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The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple (original 1982; edition 2003)

by Alice Walker

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
15,911286231 (4.13)613
As a young, black woman living in 1930s Georgia, Celie faces constant violence and oppression. She survives the brutality of incest before being married off to "Mr.," who routinely abuses her both physically and emotionally. Eventually, Celie develops a deep bond with her husband's mistress Shug, and it is through this relationship that she understands she is a woman capable of being loved and respected.… (more)
Title:The Color Purple
Authors:Alice Walker
Info:Mariner Books (2003), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 300 pages
Collections:Lesbian/bi female/feminist fiction
Tags:Fiction, Women, Family, violence, Rape, Deep South, America, Race, Novel, 1980s

Work details

The Color Purple by Alice Walker (1982)

Recently added bymsrigglewrites, Burkha47, Arina40, dontgiveacrap, private library, Milla93, Emz88, smhunter85, ksoni1
Legacy LibrariesGillian Rose, Thomas C. Dent
1980s (49)
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» See also 613 mentions

English (274)  Swedish (2)  Italian (2)  Hungarian (1)  Vietnamese (1)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  German (1)  All languages (283)
Showing 1-5 of 274 (next | show all)
This book was excellent! The format of letters between sisters worked well to convey each of their stories (and the difference in education between them). The female characters, primary focus of the novel, are wonderful. Walker’s novel earns its praise. ( )
  meaqhan | Jul 26, 2020 |
I loved it so much and was a sobbing mess by the end of it. ( )
  AshleyVanessaGG | Jul 6, 2020 |
Wow. "The Color Purple" definitely holds up. I loved the movie when I saw it as a kid and I read the book for the first time in college. At the time I remember being shocked that it was a book. My professor at the time called Stephen Speilberg a coward for not depicting Shug and Ms. Celie's relationship on the screen the way the book did. I didn't get it at the time, but definitely did at the end of the book.

Walker does a great job of showing us Celie and her growing awareness of her own sexuality and how her acceptance or I guess her being forced to be subservient to Mr. drove a lot of things she said and did. When we get to Celie growing into her own and realizing that she doesn't have to stay in a life that she never wanted, it was glorious. Walker goes back and forth between Celie writing to "God" and then her sister Nettie. And then we get to read Nettie's letters to Celie.

Walker does a wonderful job of showing how black women were not only ground down by the patriarchal and racist society in America, but how they were ground down by other black women and men.

We get to see a lot of women portrayed in this book besides Shug, Ms. Celie, and Nettie. I loved the story-line following Squeak (Mary Agnes) as well as Sophia.

I also shook my head at how Walker showed the hypocrisy of those white people who are racist to your face, and those who consider themselves allies (like the young girl that Sophie raised) . Walker showing that many black men and black women in this book knew about their white relatives, i.e. many of them were sons and daughters of men who raped their mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and sisters. And we get the aftermath of a rape and the understanding that Ms. Celie was raped repeatedly as a child and that was something that everyone knew and just accepted.

This book is exceptional and it definitely speaks to me. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
Absolutely outstanding. I don't know why it took me so long to read this (in fact, I used the Audible version, so the book is still somewhere in my house!), but I am surely going to read it again, and this time the paper version.
Not an easy read for the sensitive souls, and the narration (Alice Walker) is incredible. Loved it, although it seems odd to use this expression for a story of abuse, betrayal and violence. ( )
  MissYowlYY | Jun 12, 2020 |
Few books express just how damaging and painful a life of ignorance and poverty can be, but this one comes close to taking the cake.

This is the purple of bruises.

So many people have read this and have their own opinions. I'm sure no one needs a rundown on the topic. It's about women, plain and simple. Black women, certainly, but women primarily. It's a topic close to my heart.

Reading this book induces a great depression in me. It made me physically ill and gave me a squirming headache and it made me sadder than almost any book has been able to do.

Do you know what's really bad? The way I reacted about the ending.

It had a happy ending. It had all these people's transformations come off without TOO much damage. People changed for the better. People were forgiven. People learned to live and love and respect one another.

My reaction, while happy with all this, was also one of complete disbelief.

A Hollywood Ending after ALL THAT CRAP? Where's the Hamlet ending? Where's the capstone to the utter injustice? Are you REALLY SAYING that the fellowship between women is all that really matters? That just because you stood up for yourself -- at last -- a magical happiness can be achieved?

Five stars for how this book gives me such a violent reaction. One star for making me so depressed. But I won't change my rating based on that. Readers need a bone of hope after going through a whole life of near misery. ( )
1 vote bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 274 (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

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