens, and the two are able come reconnect. Well, sort of, at least.


Andrea Clement White is a famed writer top to a luncheon in ~ the college where she offered to teach. She will get her 111th major award there, add by she subservient an individual assistant, Mrs. Hyde. There space two troubles for Andrea Clement White:

Her previous colleagues room horrible. She prospered in despite the of them. She doesn"t feel prefer a success.

She spends the luncheon reflecting—with a bitter sense of humor—on her life and the hypocrisy of the human being in the room. She deserve to only endure the entirety charade in the end since a young black girl sings an old slave song for them.

The Abortion

Imani finds out that she"s pregnant again, and also she"s not happy around it. She already has a young child, and also her health and wellness isn"t the greatest. Her husband, Clarence, is a nice guy who just wants to assistance her decision—and this irritates Imani.

Imani has had an abortion before, once the procedure was still illegal. This time, she"s maybe to go to a legit clinic in new York City to have it done. However it"s still not a good experience, and also Imani"s attitude toward she husband and also marriage alters dramatically.

Within a couple of years, the two are making a protect against in Splitsville. Walker ideas that it"s the abortion that was the breaking point, also though neither of lock is ready to recognize that.


A beautiful black woman it s okay a 2nd chance at love (or lust) once she meets the watch perfect guy. Your sex life is great—until he mirrors her his porn collection. She can"t acquire over the sleazy images and also impossible plotlines, especially when among the women connected looks prefer her friend Fannie.

Her male is willing to provide up the porn collection when he realizes it"s not doing anything good for her, yet the damage is done. She can"t forget the he"s rotate on by creepy and demeaning porn and might have expectations she just can"t live increase to. Game over.

Advancing Luna—and Ida B. Wells

Our narrator right here seems come be walker herself, telling the story of a friend and also fellow civil legal rights worker, Luna. They satisfy while functioning in Atlanta to it is registered voters. It"s not until lot later, when they"re living with each other in new York, that Luna opens up up around being raped by a other civil civil liberties worker that summer.

The complication? Luna is white, and her rapist is Black. Luna never ever screamed throughout the rape and also never told anyone. Walker finds it s her in an awkward position: does she side v Luna together a woman and condemn the rape? Or go she save silent, prefer Luna, to defend Black men from one unjust political system?

Walker disputes this concern as she remembers the job-related of Ida B. Wells, a black color activist who promoted total quiet in problem of rape wherein Black guys are concerned. She felt that enough innocent black men had been killed on the accusation of raping white women. Pedestrian tries to occupational through these conflicting problems as she moves v the story and discusses her instance with fellow artists.


A beautiful civil civil liberties worker meets and falls in lust with a country boy referred to as Laurel that has involved work in Georgia throughout one summer in the mid-1960s. It"s an interracial attraction that"s an extremely dangerous for the place and also time, and also they can never discover a an are to be together, if you acquire our drift. When the two part, their lust is still unrequited. Go we mention that Laurel is already married?

Laurel gets into a automobile accident and also suffers brain damage. As soon as he wakes up from his coma, the writes urgent letters come the narrator, that is by currently married and has a baby. She"s consumed v guilt, yet she decides to neglect him—until Laurel involves visit. She husband operation interference, yet she can"t help but wonder if her cold shoulder ultimately caused Laurel to come to be bitter and miserable.

A Letter of the Times, or have to This Sado-Masochism it is in Saved?

A black female professor writes a letter to a white colleague she"d snubbed in ~ a round to define her actions. This colleague, Lucy, had dressed up as Scarlett O"Hara for the occasion. The problem? Lucy was an alleged to have dressed up as her favourite feminist—and she chose a fictitious white slave owner, a character from a publication that reinforces the stereotype that the "happy slave."

The professor relates her experiences of the semester together a means of explaining why this is unacceptable, linking the enslavement of women to the harmful master-slave role-playing that she look at in the culture of sadomasochism.

A sudden Trip house in the Spring

Sarah Davis is considered an "exotic" beauty beauty at her all-white northern college, Cresselton. The annoys her to be surrounded by white women that admire her however know nothing about who she is or whereby she come from.

One day, buy it gets a telegram from residence saying the her dad is dead. She needs to make the expedition down come Georgia to to visit his funeral—and to confront all the unpleasant things from her previous that hold her back.

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Walker complies with the friendship between two college friends, Anastasia and Irene, end a couple of years. Anastasia is biracial and has trouble pinning under her identity and finding a location to fit in. Also Irene—who is Black—doesn"t think about Anastasia "Black enough" to recognize her.

Irene travels to mountain Francisco to cave out v Anastasia ~ she loses capital for she adult literacy program in the South. However she finds that Anastasia is now a hippie under the control of a drugged-out sex-related predator-slash-guru called "Source." Things perform not walk well for the two friends. Years later, the 2 women satisfy again in Alaska and try to gain perspective top top themselves and also their relationship.