The Color Purple

The Color Purple

A Novel

Book - 1982 | First edition.
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Set in the period between the world wars, this novel tells of two sisters, their trials, and their survival.
Publisher: New York : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers, [1982]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©1982
ISBN: 9780151191536
0151191530
9780156028356
0156028352
9780156031820
0156031825
Characteristics: 245 pages ; 22 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

This classic is the story of Celie, a young woman forced into marriage with a cruel and abusive man. In order to cope, Celie begins writing letters to God, but it is through two strong and independent women that her life begins to change.

This classic is the story of Celie, a young woman forced into marriage with a cruel and abusive man. In order to cope, Celie begins writing letters to God, but it is through two strong and independent women that her life begins to change.

Sisters Celie and Nettie never give up hope of finding each other after being separated as children. Celie unwillingly marries an abusive man and bonds with several other women in the family while Nettie befriends the missionary couple who adopted Celie's two children.

1982. "Of the black feminist classics of the period, Walker’s garnered the most prestige and controversy. Set in 1930s rural Georgia, the story shows a black woman finding happiness beyond abusive black patriarchs, Southern poverty and racist whites. Steven Spielberg’s 1985 blockbuster adapt... Read More »

Pulitzer prize winner, 1983. Goodreads score 4.21


From the critics


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k
knighted
Mar 20, 2021

What a great read . I have been meaning to read this for a long time and finally did . The first half of the book is amazing . Characters and story is captivating , raw and quite disturbing at parts . Things went downhill on the other half of the book . When Nettie came back to story , there was such a change in tone and even characters that it took me out completely. I don’t know what happened . The change should have been slow and maybe would made sense. I also thought Nettie character was somewhat boring not in a good way. The sudden description of Africa was surprising , and it didn’t work for me.

p
patcarstensen
Feb 17, 2021

Probably as realistic a portrayal of Black life in Jim Crow South as Jane Eyre is accurate about being a Victorian governess. I picked up more details upon re-reading.

a
Alexandralk
Feb 01, 2021

such a time honored novel of the struggles of African American's in our country. Alice Walker has such a great way to reveal character depth in language, setting and dialogue. I love to reread or listen to this every couple of years.

p
pink_dolphin_2294
Nov 28, 2020

This is a pretty difficult book to read and contains a lot of really mature topics. From what I understood it was a great book but I’m definitely going to come back to it in a few years and read it again.

t
TeaFloyd
Sep 18, 2020

Like many, I watched the movie before I read the book. Most of the time, you'd expect the movie to do the book no justice. This is not the case for The Color Purple. I love how the movie was missing things from the book because it changed the how we saw the fictional story without altering the nonfictional elements.

a
andreabilyeu
Aug 11, 2020

Listening to Alice Walker read her own book was amazing.

JCLAdamH Jul 17, 2020

Review for the audiobook as read by Alice Walker:

I'm not sure of much in this life, but I am convinced that the absolute best way to experience this book is to have the author read it to you herself. A beautifully poignant story read with disarming honesty and soulful tenderness. Walker's voice is a gift to be treasured.

Manateestarz Apr 29, 2020

A beautifully written book that really does affirm the human spirit. It is the story of Celie's awakening from self-hatred and abuse to love and reaffirmation. Beautifully written using vernacular in a way that is masterful, clear and poetic. A must read for fans of Alice Walker and American Literature.

m
MEILEEANDERSON
Feb 15, 2020

At a bar, some people will slam a shot of liquor while others sip a cocktail. This is a sipping book. You read The Color Purple slowly and let the story unfold at its own pace. It would be a crime to rush through this one. Beautifully written. Alice Walker's writing style carried me to a different time and place. Though there the pages tell tales of rape, abuse, and powerful yearnings there is also lightness with the dark. The characters invite the reader on a journey of hurt, healing, injustice, struggle, and triumph.

BethE_KCMO Feb 06, 2019

One of my favorite books of all time. Great characters and story! I loved the strong female characters and the struggles they had to overcome.

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Age

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p
pink_dolphin_2294
Nov 28, 2020

pink_dolphin_2294 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

r
ranvapa
Nov 11, 2018

ranvapa thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

d
Davy_Anteater
Jan 10, 2016

Davy_Anteater thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

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Jian Feng Wang
Jan 04, 2014

Jian Feng Wang thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Nahnsu Jul 09, 2013

Nahnsu thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

YHAQUERINIOLA Apr 22, 2013

YHAQUERINIOLA thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 13

K_ROK Jan 25, 2013

K_ROK thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

EuSei Jun 03, 2011

EuSei thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

b
Black_Dog_49
Apr 22, 2011

Black_Dog_49 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Notices

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EuSei Jun 03, 2011

Violence: This title contains Violence.

EuSei Jun 03, 2011

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.

EuSei Jun 03, 2011

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

i
icerider
Jun 07, 2008

Violence: This title contains Violence.

Quotes

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JCLAdamH Jul 17, 2020

“I think us here to wonder, myself. To wonder. To ask. And that in wondering bout the big things and asking bout the big things, you learn about the little ones, almost by accident. But you never know nothing more about the big things than you start out with. The more I wonder, the more I love.”

britprincess1ajax Sep 25, 2016

"I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it."

britprincess1ajax Sep 25, 2016

"I hadn't realized I was so ignorant, Celie. The little I knew about my own self wouldn't have filled a thimble! And to think Miss Beasley always said I was the smartest child she ever taught! But one thing I do thank her for, for teaching me to learn for myself, by reading and studying and writing a clear hand. And for keeping alive in me somehow the desire to know."

britprincess1ajax Sep 25, 2016

"All my life I had to fight. I had to fight my daddy. I had to fight my brothers. I had to fight my cousins and my uncles. A girl child ain't safe in a family of men. But I never thought I'd have to fight in my own house."

Summary

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Nahnsu Jul 09, 2013

Celie, a fourteen year old black girl, lives with her dying mother and abusive father in the South. Her father rapes her, impregnating her twice, and then rids himself of the children after birth. She learns to obey men to the letter, to grow used to beatings, and has dropped out of school in order to do housework. However, her "cleverer" and "prettier" sister, Nettie, is allowed to continue her studies, and is lusted after by a Mr. Johnson, who is known to have a dark past with a woman named Shug Avery. However, Nettie declines the mans advances, and the father offers Celie instead. Nettie and Celie are separated for years, each making their own discoveries about love, god and bigotry.

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