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The Color Purple

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Author: Alice Walker

Published: April 1st 2004 by Pocket (first published 1982)

Format: Paperback , 295 pages

Isbn: 9780671727796

Language: English


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The Color Purple is a classic. With over a million copies sold in the UK alone, it is hailed as one of the all-time 'greats' of literature, inspiring generations of readers. Set in the deep American South between the wars, it is the tale of Celie, a young black girl born into poverty and segregation. Raped repeatedly by the man she calls 'father', she has two children taken The Color Purple is a classic. With over a million copies sold in the UK alone, it is hailed as one of the all-time 'greats' of literature, inspiring generations of readers. Set in the deep American South between the wars, it is the tale of Celie, a young black girl born into poverty and segregation. Raped repeatedly by the man she calls 'father', she has two children taken away from her, is separated from her beloved sister Nettie and is trapped into an ugly marriage. But then she meets the glamorous Shug Avery, singer and magic-maker - a woman who has taken charge of her own destiny. Gradually, Celie discovers the power and joy of her own spirit, freeing her from her past and reuniting her with those she loves.

30 review for The Color Purple

  1. 5 out of 5

    Samadrita

    I give this book 5 stars to spite the myopic David Gilmours and the V.S. Naipauls of the world who think books written by women are irrelevant. I give this 5 stars to make up for the many 1/2/3 star ratings it may receive simply because of Alice Walker's forthright, honest portrayal of unpleasant truths that are often conveniently shoved under the carpet so as not to disturb the carefully preserved but brittle structure of dogma and century-old misconceptions. And I award this 5 stars, symbolica I give this book 5 stars to spite the myopic David Gilmours and the V.S. Naipauls of the world who think books written by women are irrelevant. I give this 5 stars to make up for the many 1/2/3 star ratings it may receive simply because of Alice Walker's forthright, honest portrayal of unpleasant truths that are often conveniently shoved under the carpet so as not to disturb the carefully preserved but brittle structure of dogma and century-old misconceptions. And I award this 5 stars, symbolically on Banned Books Week as an apology for all the cowardly sentiments of the ones who misuse their power by banning books, thereby shutting out many powerful voices which demand and need to be heard. In my eyes, an author's merit lies not only in their sense of aesthetic beauty, but also in the scope and reach of their worldviews which must reflect in their craft. Alice Walker's is the voice of one such African American writer that recounts a story which not only breaches the boundaries of an issue like emancipation of women but tries to detect a common pattern in problems plaguing civilizations across continents. She gives us one horrifying glimpse after another into the lives of women ravaged by unspeakable brutalities like rape and abuse, lives searching for meaning and connection and seeking out that elusive ray of hope amidst the darkness of despair. And by the end of the narrative, she brings to light with great sensitivity, that misogyny, sexism and blind patriarchal prejudices are as rampantly in vogue in the urban, upscale sphere of American cities as they are in the intractable, untameable African landscapes. Celie and Nettie. Shug Avery, Sofia and Mary Agnes. Tashi and Olivia. All these are but different names and many facets of the same disturbing reality. If the lives of Celie and Nettie are torn apart by sexual abuse and humiliation from childhood, then Tashi and other unnamed young African girls of the Olinka tribe are victims of genital mutilation and other forms of psychological and physical torture. If the men of African American families dehumanize the female members to the point of treating them as mere care-givers and sex slaves, then the objectification of African women by the men of their families is no less appalling. And contrary to accepted beliefs, white families in America are just as easily susceptible to misogyny as the African American families are. But Alice Walker doesn't only stop at opening our eyes to the uncivilized aspects of our so-called civilized world, but also shows us how knowledge of the world and people at large, self-awareness and education can help exorcize such social evils, how it is never too late to gain a fresh perspective, start anew and how empowerment of women eventually empowers society. Dear David Gilmour, if I were a professor of English literature I'd have taught Alice Walker to my students without a shred of hesitation, because here's an author who may not possess the trademark sophistication of Virginia Woolf's lyrical prose but who, nonetheless, fearlessly broaches subjects many masters and mistresses of the craft may balk at dealing with. Alice Walker: 5 | David Gilmour: 0

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rowena

    I read The Colour Purple in my early teens, was traumatized by the graphic abuse portrayed, and vowed to never read it again. I was curious about why so many of my GR friends rated it so highly and was eventually convinced to give it another go. Years after my first read, I still (of course) have the same visceral reaction to the abuse but that no longer blinds me from seeing the magnificence of Alice Walker’s storytelling, and how she brings her characters to life. Celie is the protagonist of the I read The Colour Purple in my early teens, was traumatized by the graphic abuse portrayed, and vowed to never read it again. I was curious about why so many of my GR friends rated it so highly and was eventually convinced to give it another go. Years after my first read, I still (of course) have the same visceral reaction to the abuse but that no longer blinds me from seeing the magnificence of Alice Walker’s storytelling, and how she brings her characters to life. Celie is the protagonist of the tale. Her story is told through a series of letters written firstly to God, and then to her sister Nettie. As an abused, uneducated woman (abused by her father, husband, and step-children) who was only ever shown love by Nettie, the letters are very telling, and are the only means Celie has of expressing her feelings. I adored Celie. It really amazed me how a woman who was abused so much (sexually, physically, verbally) could still have so much love in her heart, and not be bitter. Imagine hearing things like this regularly: (Husband to Celie) – “Who you think you is? You can’t curse nobody. Look at you. You black, you pore, you ugly, you a woman. Goddam, he say, you nothing at all.” But Celie is something, and one of my favourite parts of this book is the sisterhood portrayed, especially by the enigmatic Shug, who helped Celie on her journey to self-realization. The book has strong female characters, which is another plus. I’m so glad I gave this book a second chance. Celie is a wonderful character and proof of the resilience of the human spirit. “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.”

  3. 5 out of 5

    Educating Drew

    Wow. I mean. Really. Wow. You know how there are some books and their words wrap around you like a comforting blanket? Well... This. Is. Not. One. The Color Purple rips the clothes right off of your skin, leaving you bare and vulnerable. From the first freakin' moment opening the page. You are just THERE and you can't be anywhere else but THERE. Even when you're not. Wow. Have you seen the movie? I had. I thought I was prepared. Because the movie was devastating. I remember vividly being in the house Wow. I mean. Really. Wow. You know how there are some books and their words wrap around you like a comforting blanket? Well... This. Is. Not. One. The Color Purple rips the clothes right off of your skin, leaving you bare and vulnerable. From the first freakin' moment opening the page. You are just THERE and you can't be anywhere else but THERE. Even when you're not. Wow. Have you seen the movie? I had. I thought I was prepared. Because the movie was devastating. I remember vividly being in the house that me and a couple of college friends rented, sitting there in the dark, all of us sitting on our furniture, chain smoking, drinking wine and crying. The movie didn't prepare me. Walker's words are music. Sometimes a sweet melody, but mostly a cacophony of pain and sorrow. Oh and how the characters change and grow with time, how they eventually find peace. And the dichotomy of the South and Africa? It makes me yearn to find pieces of literature that can show me the mysteries of that continent. I am incoherent and refuse to speak of the summary. It's The Color Purple! It doesn't need a summary. It is alive. It is life.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    "Who you think you is? he say. You can't curse nobody. Look at you. You black, you pore, you ugly, you a woman. Goddam, he say, you nothing at all." And yet, she is one of the strongest characters I have ever met in literature. Long before women began speaking up about their different experiences in the #metoo movement, Alice Walker's Celie and her sisters resist the violence and power of the men around them and go on living through the pain and frustration, only to find life worth fighting for "Who you think you is? he say. You can't curse nobody. Look at you. You black, you pore, you ugly, you a woman. Goddam, he say, you nothing at all." And yet, she is one of the strongest characters I have ever met in literature. Long before women began speaking up about their different experiences in the #metoo movement, Alice Walker's Celie and her sisters resist the violence and power of the men around them and go on living through the pain and frustration, only to find life worth fighting for in the end. Rarely these days do I finish a book within one sitting, but this novel was impossible to put down. In a voice genuinely her own, Celie begins to tell her story of rape, loss, and forced marriage. Her loneliness is so painful that she can't even think of a recipient for her letters - except for God, which she imagines to be an older, white man, the very symbol of patriarchal power. Wherever her life takes her, she is surrounded by men who are taught from the cradle to mistreat and look down on women in order to establish their own fragile egos. While they claim to be the stronger sex, they leave it to their mothers, sisters, daughters and wives to make a living, to work for food and shelter and education. Celie's world - based on submission - changes when she encounters two women who refuse to bow their heads, who fight for their right to individual pride and happiness. In Shug, her lover, and Sofia, her neighbour, she sees the true colour of female power: the purple of queens! A mix of the passionately hot blood-red colour of happiness and the deeply painful and dark blue, purple is the essence of nature, the expression of the divine principle of life beyond the Christian God of the bible who is mainly catering to the white male authority that makes women suffer. The day Celie discovers that her long lost sister is still alive, she can finally drop the patriarchal god figure as a recipient of her letters (written to reflect on the painful expeirence of her life) and share her thoughts with somebody she loves truly and unconditionally. "Dear Nettie" - a moment of triumph caught in writing! Life is not only red happiness or blue sadness, it is purple! Therefore Celie's lover Shug is convinced that "God is pissed" whenever someone ignores the beauty of the colour purple in nature whereas he is completely absent from church. Finding spiritual support within the loving human heart is at the centre of this powerful hymn to women across the world, and while telling the story of Nettie and Celie, of Sofia and Shug, it approaches the difficult political topics of misogyny, repressed sexuality, colonialism, missionary endeavours, racism, domestic violence and poverty. Rarely have I felt a colour expressing itself so strongly in emotions! Despite the terrible circumstances of life in the Deep South in the 1930s and 1940s, it is a book about the joy of living. Confronted with the hatred of the man she is about to leave to embark on her first attempt at independent life, Celie answers: "I am pore, I'm black, I may be ugly and can't cook, a voice say to everything listening. But I'm here." And the message Alice Walker sends out to people across the world is a positive one: men and women can define their own roles, they can develop and learn and change for the better. Gender roles are not static, and there are moments of peace and friendship for anyone who dares to move out of the pattern of dominance that destroys the freedom of choice for both men and women. Recommended to the world, over and over!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    Before I get into this review I should let you know that the ONLY thing I knew about The Color Purple is that it was a movie in the 80s. I knew nothing about the plot or subject matter – except for a few impressions of seeing Oprah and Whoopi in promotional stills or videos over the years. Also, I try to avoid reading book summaries unless absolutely necessary as I feel they often give too much away. I felt it was important to say this because as I have posted statuses and comments while I was r Before I get into this review I should let you know that the ONLY thing I knew about The Color Purple is that it was a movie in the 80s. I knew nothing about the plot or subject matter – except for a few impressions of seeing Oprah and Whoopi in promotional stills or videos over the years. Also, I try to avoid reading book summaries unless absolutely necessary as I feel they often give too much away. I felt it was important to say this because as I have posted statuses and comments while I was reading it, I felt like there was some shock that I didn’t know more about it already. So, now, how I was going into this book is all out on the table! With that being said, this book was 100% not what I was expecting. This is not a good thing or a bad thing. It is just if you asked me to give a one paragraph description of what I was going to be reading about, I would have written down nothing nowhere hear this. I probably would have said something like “ex-slaves trying to survive in the post-Civil War South”. Well . . . spoiler . . . that is not what it is about. I will next mention a phrase that kept going through my head as I was trying to prepare to write my review. I kept saying to myself that “I am not sure I can, should, or have any right to write a review of this book”. It is a powerful and raw story about subject matter that is important and that I don’t really know a whole lot about. Because of that, I cannot say for sure how I can possibly do a review justice. I decided that while I will do this review, it is important to remember that this book transcends any possible viewpoint I have of it. One thing that I came out of this book surprised about is that it is more about women, women’s rights, and female relationships than it is about race. Don’t get me wrong, race is an important element, but the way that the men view and treat women and the way the women look at and treat themselves is the crux of this story. As mentioned above, this book is raw – not too extreme – but raw enough to warn readers that some of the subject matter is difficult and it may stir up strong emotions, especially if you are a woman. While I found the book to be powerful and important, I am going with 4 stars because I struggled at times with the writing. I admit that this is just my preference and is all on me. Some of you may love the way it is written, but I found that it was the reason I found myself taking long breaks from the book. This book is important to read for any person trying to make sure they hit all the classics. Also, people with an interest in historical fiction and women’s studies would benefit a lot from this story.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michael Finocchiaro

    The Color Purple is an absolute masterpiece about love and redemption. Shug, Celie, Sofia, and Nellie are some of the strongest women characters in American fiction. I am literally writing this with tears streaming down my cheeks. There is so much to unpack here as Alice Walker deals holistically with the fate of African Americans from the perspective of Africa and the tribes who sold their kinsman to white slavers, the devastation of Africa by European colonizers particularly after WWI leading t The Color Purple is an absolute masterpiece about love and redemption. Shug, Celie, Sofia, and Nellie are some of the strongest women characters in American fiction. I am literally writing this with tears streaming down my cheeks. There is so much to unpack here as Alice Walker deals holistically with the fate of African Americans from the perspective of Africa and the tribes who sold their kinsman to white slavers, the devastation of Africa by European colonizers particularly after WWI leading to WWII, the violence of in the South particularly aimed towards women, female sexuality...There is an infinite depth in this book that can reveal itself more and more with each successive read. The first half of the story is told through letters to God by Celia who is married, against her will, to Mr. ____. We learn that his first name is Albert, but we never learn his last name. Perhaps, this anonymity is symbolic of the widespread rape and spousal abuse in impoverished communities - and yet we also see that in the white mayor's family, through her sister-in-law Sofia's eyes is no more sane and no less violent. Celia was raped by her stepfather and bore two children that subsequently disappeared. Her sister refuses Mr. ____ in marriage and leaves and thus Celia is given to him. Sex for her is a burden and a torture without end: You know the worst part? she say. The worst part is I don't think he notice. He git up there and enjoy himself just the same. No matter what I'm thinking. No matter what I feel. It just him. Heartfeeling don't seem to enter into it. She snort. The fact he can do it like that make me want to kill him. (p. 65). In fact, Albert loves the singer Shug who, ailing, comes to their house (and incidentally name drops legendary blues singer Bessie Smith as a friend - thus dating the story to the 30s). As Celie nurses Shug back to health,the two women develop a deep, lasting love for each other that is both physical and spiritual and the first love that Celia has ever felt from another person: She say my name again. She say this song I'm bout to sing is call Miss Celie's song. Cause she scratched it out of my head when I was sick...First time somebody made something and name it after me. (p. 73) This is one of the first moments where having a box of Kleenex handy is not a luxury. Through Shug, Celie learns about her body and that she can have pleasure via her breasts and her sex (p. 78). The book has many characters that transform completely during the book. Mr. ____ for example, will be cursed by Celie when she leaves (finally), but he will change completely into a tender-hearted and remorseful man who accepts his wife's sexuality such as it is and she in turn is able to forgive him. In fact, at the end of the book, there is a beautiful reunion which is somewhat prefigured back on p. 57: "First time I think about the world. What the world got to do with anything, I think. Then I see myself sitting there quilting tween Shug Avery and Mr. ____. Us three together gainst Tobias and his fly speck box of chocolate. For the first time in my life, I feel just right. She and Shug have a spiritual transformation as well, evolving from the white-borrowed religion of a white God which has born no good for Celie: Yeah, I say, and he give me a lynched daddy, a crazy mama, a lowdown dog of a step pa and a sister I probably won't ever see again. Anyhow, I say, the God I been praying and writing to is a man. And act just like all the other mens I know. Trifling, forgitful, and lowdown. (p. 192). Shug expresses her beliefs this: The thing I believe. God is inside you and inside everybody else. You come into the world with God. But only them that search for it inside find it. And sometimes it just manifest itself even if you not looking, or don't know what you looking for. Trouble do it for most folks, I think. Sorrow, lord. Feeling like shit. It? I ast. Yeah, It. God ain't a he or a she, but a It. (p. 195). The next two pages are a beautiful eloge to this form or Emersonian deism, a powerful arugment for a more personal and less judgmental religion. Yes, Celie, she say. Everything want to be loved. Us sing and dance, make faces and give flower bouquets, trying to be loved. You ever notice that trees to everything to git attention that we do, except walk?" (p. 196) I was touched by this ecological message that reminded me of the comments on this that I made in my reviews of The Overstory and The Lord of the Rings. From this point on, she addresses her letters directly to Nellie... The letters written back to Celie from her sister Nellie are hidden for years by a pre-repentant Mr.____. In this letters, we learn of Nettie's voyage to Africa as a missionary. Nellie also has a spiritual transformation as she sees European Christianity's utter disregard for villagers and their traditions with the complete destruction and near elimination of the Olinka culture that she traveled to Africa to help. There is just so much depth in this masterpiece, that I will stop my review here and just urge you, beg you to read this book if you have never done so. It is a rare, raw look at humanity and suffering but with a powerful, compelling message of redemption and hope.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥

    ”You got to fight. But I don’t know how to fight. All I know how to do is stay alive.” When I think about “The Color Purple” the first few words that pop into my mind are: classic, banned and touchy subjects. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone with that. I mean it’s a book every reader heard about. Some of us had to read it in school, others saw the movie, and still others only knew that it’s one of those highly controversial books. I belonged to the latter category and even though I read a few review ”You got to fight. But I don’t know how to fight. All I know how to do is stay alive.” When I think about “The Color Purple” the first few words that pop into my mind are: classic, banned and touchy subjects. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone with that. I mean it’s a book every reader heard about. Some of us had to read it in school, others saw the movie, and still others only knew that it’s one of those highly controversial books. I belonged to the latter category and even though I read a few reviews about it, I definitely wasn’t prepared for what I was about to read. ”I feel like something pushing me forward. If I don’t watch out I’ll have hold of her hand, tasting her fingers in my mouth.” This book surprised me, but not in the way I thought it would. I expected abuse in a man’s world, the suppression of women and yes, even rape because my bestie warned me about that one a few years ago. What everyone forgot to mention was that this is also a story about strong women and two sisters that write each other for years. One of them is living with a violent husband and the other lives in a colony in Africa and deals with completely different problems than her sister overseas. To follow their lives was very intriguing and I enjoyed Nettie’s letters from Africa a lot. It was interesting to read how she lived and how the native people dealt with the missionaries that came to them. ”Who you think you is? he say. You can’t curse nobody. Look at you. You black, you pore, you ugly, you a woman. Goddam, he say, you nothing at all.” Celie however had to deal with an entirely different set of problems though, and I can’t say how much I despised Mr. for his behaviour! He’s your typical run-of-the-mill obnoxious and violent husband and I just couldn’t deal with him. If I’d have been Celie I would have left him as soon as possible. But where to go if you’re a penniless woman without any family ties? Well, Celie certainly found her own way to deal with him and I’m very proud of her for standing up to him. It took time and courage but she eventually managed to do it. =) What load of bricks fell on you? I ast. No bricks, he say. Just experience. You know, everybody bound to git some of that sooner or later. All they have to do is stay alive. And I start to git mine real heavy long about the time I told Shug it was true that I beat you cause you was you and not her.” A very important part of this book which was never mentioned in any of the reviews I read is the fact that there is a f/f relationship in “The Color Purple”. Yes, you read right: A f/f relationship between a lesbian and a bisexual woman! (At least I got the impression it’s a lesbian/bi relationship) Which aside from the violence and abuse is probably one of the main reasons this book is banned in so many countries and schools. In my opinion Walker made sure never to explicitly touch the subject but from the little you see, you can glean that they are in love with each other and have a sexual relationship. I know some people claim that there is graphic sexual content but either I read too much smut in my life (pretty likely! *lol*) or I have a different concept of graphic than the average person. (also very likely due to all of the smut! ;-P) ”He love looking at Shug. I love looking at Shug. But Shug don’t love looking at but one of us. Him. But that the way it spose to be. I know that. But if that so, why my heart hurt me so?” If this would have been a modern book I would have been very unhappy with the bisexual rep, but since it’s an old one I decided to take it the way it is. No need to rant about it when I know that people had a completely different outlook on bisexuality back then. >_< Let’s just say I didn’t like that the bi character was represented as a rogue that only thinks with her loins. *lol* Conclusion: “The Color Purple” addresses a lot of sensitive issues and considering in which time it was written this was a pretty bold move. Walker doesn’t shy away from bringing up difficult topics though and instead decided to introduce us into the life of a huge family that works in its own way. It’s complex, it’s multi-layered and at times it’s tough to read, but if that’s your jam I can totally recommend this book to you. ;-) ”I believe God is everything, say Shug. Everything that is or ever was or ever will be. And when you can feel that, and be happy to feel that, you’ve found It.” ____________________________________ I’m not entirely sure if it’s a good idea to read “The Color Purple” while reading “The Poppy War” as well, but I put them both on my book list 2019 and will have to return the latter one to the library soon. So I guess if it gets too heavy I’ll just have to read a very fluffy and comfortable book in between. XD *eyes Carry On and Harry Potter* (Yes, I actually dare to mention them both in one sentence *lol* ;-P) I know this book will address a lot of sensitive issues so I’m sort of prepared. Well, at least as good as you can prepare yourself for classics like this one… All I know is that I was destroyed after reading “The Kite Runner”. Let’s hope the same won’t happen with “The Color Purple”. >_<

  8. 5 out of 5

    Raeleen Lemay

    Done my second book for #booktubeathon!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The Color Purple, Alice Walker The Color Purple is a 1982 epistolary novel, by American author Alice Walker, which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize, for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. It was later adapted into a film and musical of the same name. Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on the life of African-American women, in the Southern United States, in the 1930s, addressing numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture. Celie The Color Purple, Alice Walker The Color Purple is a 1982 epistolary novel, by American author Alice Walker, which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize, for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. It was later adapted into a film and musical of the same name. Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on the life of African-American women, in the Southern United States, in the 1930s, addressing numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture. Celie is a poor, uneducated 14-year-old girl, living in the American South in the early 1900s. She writes letters to God, because her stepfather, Alphonso, beats her harshly and rapes her continuously. Alphonso has already impregnated Celie once, a pregnancy that resulted in the birth of a boy she named Adam. Alphonso takes the baby away shortly after his birth. Celie has a second child, a girl she named Olivia whom Alphonso also abducts. Celie's ailing mother dies after cursing Celie on her deathbed. Celie and her younger sister, 12-year-old Nettie, learn that a man identified only as Mister wants to marry Nettie. Alphonso refuses to let Nettie marry, instead arranging for Mister to marry Celie. Mister, needing someone to care for his children and keep his house, eventually accepts the offer. Mister and his children, whose mother was murdered by a jealous lover, all treat Celie badly. However, she eventually gets Mister's squalid living conditions and incorrigible children under control. Shortly thereafter, Nettie runs away from Alphonso and takes refuge at Celie's house, where Mister makes sexual advances toward her. Celie then advises Nettie to seek assistance from a well-dressed black woman that she had seen in the general store a while back; the woman had unknowingly adopted Celie's daughter and was the only black woman that Celie had ever seen with money of her own. Nettie is forced to leave after promising to write. Celie, however, never receives any letters and concludes that her sister is dead. Shortly thereafter, Nettie runs away from Alphonso and takes refuge at Celie's house, where Mister makes sexual advances toward her. Celie then advises Nettie to seek assistance from a well-dressed black woman that she had seen in the general store a while back; the woman had unknowingly adopted Celie's daughter and was the only black woman that Celie had ever seen with money of her own. Nettie is forced to leave after promising to write. Celie, however, never receives any letters and concludes that her sister is dead. ... تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و یکم ماه نوامبر سال 2010 میلادی عنوان: به رنگ ارغوان؛ نویسنده: آلیس واکر؛ مترجم: امیرحسین مهدیزاده؛ تهران، نشر نی، 1388، در 306 ص؛ شابک: 9789641851288؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی - سده 20 م این نویسنده میگوید: جهالت بزرگترین دشمن ماست. وی میافزاید: فکر میکنم «رنگ بنفش» با عشق در ارتباط است، ما نیاز به ارتباط داریم خلاصه داستان: «سِلی جکسن»، دختر نوجوان سیاه‌پوستی است، که پدرش فرزندان او را به خانواده «ساموئل‌»ها می‌فروشد. خود او را نیز به «آلبرت‌ جانسن گلاور»، مرد سیاه‌پوست بیوه‌ ای واگذار می‌کنند، که در پی خواهرِ «سلی»، «نتی (بوسیا)» بوده است. او با وجود آزار و اذیت مدام «آلبرت» و فرزندانش، سعی می‌کند همسر مطیعی باشد. «نتی» از خانه ی پدر فرار می‌کند، و نزد «سلی» می‌آید. اما «آلبرت» او را بیرون می‌کند. «نتی» قول می‌دهد، برای «سلی» نامه بنویسد، ولی هیچ‌گاه نامه‌ ای به دستش نمی‌رسد. ه«ارپو (پو)»، پسر «آلبرت»، برخلاف رأی پدر، با دختری چاق و سرکش، به‌ نام «سوفیا (وینفری)» ازدواج می‌کند، و وقتی «هارپو» بنا به توصیه ی پدر، او را کتک می‌زند، در مقابلش می‌ایستد. «هارپو» همچنان به زورگوئی‌های خویش ادامه می‌دهد، تا اینکه «سوفیا» او را ترک می‌کند، و بچه‌ هایش را هم با خود می‌برد. در همین حین «شاگ ایوری» خواننده و محبوبه ی «آلبرت»، برای دیدن آنان می‌آید. «هارپو» خانه‌ اش را به کافه تبدیل می‌کند، و «شاگ» نیز در آنجا برنامه اجرا می‌کند. «سوفیا» با محبوب جدیدش، «باستر (تیلیس)» باز می‌گردد، و کافه را به هم می‌ریزد. «شاگ» به «سلی (گلدبرگ)» می‌قبولاند، که آن‌طور هم که فکر می‌کرده، زشت نیست، و عشق و محبت بین زنان را به او می‌آموزد. اما خودش مجبور می‌شود به خاطر پدرش که واعظ محلی آنجاست، کافه را ترک کند، و به ممفیس برود. «سوفیا» نیز به خاطر جواب رد دادن به یک زن سفیدپوست، که از او می‌خواهد خدمتکارش باشد، به زندان می‌افتد. «سوفیا»ی درمانده، مجبور می‌شود در خانه ی یک زن سفیدپوست، خدمتکاری کند. «شاگ» با همسر جدیدش، «گریدی (گیلوری)» بازمی‌گردد و پی می‌برد که «آلبرت» در تمام این سال‌ها، نامه‌ هائی را که «نتی» برای «سلی» فرستاده، پنهان کرده است. «نتی» در نامه‌ ها نوشته که همراه با «ساموئل‌ها»، و فرزندان «سلی»، «آدام» و «آلیویا»، به‌عنوان مبلّغ مذهبی، در آفریقا زندگی می‌کند. «سلی» به ممفیس می‌رود. «آلبرتِ» پیر و تنها، به رابطه ی «سوفیا» و «هارپو» حسادت می‌کند. «سلی» که خانه ی مادریش را (از مردی که فکر می‌کرد پدرش است در حالی که ناپدری‌ اش بوده) به ارث برده، تبدیل به فروشگاه لباس می‌کند. ا. شربیانی

  10. 4 out of 5

    Fabian

    In awe of the magnificent depths within "The Color Purple." Would rather debunk Great American Novel contenders such as Great Gatsby, On the Road, or Huckleberry Finn with this Definitive American classic novel. The steel-strong bonds of family, the global importance of friendship, and the ever-mystical soul-defining actions of sisterhood are all immortal themes that are drawn in lush exquisite, sometimes brutal, hues (the purple of a field of violets, the purple of a deepening bruise). In terms In awe of the magnificent depths within "The Color Purple." Would rather debunk Great American Novel contenders such as Great Gatsby, On the Road, or Huckleberry Finn with this Definitive American classic novel. The steel-strong bonds of family, the global importance of friendship, and the ever-mystical soul-defining actions of sisterhood are all immortal themes that are drawn in lush exquisite, sometimes brutal, hues (the purple of a field of violets, the purple of a deepening bruise). In terms of the epistolary novel (my personal faves include "Dracula" & "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" ...& now this one), the frailty of letters and the lost art of letter writing carry implicit feelings. They ground the novel, and, contradiction, make it an ethereal work of art. The writer is a true magician that even out-Faulkners Faulkner in her book filled with light and grace. P.S. the film tries its damn hardest to keep up with Walker's unique characters and their respective vernacular. For me, the line uttered by Adam at the end of the movie ("I want to know you, mama.") never fails to make me bawl.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kai

    “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.” 4.5/5 stars The colour purple was devastating from page one. I started reading this without knowing much about it. I knew it had a POC main character, heard that it was about women's rights and about abuse. I heard it was a great book. But I still did not expect this. The main character's life is miserable. I still don't understand how she made it through to a certain point, because if it were me i “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.” 4.5/5 stars The colour purple was devastating from page one. I started reading this without knowing much about it. I knew it had a POC main character, heard that it was about women's rights and about abuse. I heard it was a great book. But I still did not expect this. The main character's life is miserable. I still don't understand how she made it through to a certain point, because if it were me in her skin, I probably wouldn't have been able to stay in that skin for long. It was not an easy book, neither plot nor writing were exactly motivating. But I found so much hope in the first, and even happiness in the last chapters, that I just came to love it. Find more of my books on Instagram

  12. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    A Masterpiece! “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.” ― Alice Walker, The Color Purple From the time I first read this book (I have read this many times), it has been a favorite. Walker has brought to life the story of two sisters: one a missionary in Africa and one a young abuse wife living in the south. Even though there is distance between them, there is great love, great devotion and great compassion. This book spans years as we se A Masterpiece! “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.” ― Alice Walker, The Color Purple From the time I first read this book (I have read this many times), it has been a favorite. Walker has brought to life the story of two sisters: one a missionary in Africa and one a young abuse wife living in the south. Even though there is distance between them, there is great love, great devotion and great compassion. This book spans years as we see their lives. Celie writes letters to God and her sister. She has been abused most of her life. First by her very father who abused and raped her and gave away her/their babies. Then she is given to a man who who abuses her. This is not an easy book to read. It is sad and heartbreaking at times. There is rape, abuse, sexism, etc. There is also hope, strength, resilience, love and yes, happiness. Celie finally finds herself after being introduced to a couple of strong women. She eventually finds her inner voice and is able to find her self and her strength. But the path to getting there is long and full of obstacles - some of which are inside Celie. Through her path of finding her inner voice, she finally fells what it is like to love and be loved. To find a sense of belonging. To find God. To have the capacity to forgive. To hold onto hope and to hold it close and cherish it. In this character with see the triumph of the human spirit. Against the odds, she is able to be strong. Walker's writing is haunting, powerful and beautiful. I love his dear eyes in which the vulnerability and beauty of his soul can be plainly read.” ― Alice Walker, The Color Purple Yes, this book is hard to read at times, but there is beauty here. Such beautiful writing. The dialect may be difficult at first but keep reading, you will get the hang of it. This book is so worth the effort. Highly Recommend. See more of my reviews at www.openbookpost.com

  13. 4 out of 5

    Maxwell

    This was fantastic. I am so glad I finally read it after having known about it for so long and never having been assigned it in school. It’s beautifully written. Celie’a voice is so strong and all of the characters are well developed. I especially loved Shug and Sofia. And now I’ve got to see the film.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dannii Elle

    Despite finishing this over a week ago, I have staved off from writing a review as I feel anything I could write would not do the sublime elegance and exquisiteness of this book justice. The characters and their emotions are displayed in a raw and unapologetic way, their stories are dynamic and compelling, their plights are austere and penetrating, and the writing is evocative and exalted. I urge anyone and everyone to read this hard-hitting, powerful and corporeal book as it has such an importa Despite finishing this over a week ago, I have staved off from writing a review as I feel anything I could write would not do the sublime elegance and exquisiteness of this book justice. The characters and their emotions are displayed in a raw and unapologetic way, their stories are dynamic and compelling, their plights are austere and penetrating, and the writing is evocative and exalted. I urge anyone and everyone to read this hard-hitting, powerful and corporeal book as it has such an important story to tell!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    Wow such an amazing book! Although many parts were so difficult to read, so heart breaking, its a story that sticks with you. I loved when the story expanded to include Nettie's life as a missionary. Celie's courage to endure all the hardships and losses, including the hardest loss of her sister, makes many of today's problems seem so insignificant to me. This is truly a remarkable book that I highly recommend!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Puck

    “I believe God is everything, say Shug. Everything that is or ever will be. And when you can feel that, and be happy to feel that, you’ve found him.” The Color Purple is a powerful book with an amazing cast of strong female characters, but in my opinion, it was 100 pages too short. I can certainly see how this book made such an impact by its discussion of (painful) topics and its feminist messages, but it was mainly the second half that brought this book down to its 3 star-rating. The first half “I believe God is everything, say Shug. Everything that is or ever will be. And when you can feel that, and be happy to feel that, you’ve found him.” The Color Purple is a powerful book with an amazing cast of strong female characters, but in my opinion, it was 100 pages too short. I can certainly see how this book made such an impact by its discussion of (painful) topics and its feminist messages, but it was mainly the second half that brought this book down to its 3 star-rating. The first half of this book was wonderful. I loved reading about Celie, Shug Avery, Sofia, and Mary Agnes (Squeak) and how each of them found the strength to stand up for themselves. Their attempts as black women to fight the sexism and (male) oppression present in their society are met with anger and a lot of protest, but the women all help each other to improve their lives. Alice Walker does an amazing job at weaving timeless feminist ideas together with themes like LGBTQ-culture, the struggle with domestic abuse, and female sexuality. A running topic through the book is Celie’s relationship with God, who for a long time is her only confidant. Thanks to an important talk with Shug – one of the most important talks in this book – the author shows not only how racism and sexism has affected Celie’s image of God (as an old, white man) but also how ‘wrong’ it is to search for God in a church. “Here’s the thing, say Shug. The thing I believe. God is inside you and inside everybody else. You come into the world with God. But only them that search for it inside find it.” The second half of this book however, when Nettie’s letters from Africa take over and the narrative gets divided between Celie and Nettie, was when things started going downhill for me. The book changes from a coming-of-power story into an epistolary novel, which killed the story’s energy and realness. Because there is no sense of time in these letters, no conformation that the sisters receive each other’s messages. For all we know Celie and Nettie are writing these letters to themselves with each other in mind. So when the end of this book came, and we suddenly find out that ± 20 years had passed, I was shocked. When did time went by so quickly?! And apart from the adventure described in those letters – an interesting tale about former African slaves returning to Africa and the culture clash that shows itself there – the story is told in an incredibly slow pace and without any vigor. Walker wants to make so many statements that Celie’s storyline gets drowned under the author’s messages about oppression, sexism, and racism. This way the second half of this book lacks the power that was so present earlier, making reading about Nettie’s missionary work in Africa and Celie’s sowing business in Georgia a drag for me. So although I’m a great fan of all the female characters in this novel and how they all found love and happiness, the second half was a letdown. The story had no impact anymore and Celie’s ending was a little too good to be true (I especially disliked how she ended things with Mister). I do, however, certainly recommend this story. Walker’s story is filled with excellent messages about feminism, faith, the power of sisterhood, fighting abuse, and learning how to stand up for yourself. I give this book 3 stars because I think the author overdid herself in the second half of the novel, but overall I found this a very powerful book. “Man corrupts everything, say Shug. He on your box of grits, in your head, and all over the radio. He try to make you think he everywhere. Soon as you think he everywhere, you think he God. But he ain’t. Whenever you trying to pray, and man plop himself on the other end of it, tell him to go lost, say Shug. Conjure up flowers, wind, water, a big rock. But this hard work, let me tell you. Man been there so long, he don't want to budge. He threaten lighting, floods and earthquakes. Us fight. I hardly pray at all. Every time I conjure up a rock, I throw it. Amen.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Aubrey

    I'm glad I got to this before my school curriculum did, cause all I would've had instead of Celie and Shug and Nettie was Miss Eleanor Jane prancing in front of the classroom at 70 to 80 years old, full of pity and the hell of good intentions that hasn't rendered the speaking of the N word despicable to her despite all proof of the contrary. Sure, I'm glad the prof didn't shaft this woman of color writer like she had with others near the beginning, but I have to wonder about those students for w I'm glad I got to this before my school curriculum did, cause all I would've had instead of Celie and Shug and Nettie was Miss Eleanor Jane prancing in front of the classroom at 70 to 80 years old, full of pity and the hell of good intentions that hasn't rendered the speaking of the N word despicable to her despite all proof of the contrary. Sure, I'm glad the prof didn't shaft this woman of color writer like she had with others near the beginning, but I have to wonder about those students for which this class assignment was their first reading. Did they love it despite the prof's best measures of academia? Did they hate it because the latter exceeded? You'd never know, for all the space they're given in class for their own thoughts and feelings and opinions of why the world goes round with this particular book inside it. The teacher may know how to spell feminism and womanism and patriarchy, but all that only matters if the taught have been allowed to give a damn. I can't keep track of how many times someone's said that they're not an expert as an excuse for shutting down the conversation since my return to college. It makes me wonder whether there's an actual legal threat in the back of their minds saying, no, that's not what you were hired for. No, that's not what we're allowing you to make a living off of. No, you haven't taken the requisite courses in theology and gender, or gone through the path of learning and socially prescribed biological sex at birth, to become a priest or a teacher or anyone who can say anything against the weight of the institutionalized norm. Every so often I can poke them past that and into more interesting realms of epistemology and pedagogy, the fancified lingo for knowledge of knowledge and teaching of teaching, but I can't be too frustrated. It took Celie, nowhere near the borderline of safety known as the middle class making a living off the university, decades of not killing others or herself to get a sense of what being quiet about those things, not thinking about those things, not stripping down those things to the bare bones of structure and finding the cornerstone lacking, is worth in the long run. I won't say I'll be modifying my tune about this in a decade or so, cause that's what living without that stable brain chemistry millions take for granted until another white male shooter murders another school room of children requires as an option, but still. If there are certain things that are not horrors or brutal promises of bigotry that you refuse to say to yourself even in the dead of the night for the simple reason that you think yourself unworthy of questioning them, why? The world's not what it used to be with the economy tanked and the Internet forcing practically everything into the light and USA fascism looking to lead the most accurate replay of WWII with Muslim populations and Syrian immigrants the world has ever seen. The label "expert" is a gimmick. A scam. A signifier for being a certain way and paying a certain amount of money that allows in a return a proportionate amount of money and the right to be called such by the Wikipedia article I will be copy pasting into your GR author profile. You don't want to end up like my Miss Eleanor Jane of a professor, do you? That's all I ask. --- 2/28/2014 Purple is for pride, didn't you know? Purple is the royal pride to boot, the one that can afford full protection and wears its self-assumed precious state on its sleeve. There's some in love and some in hate and some, perhaps the most, in the calm reserve that takes what it gets and builds itself a home. For purple is also piety, and the potential of the purpling palimpsest is breathtaking. If you look up 'purpling', you will find both a transformation and an act of love, the latter grounded in gendered stereotypes but, for our purposes, will be pruned of its connotations and left as a simple affection. No lust, no obsession, nothing of the usual pride of desiring and feeling oneself more than worthy of receiving reciprocation. That was stripped before the pages even began, a summary of rape and pain and separations all along the spectrum of self and self-worth. It is not a mark of the author, but the reader, if this beginning is more believed in than the final ending. Too pat and contrived they say, too much that a being both woman and black would take thirty years to find peace of mind. Or perhaps it's the duality that so hard to swallow, two sisters in such disparate circumstances each discovering a measure of resolve upon which to thrive. Perhaps it's the lack of fight and final 'success' on each and every frontier that the readers object to, the concept that you can't always get what you want and yet. And yet. And yet in the face of all the hate and straightened circumstances, two girls become wizened lovers of life. Through the weaving of cloth and of thought, each discover their methodology of creation, remembering where they came from and going forward nevertheless. They forgive, they relish, they come to grips with the facts of sexism and racism and colonialism and deconstruct their God accordingly. They are not even the only ones, as myriad family and friends inspire and are inspired by these two souls, traversing their own ways in the sorrow and joy that always accompanies the search for personal truth. A time for anger, a time for acceptance, and the prodigal others all along the path. What matters here is not the means by which they achieve their ends, or that they achieved them at all. What matters is the thought enabled by fruitful discovery, the meanderings of the mind over what it means to find value in existence day in, day out. The majority of literature was penned by those blessed by all varieties of sociocultural windfalls, so it should be no surprise when characters find their philosophical footing as a result of fortuitous regeneration. Decry the believability all you like, but if that little was enough for you to forget the life-affirming themes galore, grown through every slow and subtle machination of time and circumstance, be sure to treat the rest of your readings accordingly. I guarantee a sharp decrease in once favored pieces if you're honest, or objective, if that's the vernacular with which you appease yourself. I think us here to wonder, myself. To wonder. To ast. And that in wondering bout the big things and asting 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, he say, the more I love. There are no name drops or modes of thought approved by academia here, but if you're truly open minded, you will recognize the mixing and melding of universal experience without any need for labels. This is as fine a contemplation of small winners in the midst of brutal reality as any, a flowering of humanity with full knowledge of every level of high and low, all the more worthy of attention for its status as a rare breed of literature. The latter has no affect on quality, but in terms of building a common humanity on the backs of pride and piety, on the steps of believing the self worth having and finding the others worth cherishing, in the color purple, it is worth everything.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lucy Langford

    4.5**** Everything want to be loved. Us sing and dance and holler, just trying to be loved. This was a beautiful book. In this book we view life through the eyes of Celie who at first is told and sees herself as nothing but illiterate, ugly and poor, with nothing but her love for her sister and her joy of education to get her through the beginning of her life. Through the book we watch as Celie addresses letters to God and her sister Nettie, which offers Celie some hope as she details her struggle 4.5**** Everything want to be loved. Us sing and dance and holler, just trying to be loved. This was a beautiful book. In this book we view life through the eyes of Celie who at first is told and sees herself as nothing but illiterate, ugly and poor, with nothing but her love for her sister and her joy of education to get her through the beginning of her life. Through the book we watch as Celie addresses letters to God and her sister Nettie, which offers Celie some hope as she details her struggle of life with Mr_ ,her brutal childhood, her love for her sister, the charismatic Shrug Avery, and some other amazing female characters (especially Sofia- her story broke my heart!). We are witness to Celie’s life through her eyes with a mix of heart-warming moments and numerous accounts of tragedy and brutality. Celie suffers a lot in this book through abuse (domestic) and loss. However there are also tender moments and happy ones too. We see how Celie is oppressed and treated by others due to her race, her gender, and the fact that she is poor and illiterate. Despite these dark moments in the book, We also see the lighter ones, especially through her finding hope and happiness in love, female companionship and sisterhood. This book also had interesting conversations on what it means to be black, poor, female and illiterate; discussions on belief and religion; cultural beliefs/practices on women (American and African); and, polygamy, female pleasure and sexuality. I loved my read of this book despite the emotional impact of some of the hard-hitting and unfair moments of Celie’s life. I really enjoyed the multiple topics that came up in this book (see above paragraph) and seeing Celie explore these. This was a captivating and moving read which I will probably revisit in future. A must read. Why any woman give a shit what people think is a mystery to me.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Ashleigh

    The language was harsh at first but once the flow arrived it was swift. Hardships were told in stride and empathy makes the reader want good things to happen to a few of the characters. And then, good things happen to them but they still aren't happy but they now seem content. This book was fun to read with surprisingly happy nuances described during tragic conditions.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Calista

    What an incredible experience this is. It's such a hard book about persecution and yet it's also about redemption. The book starts off in the darkest of places and the light is shed more and more as the story goes on. This story is about the tough side of the human condition. One of my favorite lines is and I paraphrase, "I may be ugly, I may be nothing but a woman, I may even be a bad cook, but I'm here. I'm here." You can feel the freedom in those words. This book is about the freedom of the s What an incredible experience this is. It's such a hard book about persecution and yet it's also about redemption. The book starts off in the darkest of places and the light is shed more and more as the story goes on. This story is about the tough side of the human condition. One of my favorite lines is and I paraphrase, "I may be ugly, I may be nothing but a woman, I may even be a bad cook, but I'm here. I'm here." You can feel the freedom in those words. This book is about the freedom of the spirit and about freedom. We can be enslaved to our gender, our color, our society, our nation and especially to our way of thinking. Freedom is possible from all those things. I think Miss Celie has to overcome all these. Much of the movie, which I saw many times starting in the 80s follows the first 3/4 of the book. The book focuses on Celie's journey. It does not go into the bits about Africa and Nettie. I like that about the movie and yet, it did add something to the story. The climax to me is when Celie finally stands up to Mister and walks out of his house. That is the climax. Each character has their own voice and the characters are very deep. The writing is superb. It changes as the characters grow and age. This story holds so much wisdom and experience. It is a spiritual experience and there is much philosophy and religion spoken of in these pages. I love how Alice talks about God wants to be loved as we want love. God is in every living plant and they all want our love and attention. Again, I paraphrase poorly and it is a lovely idea. In the book, Celie leaves Mister and goes off to live with Sug. They have a deep relationship. I am so glad that Celie has a chance to know what love is. I would love it if no one ever had to suffer the way Celie did; it was terrible. I'm glad that Alice Walker could share the gift of what Celie learned with the world even being made up. I can't believe it took me so long to read this. It touched me deeply. It is a powerful movie and it is a powerful Book. It ripples the truth like a wave in a pond going out into the world. I'm very thankful to have had the experience of this book and to see a completely different way of life.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Russ

    I first read this in high school, and really enjoyed it. I re-read it in 2007, and enjoyed it just as much the second time. First thing I should mention: This is not the book for you if you object to blunt language about sexuality, and strong language in general. The themes in this one are very real, and very shocking. However, if you can get past that, the story does offer some very touching moments. The story, in a nutshell: Celie, a poor black girl living in Georgia, overcomes poverty, sexual o I first read this in high school, and really enjoyed it. I re-read it in 2007, and enjoyed it just as much the second time. First thing I should mention: This is not the book for you if you object to blunt language about sexuality, and strong language in general. The themes in this one are very real, and very shocking. However, if you can get past that, the story does offer some very touching moments. The story, in a nutshell: Celie, a poor black girl living in Georgia, overcomes poverty, sexual oppression, racial oppression, and the separation of herself and her sister. She goes through several lifetimes of pain and hurt, but ends up a strong woman in the end. The entire book is told through diary entries, which I think makes things quite interesting. It skews the story toward the views of those doing the writing, but of course those are the people we are supposed to trust in the novel. Favorite part: The end of the book. It touched my heart after reading everything that came before. Favorite character: Albert. He's not a good man by any stretch of the imagination, yet he does change a lot during the book. His story makes me think there's hope for just about any lowlife.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Johann (jobis89)

    “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.“ The Color Purple has an abundance of strong, inspiring and unforgettable female characters. Each woman has their own unique story, but they are all linked by the different forms of abuse, prejudice or oppression that they have suffered. Our protagonist Celie writes letters to God and her sister Nellie, telling her story as well as the stories of those around her. The overarching theme of sisterhoo “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.“ The Color Purple has an abundance of strong, inspiring and unforgettable female characters. Each woman has their own unique story, but they are all linked by the different forms of abuse, prejudice or oppression that they have suffered. Our protagonist Celie writes letters to God and her sister Nellie, telling her story as well as the stories of those around her. The overarching theme of sisterhood is such a joy to revel in as we get to witness the journey towards self-realisation that the enigmatic Shug Avery brings Celie on. It’s a brutal read, but a story that needs to be told. Rape and child abuse is never easy to read about, but Walker makes you confront these realities head on. I was quite surprised by the direction the story took in terms of the growth and changes that some characters took, but it was an inspiring reminder that the human spirit is not static and it cannot always be caged. One of my favourite sections of the book was when Shug Avery talks to Celie about her views on God and how she does not view him as the stereotypical single entity of a white man with a long beard, but he surrounds us all! He’s in all the things that make people happy, and I just found this entire section to be really uplifting and it is probably what will remain me the longest after finishing this book. Unfortunately I don’t feel like I connected to this one as deeply as I had hoped to - I very much enjoyed the themes and the story, but I guess that emotional connection to the characters just wasn’t there for me. I think it was mostly due to the fact that reading this was a struggle at times as I really had to focus and concentrate to make sure I was taking it in and interpreting it correctly! It took me quite a while to get through what is a relatively short book, and these are really the only reasons why it doesn’t get a full 5 stars - as otherwise, the plot and message cannot be faulted! 4 stars.

  23. 5 out of 5

    K.D. Absolutely

    Walker's characterization is one of the best I've encountered so far in my reading. There are many memorable characters in this book, The Color Purple that I will probably remember for a long time. Walker's characters are not caricatures as they are well-developed and multi-dimensional, i.e., not only with both their good and bad sides revealed to the readers but also the reasons why they behave or think that way. Even the secondary characters like Squeak or Mary Agnes contributes in bringing ou Walker's characterization is one of the best I've encountered so far in my reading. There are many memorable characters in this book, The Color Purple that I will probably remember for a long time. Walker's characters are not caricatures as they are well-developed and multi-dimensional, i.e., not only with both their good and bad sides revealed to the readers but also the reasons why they behave or think that way. Even the secondary characters like Squeak or Mary Agnes contributes in bringing out the nature of the many main characters such as: Celie, Albert, Sophia, Shug Avery and Harpo. There are many themes that Walker tackled in this book: slavery, education and literacy, violence, religious belief and colonialism. [For this reason, this is a very good book of group discussion.] Although, in my opinion, they are too many and too complex for a 295-page book composed of 90 short letters. This attempt left most of the complexities untouched and the insights inexact or half-baked. For example, Shug telling Celie that "God is in the trees" and "It is okay to enjoy the things that God created including sex" (even without the mentioning anything about marriage or love) can be misleading to readers especially the young and the uninformed. However, the effort was there and I still enjoyed having all those theme presented to me while reading. When I finally closed the book, I did not feel unsatisfied really but you know that feeling when you are standing in front of the buffet table and you still have that small space in your tummy and you don't want to go for dessert because it is fattening? You have tasted all the courses but you want to go for a second small serving and you don't know which one to take? I had that feeling this morning while constructing this review in my mind. The other small complaint that I felt this morning when I finished the book was that the beginning was dramatic and totally engaging. The middle part was full of twists, revelations and endeavors. But the ending was something that felt contrived and unrealistic in my taste. How could it be that happy after all what the characters have gone through? It all became a bit of an escapist book for me instead of what I thought it to be as deep and literary. Not that I wanted to dampen the mood of the readers or not to picture hope in the gloom of Georgia during that sad phase in American history but hey, if life is fair then we should have been beaming, smiling and even giggling everyday, right? However, this is not Walker's fault and I know that this won the Pulitzer and National Book Award on the same year and being the first black woman recipient of those, Walker made history but still, I prefer my favorite novels to be realistic and sincere. I don't care if I end up sad and neurotic for few days after reading a book as long as it is breathtakingly beautifully written. Sad na kung sad. Thanks to Christine, Blue and Po for being my reading buddies for this book. Thanks also goes to Angus and Jzhunagev for the encouragement to pick and read this. Thank you, God, for not sending me to earth as a black man during the early 20th century in Georgia. I would not surely know how to behave as a black man if I got married to somebody like Sophia. :)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bren

    “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.” ― alice walker, The Color Purple I mean let's face it, it is probably one of the best pieces of Historical Fiction ever writen. I have read the book as well as sen the film where they did a great job by the way. The story is one that just settles inside you and never leaves. Tired so more to follow. One of the all time best though. More later.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    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 m 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.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~

    This is one of those books I struggle to assign a rating to. On one hand, I realize its importance. On the other hand, I didn't fall in love with it the way I hoped I would. Upon finishing, I found that my mind wasn't analyzing the book as per usual. I just couldn't think of much to say, one way or the other. I enjoyed the story, as it was written with a distinct air of authenticity. Lots of wonderful themes & philosophies throughout. But it just didn't resonate, I'm afraid. I'll leave you with th This is one of those books I struggle to assign a rating to. On one hand, I realize its importance. On the other hand, I didn't fall in love with it the way I hoped I would. Upon finishing, I found that my mind wasn't analyzing the book as per usual. I just couldn't think of much to say, one way or the other. I enjoyed the story, as it was written with a distinct air of authenticity. Lots of wonderful themes & philosophies throughout. But it just didn't resonate, I'm afraid. I'll leave you with this. Try the book out & see for yourself if you like it. It wasn't a home run for me, but many other people continue to be profoundly affected by this tale & so I definitely think it's worth checking out!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    "There is a way that the men speak to women that reminds me too much of Pa. They listen just long enough to issue instructions. They don't even look at women when women are speaking. They look at the ground and bend their heads toward the ground. The women also do not "look in a man's face" as they say. To "look in a man's face" is a brazen thing to do. They look instead at his feet or his knees. And what can I say to this?" What a sad and splendid book. The Color Purple tells the tale of 20 year "There is a way that the men speak to women that reminds me too much of Pa. They listen just long enough to issue instructions. They don't even look at women when women are speaking. They look at the ground and bend their heads toward the ground. The women also do not "look in a man's face" as they say. To "look in a man's face" is a brazen thing to do. They look instead at his feet or his knees. And what can I say to this?" What a sad and splendid book. The Color Purple tells the tale of 20 years of Celie's life through her letters. A poor black woman whose father abuses and rapes her at the age of 14, Celie soon loses her sister as well as her independence after marrying "Mister." Only by meeting Shug - the most fierce, unapologetic woman Celie's ever encountered - and learning the truth about her sister does Celie start to move toward her reawakening, her self-acceptance, and her love for even those who have hurt her. Alice Walker delves into so many important issues in The Color Purple. Even though the book focuses on a black woman oppressed in the first half of the twentieth century, a myriad of the behaviors and themes found within the book still apply to all women today. Not only does Walker weave in timeless feminist ideas, she also relates Celie's struggle to domestic abuse, lgbtq culture, the strength of sisterhood, and so much more. My favorite concept in The Color Purple was the use of storytelling as healing. Celie gives herself a voice by befriending Shug and eventually writing letters to Nettie, and even the epistolary format of the book exemplifies the power of writing, talking, and sharing one's struggles. Whether it's a veteran with PTSD sharing their story with a therapist or an angry teenager writing on their blog, human connection and communication poses so many benefits, and Walker's book highlights that in the most wonderful of ways. Highly, highly recommended to anyone interested in feminism, historical fiction, overcoming abuse, or any intersection of those topics. Definitely a classic I wish more people read.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Serena

    There were so many important issues highlighted in this book and I can see why it is so well-loved... but it just didn't grip me emotionally in the way I hoped it would. I also didn't fall in love with the characters in the way I hoped I would... I understand why the writing style is used and I applaud Alice Walker for writing through the perspective of an uneducated woman, which I think makes this book powerful! However, this just didn't work for me as I found it frustrating to read and difficul There were so many important issues highlighted in this book and I can see why it is so well-loved... but it just didn't grip me emotionally in the way I hoped it would. I also didn't fall in love with the characters in the way I hoped I would... I understand why the writing style is used and I applaud Alice Walker for writing through the perspective of an uneducated woman, which I think makes this book powerful! However, this just didn't work for me as I found it frustrating to read and difficult to visualise. Although you do get used to the language used, I think that perhaps an audiobook would be easier if you didn't want such a heavy read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Candi

    Heart-stirring and powerful, The Color Purple is truly inspiring - I don’t know what took me so long to get around to reading this novel! Most readers will know the background to this one, either through the book or the movie. So, I won’t rehash the plot here, but I will share some quick thoughts. My feelings were all over the place with this one. Sometimes outraged, often saddened, occasionally amused, but ultimately I felt joyful as I reached the final page. When I initially started this book, Heart-stirring and powerful, The Color Purple is truly inspiring - I don’t know what took me so long to get around to reading this novel! Most readers will know the background to this one, either through the book or the movie. So, I won’t rehash the plot here, but I will share some quick thoughts. My feelings were all over the place with this one. Sometimes outraged, often saddened, occasionally amused, but ultimately I felt joyful as I reached the final page. When I initially started this book, I was hesitant about the epistolary format and struggled a bit with the dialect. However, such misgivings quickly melted away and I was drawn right into Celie’s life and her story. I cheered her on the whole way as she suffered through unthinkable abuse and eventually developed her own voice and a strength that I thoroughly admired. As she discovered what it was like to love and be loved, as she cherished the hope of one day seeing her sister again, as she learned to understand God and what God meant to her personally, and as she learned the gift of forgiveness, Celie has reserved a place in my mind as one of the most treasured of heroines. Alice Walker has managed to accomplish something that is not easy to do – she turned this reader into a bit of a blubbering fool by the end of the novel! This is one book that I will be placing on my shelf with the intention to read it once again. “I think us here to wonder, myself. To wonder. To ast. And that in wondering bout the big things and asting 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, he say, the more I love.”

  30. 4 out of 5

    ~The Bookish Redhead~

    I feel like a bit of grinch for not liking this book, but, it is what it is. I really don't know what exactly I was expecting, but it definitely wasn't this. I'll start with the format. I took an immediate dislike to the letter style format of this book. The dialect was flat, and I noticed that became increasingly so, as the book went on. Regardless of the fact that as the story developed, it moved on to letters between the characters instead. I do think this added in my detachment from the char I feel like a bit of grinch for not liking this book, but, it is what it is. I really don't know what exactly I was expecting, but it definitely wasn't this. I'll start with the format. I took an immediate dislike to the letter style format of this book. The dialect was flat, and I noticed that became increasingly so, as the book went on. Regardless of the fact that as the story developed, it moved on to letters between the characters instead. I do think this added in my detachment from the characters. None of the characters were likeable. I mean, they all lacked depth of any sort, and made one feel incredibly detached from the story. I'm not even going to dwell on what I thought of Shrug Avery. Nearing the end, I was practically counting pages, eager to finish, and that is never a good sign. I think the book had the potential to be good, and despite it gaining an award, it just didn't resonate with me.

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