- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (May 22, 1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0151191549
- ISBN-13: 978-0151191543
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1,304 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Color Purple: Tenth Anniversary Editon 1st Edition
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Novel by Alice Walker, published in 1982. It won a Pulitzer Prize in 1983. A feminist novel about an abused and uneducated black woman's struggle for empowerment, the novel was praised for the depth of its female characters and for its eloquent use of black English vernacular. -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature
From the Back Cover
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
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.
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Top customer reviews
Most of us agreed that the language is tough and off-putting for the first few letters, but you both get used to the odd spellings and grammar and also the writing gets better at Celie writes more. After eight or ten letters, it all seems pretty normal.
The violence and cruelty is also tough and off-putting in the first part of the book but again, it gets less violent and you get used to it (what a horrifying thought!) as the novel continues.
The words that readers used to describe the events and language in the novel are "epic," "biblical," "powerful," and finally "beautiful."
The story seems huge and the family tree is complicated with parents, step-parents, unacknowledged parents, forced marriages, lovers and mistresses, as well as two dead unnamed mothers. But the major characters are clearly defined and change during the novel and, unlike many novels, the changes are clearly explained and well motivated by events in the novel.
Celie is so desperate to be loved that she loves everyone else without thinking of herself. The men are largely evil (this is probably a valid criticism of the novel) who are forced to learn and change by the strong and far more admirable women who shape them.
We enjoyed discussing butch and femme women (as well as the stupidly masculine men as compared to the loving and generous men), the open lesbianism, and the alternate Christian theology presented largely by the openly sexual Shug.
I thought that the African letters from Nettie were a bit dry and anthropological compared to Celie's personal and emotive letters. And a few of the readers thought that the ending was perhaps too happy with everyone turning out to be a better, more evolved character.
But these are quibbles compared to the well-drawn characters, the wide scope, the emotional fulfillment, and the positive changes that most of the characters undergo.