The Color Purple

The Color Purple

Book - 1992
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The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that tells the story of two sisters through their correspondence. With a new Preface by the author.
Publisher: New York : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, c1992.
Edition: Tenth anniversary edition, first edition
ISBN: 9780151191543
Branch Call Number: WALKER A
Characteristics: xii, 290 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.


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From Library Staff

"Two African American sisters, one a missionary in Africa and the other a child-wife living in the South, support each other through their correspondence, beginning in the 1920s." - Novelist

List - Polli Recommends
LPL_PolliK Sep 06, 2016

One of the first books that shook me to my core and turned something on inside of me that shines to this day.

"At the center of this triumphant story is Celie, who gradually overcomes her disadvantages and achieves a sense of self-worth. Ranging from the early 1900's to the 1940's, the novel consists almost entirely of letters, many written in Celie's limited but highly expressive dialect. "

From the critics

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Jun 15, 2021

I read this book to fulfil the goal read a book from your TBR list that you meant to read last year and didn't. It is on Listopia's 300 books everyone should read once goal that i have been working away at for several years now. I enjoyed it. It could trigger some people. It was a quick read. It's mostly letters that the two sister write back and forth to each other.

Apr 29, 2021

Two African-American sisters go in different directions: one to be a missionary and the other to life in the Deep South. Epistolary style. The correspondence is the meat of the book.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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Nov 28, 2020

pink_dolphin_2294 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Nov 11, 2018

ranvapa thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Jan 10, 2016

Davy_Anteater thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

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 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

Apr 22, 2011

Black_Dog_49 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


Add Notices
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.

Jun 07, 2008

Violence: This title contains Violence.


Add a Quote
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."


Add a Summary
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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