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The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple (1982)

by Alice Walker

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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14,838266231 (4.13)584
1980s (41)
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English (258)  Swedish (2)  Vietnamese (1)  Hungarian (1)  Italian (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (266)
Showing 1-5 of 258 (next | show all)
I can't say anything "literary" about this book that hasn't been said by the true critics already, so this review is more of a personal reflection (as many of my classics reviews turn out to be). The Color Purple spent more than ten years on my "did not finish" shelf. It was assigned reading for a class called Novel when I was in college, and at nineteen years old I was shocked and disturbed by the first page. After about twenty more pages, I took it to my professor and said, "This book is degrading and makes me feel dirty." He said, "Yes, that is the point." I said, "I just can't read this." He kindly told me I didn't have to. At the time, I intended never to touch the book again.

All these years later, I picked it back up, unsure what I would glean from it but determined to finish it this time regardless of the content. And I'm glad I did. This is a hard book, a heartbreaking book. Yes, a degrading book, because Walker is a genius whose voice does not allow the reader to stand at a distance from Celie's degradation. Or from Sofia's. The treatment of Sofia made me tremble at my core perhaps more than anything that happened to Celie. This has to be one of the best examples written of a "visceral" story. One doesn't simply read and ponder it; one is forced to live it and feel it and absorb what is being done to other human beings. That Walker chose to finish her tapestry with bright threads of hope, even hints of redemption and joy, left me feeling grateful on behalf of Celie and Nettie but reminded me too that they are fiction, that the people who lived this history (less than a century ago!) did not always experience such joy.

A hard read. Sometimes an appalling read. But a vital one. ( )
  AmandaGStevens | Mar 2, 2019 |
Un libro muy vivo, muy auténtico y con mucha emoción. Pero les paso una advertencia: ésta es una de esas novelas en las que sí cambia mucho la experiencia dependiendo en qué lengua la leas. La traducción al español (la única que he visto publicada) tiene varios errores y, en general, no me parece que capte lo esencial de la prosa de Walker. Si saben inglés, consíganla. ( )
  LeoOrozco | Feb 26, 2019 |
This book is one I dutifully read in high school and dutifully wrote off. I'm not sure why I had such a drastic non-reaction to the book. Perhaps it shocked my delicate, repressed sensibilities so much I had to forget everything about it. I'd like to think some seeds were planted. This book's frank descriptions of awful abuses and contemplation of sexuality sets it apart from almost everything else I read back then. I'm glad my book club got me to re-read this. While unarguably valuable to women's and African-american literature studies this belongs on a general curriculum. ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
Thought I might read it but I just don't have any interest in the subject.
  librisissimo | Feb 9, 2019 |
I liked this book a lot more than I expected to. It was quite a heartbreaking story all around. I loved Nettie (who was my favorite character) and I really enjoyed hearing about her trip to Africa. I thought it was interesting how the village held the roof plant as a sort of deity. I had a harder time getting through the other chapters because of the way that it was written. It was a good way to create a voice for the character but it was just not my style. ( )
  AngelaRenea | Jan 12, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 258 (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.
Time moves slowly, but passes quickly.
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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."
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)

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