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The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple (original 1982; edition 2003)

by Alice Walker

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12,705223187 (4.11)402
Title:The Color Purple
Authors:Alice Walker
Info:Harcourt (2003), Edition: Later Printing, Paperback
Collections:To read

Work details

The Color Purple by Alice Walker (1982)

1980s (26)
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» See also 402 mentions

English (214)  Swedish (2)  Vietnamese (1)  Hungarian (1)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (221)
Showing 1-5 of 214 (next | show all)
I read this book in high school. It definitely made an impression on me, helping me realize many things about poverty, women and relationships. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
Hands down! My favorite story. It is truly a story about love! ( )
  caseybp | Apr 7, 2016 |
A wonderful book. This was the second time I read it and after a space of some fifteen years, I can now say I understood the themes much more deeply than I did before.
I really loved the ending too. ( )
  AnnGirdharry | Mar 30, 2016 |
More intense, yet less engaging than expected. ( )
  LaPhenix | Mar 29, 2016 |
When I have a ho-hum attitude about a well-received book that I expected to like, I have to wonder what I missed. The Color Purple was supposed to be great. Many reviewers I tend to agree with gave the novel their highest accolades. Typically, I agree with these sorts of books--Beloved and Ruby are two books with similar themes that also tackle issues both horrific and relevant. So what did I miss with The Color Purple?

I wonder if much of the praise centers around the original publication of the novel. Was The Color Purple the most honest novel regarding the post-Civil War life of the southern black? Was it the first to focus on primarily women characters? One would have to ignore the four Toni Morrison novels that had already been published by 1982 to assume this fact, not to mention novels that had been published during the Harlem Renaissance and in the subsequent years.

Perhaps the likability is the result of the philosophical musings the story captures. Questions of theology and the African woman's relationship with God abound. Yet, this doesn't seem to be enough to sustain the average reader. What else could it be? The bond between the sisters? The misandry? The happy ending? Frankly, all I can do is guess.

Personally, I didn't hate the novel, by any means, but I did find it rather uneventful. Perhaps the hype had crushed it for me. Perhaps the warnings of “graphic content” seemed excessive when compared to the likes of Ruby—a novel with truly excessive graphic content. In the end, however, what left me least impressed was the story itself and its delivery: two sisters, divided, telling two different stories through unreceived letters.

The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that what draws people to this story are the joys. Yes, it's a sad story with all kinds of horrors, but the focus is the color purple, the pleasure of the world. It's about a love between sisters that conquers all. Through my many years of reading, I've seen that many readers like to feel a range of emotions throughout a book, but that the feeling they want to be bowled over by in the end is joy. I cannot be counted as one of these readers and that is perhaps why I was underwhelmed by The Color Purple. I felt for Sethe in Beloved. I felt very strongly for Ruby, Ephram, and many characters in Ruby. Yet, for Celie and Nettie, I felt little. They seemed strong enough to not need my pity. They found beauty in the world around them and strength within their selves, and there was nothing anyone could do to completely crush them. As a weak and frail human, I cannot relate; therefore, I surmise, that it is because of my own weakness I could not identify with this story. What a humbling experience. ( )
  chrisblocker | Mar 10, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 214 (next | show all)
Walker accomplishes a rare thing: She makes an epistolary novel work without veering into preciousness. Rather, Celie's full-bodied voice emerges, a moody and honest voice, in an inherently intimate literary form.
Without doubt, Alice Walker's latest novel is her most impressive. No mean accomplishment, since her previous books - which, in addition to several collections of poetry and two collections of short stories, include two novels ("The Third Life of Grange Copeland" and "Medridian") - have elicited almost unanimous praise for Miss Walker as a lavishly gifted writer

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Walker, Aliceprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dam, Irma vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Juva, KerstiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Show me how to do like you. Show how to do it." -Stevie Wonder
To the Spirit:
Without whose assistance
Neither this book
Nor I
Would have been
First words
You better not never tell nobody but God. It'd kill your mammy.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Tells the story of two African-American sisters: Nettie, a missionary in Africa, and Celie, a child-wife living in the south, in the medium of their letters to each other and in Celie's case, the desperate letters she begins, "Dear God."
Haiku summary
A woman's tale
on the politics of black
Georgia, 1930s, grit, faith
survival - told from the heart

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0671727796, Mass Market Paperback)

Winner of the National Book Award as well as the Pulitzer Prize, "The Color Purple" established Alice Walker as a major voice in modern fiction. Her unforgettable portrait of Celie and her friends, family, and lovers is rich with passion, pain, inspiration, and an indomitable love of life. Beautifully imagined and deeply compassionate, "The Color Purple" is a classic of American literature.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:51 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Set in the deep American South, The color purple is the story of Celie, a young black girl born into extreme poverty and segregation. Raped repeatedly by the man she calls 'father', she is then given by him to a violent man. Later she meets Shug Avery, a glamorous singer, who gives her the courage to take charge of her life.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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