Everybody Come Alive: A Memoir in Essays (Hardcover)
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A dazzling memoir that explores what it means to become fully alive and holy when we embrace the silenced stories we’ve inherited—from the creator of Black Coffee with White Friends.
“Marcie Alvis Walker writes with an honesty that is both dauntless and compassionate.”—Cole Arthur Riley, author of This Here Flesh
In her debut book, Everybody Come Alive, Marcie Alvis Walker invites readers into a deeply intimate and illuminating memoir comprising lyrical essays and remembrances of being a curious child of the seventies and eighties, raised under the critical and watchful eye of Jim Crow matriarchs who struggled to integrate their lives and remain whole.
While swimming in rivers of racial trauma and racial reckoning, Alvis Walker explores her earliest memories—of abandonment and erasure, of her mother’s mental illness and incarceration, and of her ongoing struggles with perfectionism and body dysmorphia—in hopes of leaving a healed and whole legacy for her own child. Nostalgic but unflinching, candid yet tender, Everybody Come Alive is an invitation to be vulnerable along with the author as she unravels all the beauty and terror of God, race, and gender’s imprint on her life.
This is a coming-of-age journey touching on the bittersweet pain and joy of what it takes to become a person who embraces being Black, a woman, and holy in America. Alvis Walker’s unforgettable writing challenges readers to not only see and hold her story as being fully human, but also to see and hold their own stories too.
About the Author
Marcie Alvis Walker is the creator of the popular Instagram feed Black Coffee with White Friends. She is also the creator of Black Eyed Stories. Marcie is passionate about what it means to embrace intersectionality, diversity, and inclusion in our spiritual lives. She lives in Chicago with her husband, her college-aged kid Max, and their dog, Evie.
“Alvis Walker writes with an honesty that is both dauntless and compassionate, as she examines the intergenerational stories that have formed her. Masterful storytelling woven with nuanced spiritual reflection, this book is an artifact of grief, wonder, and resurrection.”—Cole Arthur Riley, author of This Here Flesh
“These powerful words are medicine for those of us struggling with hope. Marcie Alvis Walker shows us how she is still coming into herself in a world stacked against her and those she loves. It’s not mere resilience. It’s revolutionary love.”—Kevin Miguel Garcia, author of Bad Theology Kills
“Here are lyrics to a song you need to hear. Alvis Walker will take you by the hand and the heart through joy, loss, triumph, and the desert, to the summit. It is the perfect blend of divine revelation, painful upbringing, and soul-nourishing rejoicing. Every word is music.”—J. S. Park, hospital chaplain and author of The Voices We Carry
“Everybody Come Alive is, quite simply, a work of art—beauty, pain, humor, and gospel wrapped into one stunning book. Marcie Alvis Walker has given us all a gift, and I am so grateful.”—Saira Rao, New York Times bestselling co-author of White Women
“Whooo—what to say about Everybody Come Alive? It’s less book, more psalm—a lyrical, resonant refrain that those of us who are Black and live in America recognize from a deep part of our souls. It’s an alluring song, a sweet invitation for those who are non-Black to read, listen, and understand. And, most assuredly, it’s a celebration of culture, identity, and life.”—Karen Walrond, author of The Lightmaker’s Manifesto and Radiant Rebellion
“Everybody Come Alive is a compelling invitation to life at a time when the world has made so many feel like zombies. The essays in this memoir hit you with thunderclaps of pain amid flashes of wonder. Alvis Walker’s writing is so emotionally stirring and deliciously written that I kept wanting to stand up and applaud.”—Jonathan Merritt, contributing writer for The Atlantic and author of Learning to Speak God from Scratch
“Black Coffee with White Friends blogger Walker examines her relationship to family, race, and religion in this achingly beautiful debut. . . . Walker’s gift is her soaring imagination and lyrical prose, which is reminiscent of a church lament—a song ‘sung like a wailing prayer, like a siren song to the heavenly host.’ This captivates.”—Publishers Weekly
“Walker’s joyful voice renders an insightful, imaginative summary of her life.”—Kirkus Reviews