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The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple (original 1982; edition 2003)

by Alice Walker

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11,936192219 (4.11)351
Title:The Color Purple
Authors:Alice Walker
Info:Harvest Books (2003), Edition: Harvest, Paperback
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:Historical Fiction, Novels/Novellas

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The Color Purple by Alice Walker (1982)

1980s (13)
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» See also 351 mentions

English (184)  Swedish (2)  Vietnamese (1)  Hungarian (1)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (191)
Showing 1-5 of 184 (next | show all)
I can't believe I haven't read this book until now. I loved everything about it, especially the way it was written in the style of a journal. Using the African American southern dialect made it even more interesting. It's hard to imagine why this book could be banned or even considered controversial. ( )
  Mimiyoyo | Feb 23, 2015 |
Read a while ago when the movie came out. I remember that it made me cry. ( )
  sturlington | Feb 16, 2015 |
It's hard to know where to start with this review! This book has been sitting on my shelves for at least two years. It was a hand-me-down from my grandmother, and after reading it I'm very impressed by her taste! I always wanted to read 'The Color Purple', but felt like I would never get around to it, and I'm very glad that I eventually did.

'The Color Purple' is a very moving story that follows the lives of black women from the American South. The breadth of issues this book explores is tremendous, from abuse to sexuality to the sense of unwantedness some of the characters feel when they go to Africa as missionaries and recall that they were sold into slavery by their ancestors. It's fascinating to see how the characters deal with these issues, and 'The Color Purple' creates some incredibly well-developed female characters (something which will always win me over).

Furthermore, Walker is unapologetic in her discussion of these issues, and 'The Color Purple' is an incredibly honest account of the lives of women belonging to ethnic and social minorities. This sort of account is very important in our society, when so often the voices of minorities are silenced.

The only criticism I really have, and this might just be my own ignorance, is that some of the attitudes that characters within the book have seem slightly anachronistic. I can't imagine America in the early-mid 20th century being particularly accepting of the relationship between Celie and Shug, for example. But like I say, I wouldn't be surprised if it were the case that I'm just misinformed about the period.

All in all, this is a great book, the best I've read in 2015 so far, and I believe that everyone could gain something from reading it. ( )
  Jane.Elinor | Jan 31, 2015 |
Great story and characters. Really liked how they all developed during the story. Ending was very satisfying. ( )
  NHNick | Jan 5, 2015 |
Most high school students don't graduate without having read through a predetermined list of books deemed "classic" or "literary" or "meaningful" in some way, in their English classes. Some of the books are commendable for a number of reasons; some of the books are passable.

THE COLOR PURPLE, by Alice Walker, despite its having won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, is a passable novel.

Two sisters, separated when young, take two entirely different trajectories with their lives that, somehow, come back around to connect at the end in more unexpected ways than I could detail without giving away the conclusion.

Celie, whose voice is the main one throughout the novel, is raped as a child. Her two children are taken from her and put up for adoption, and she's forced into a marriage of convenience (of sorts) to a despicable man. Finally, her life starts to improve when Shug Avery, a talented singer and her husband's mistress, moves in with them.

Meanwhile, Celie's sister Nettie travels to Africa with a missionary couple whose two children are Celie's biological children. Celie and Nettie exchange a series of letters over their thirty-year separation, documenting loss, anger, love, and hardship on one side and the other of the Atlantic Ocean.

In favor of the novel, it tackles (with admirable restraint in an era of gratuity) an assortment of challenging topics, from rape to forced marriage to homosexuality and lesbianism, with Celie's growing romantic and sexual interest in Shug.

Celie's voice is authentic, unique, irreverent, and determined, and she's a sympathetic character: the very act of writing letters (first to God, and then to Nettie) shows that she refuses to be cowed by her circumstances.

Further, the decision to tell the story through letters is an innovative one coming back into vogue. The communique style gives the novel an extra dimension, an unexpected intimacy, and a depth that an ordinary chronological narrative wouldn't achieve.

I enjoyed the story for what it was worth, despite its convoluted story line and cast of odd characters, but I wouldn't read it again, and I'm thankful I missed analyzing it to death in a high school class (after which I'm sure I would have hated it thoroughly).

# # #

Author: Alice Walker
ISBN: 978-0-15-119154-3
Purchase here: http://amzn.to/1vcXumD

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed are my own. ( )
  Eleanore_Trupkiewicz | Jan 2, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 184 (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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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."
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:01:45 -0400)

(see all 6 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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