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The Color Purple Paperback – May 28 2003

4.4 out of 5 stars 372 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; 1 edition (May 28 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156028352
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156028356
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.9 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 372 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Superb ... A work to stand beside literature of any time and place." -- San Francisco Chronicle

From the Back Cover

Banner] Now a Tony Award-Winning Broadway Musical The Color Purple is the story of two sistersone a missionary to Africa and the other a child wife living in the Southwho remain loyal to one another across time, distance, and silence. Beautifully imagined and deeply compassionate, this classic of American literature is rich with passion, pain, inspiration, and an indomitable love of life. "Intense emotional impact . . . Indelibly affecting . . . Alice Walker is a lavishly gifted writer."The New York Times Book Review "Places Walker in the company of Faulkner."The Nation "Superb . . . A work to stand beside literature of any time and place."San Francisco Chronicle "The Color Purple is an American novel of permanent importance."Newsweek "Marvelous characters . . . A story of revelation . . . One of the great books of our time."--Essence [banner] Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award [bio] Bestselling novelist Alice Walker is also the author of three collections of short stories, three collections of essays, six volumes of poetry and several children's books. Her books have been translated into more than two dozen languages. Born in Eatonton, Georgia, Walker now lives in northern California. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Likened to the books THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER and the bestseller BARK OF THE DOGWOOD, Walker's tour-de-force is a book (and movie) not to be missed. Built around the context of the heated time in American history when one man was not equal to another simply because of his race and no female was equal in any realm, THE COLOR PURPLE weaves a beautiful story of a African American woman.
Alice Walker breathes life into a young, poor, and ugly girl named Celie. Celie is an amazing character because while she has suffered more than most humans will in a life time, before she was twenty years old, she is not a victim. She is simply living her life, as she would live it any other way. She is simple yet complex, a deep character in a world of confusion.
The background and world that the story is told in reveals the time when whites ruled and blacks survived. The novel deals with racism at its core and prejudice as well, especially against women. This novel will never grow old, the story will always be fresh, because untill we have conquered racism, prejudice, and social injustice and created a world where all are free, black and white, male and female, there is a urgent need for this novel. It is as contemporary as when it was written and the message of this outstanding work is still as needed as always. This is something all of us, especially women, should take a look at. THE COLOR PURPLE will stand out as one of the top ten books of the last century.
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By Mys M TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 8 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Whatever else The Color Purple has been taken for during the years since its publication, it remains for me the theological work examining the journey from the religious back to the spiritual that I spent much of my adult life, prior to writing it, seeking to avoid."

So begins the preface by Alice Walker. It is indeed a most interesting theological journey on which Ms. Walker takes her protagonist, Celie, as she begins writing to God at age 14. Set in Georgia in the 1930s, Celie is the eldest child in a poor black family, her mammy is ill, and her father begins sexually abusing her. By the 2nd letter, her mammy is dead, and she is pregnant. This is not a pretty story but it is a thoroughly intriguing one; a story about courage and strength, relationships and estrangements, family and not family. It is the story about a connection so strong it can survive torment and hatred, distance and death. It is the story of coming to grips with who God may be and how He connects with people.

This whole story is told through letters. In the beginning, Celie writes about her life to God, partly to practice her writing since her father won't let her go to school any more as she is with child. She does her best to protect her younger sister, Nettie, from her father but when Mr. ______ , comes courting Nettie, her father refuses to let him have her; he insists Mr. ______ take Celie instead. She has borne 2 children, a boy and a girl, and both of them have disappeared. Mr. ______ treats Celie no better than her father did -- he beats her, plus she has all his children from his first wife to take care of, as well as the work in the fields to do. When Nettie tries to escape her father by coming to Celie, Mr.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Our book club has recently taken up the "Southern literature" theme. The first book we read with this idea in mind was Lee's TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. It was a natural and started the ball rolling. We next tackled Jackson McCrae's BARK OF THE DOGWOOD (the paperback version, which just came out) with its funny scenes and jaw-dropping themes. So, I supposed that THE COLOR PURPLE was our next logical choice. We loved the previous two and we loved PURPLE. PURPLE is a great book that describes the life of black women who were forced to do things against their own will. Discrimination was a big problem during the time that this book takes place. Women had no rights and black people were treated like slaves. The book opens up with a fourteen-year old girl named Celie talking about how she was raped by her own father and had two children that were taken away from her by her own father right after they were born. If I were in Celie's place I would've ran away from home or I would've done anything to stop by father from raping me. I think that rape is the worst thing that could happen to a girl and in this book rape is something that almost every women went through. Abuse and racism were also a major impact in this book. Many of the women in this book were raped or beaten by the men of the house. For example, Celie was raped not only by her father but also by the man that she was given away to. She was also forced to cook for him, clean the house, and take care of his children. Sofia was beaten by her husband, Harpo, but she soon got tired of it and decided to leave him. Most women couldn't even work just because they were females and others were treated like slaves just because they were black. Sofia was a brave black woman in this book who didn't let anyone tell her what to do.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
The Color Purple is an amazing book to read. It was very rewarding for me to read because it opened my eyes to a new way of thinking about life, love, and religion. Alice Walker is able to capture the feelings of each character and their reactions to life, especially Celie. Celie is a poor, black girl who lives in the south and struggles throughout life. I felt some strong aspects of this book were the plot, the writing style, and the Characters.

In my opinion, the plot of the story is well done because you feel the anger that Celie is going through. The story begins very abruptly with all the struggles Celie is faced with, like the abuse by her father and the death of her mother. The story begins with her father saying, "You better not tell nobody but God. It'd kill you mammy." (pg 1. line 1). She is also forced to marry a man she hates and she is very angry with her life, until her husband's lover, Shug Avery, comes to live with them, then things begin to change. Shug teaches Celie how to love and how to speak for herself. I love the way Shug and Celie's relationship develops throughout the book. They grow to love each other and care for each. This allows Celie to feel more respected.
The book is written in a letter formation. The book starts out with Celie writing to God and then she begins to converse with her sister, Nettie. When Celie was talking to God, she was in need of someone to talk to. Then she talked to Nettie about her life and what is happening in it. I love the letter formation because it allows the reader to get a bigger perspective of the characters and a wider view of the story. When Celie is writing to God you can really understand how she is feeling and what she is thinking. You get to see the characters through their eyes and not someone else's eyes.
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