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The Color Purple

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  382,322 Ratings  ·  8,170 Reviews
Winner of the National Book Award as well as the Pulitzer Prize, "The Color Purple" established Alice Walker as a major voice in modern fiction. Her unforgettable portrait of Celie and her friends, family, and lovers is rich with passion, pain, inspiration, and an indomitable love of life. Beautifully imagined and deeply compassionate, "The Color Purple" is a classic of Am ...more
Paperback, 253 pages
Published February 1st 1998 by Washington Square Press (first published 1982)
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Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) If you read the book, it's a reference to something Shug says to Celie. She says that she thinks God gets angry when you walk past the colour purple…moreIf you read the book, it's a reference to something Shug says to Celie. She says that she thinks God gets angry when you walk past the colour purple in a field and don't notice it. This means when people ignore the beauty and good that is in the world.(less)
Stef Rozitis It is a wise choice as it illustrates the world best. It is a wise choice as the feeling and soul truth of the book challenges our feelings of…moreIt is a wise choice as it illustrates the world best. It is a wise choice as the feeling and soul truth of the book challenges our feelings of cultural superiority as we have nothing but grammar and style to defend against urgent truth with. "Grammatical education"? The women in the book would have love some as a luxury. Witness Nettie who is so happy when allowed to gain an education but Celie has been pulled out of school around age 14 and never given the time or freedom to be educated. And yet through bad grammar and functional illiteracy the story and pureness of love shine through. That is part of the exceptional art of Walker, she does not tell us about Celie's world she shows it to us in every broken sentence about an initially broken life. And then she makes it incandescent! Wise yes, because she shows us our foolish delusion of superiority in this and makes us cry.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Mar 14, 2007 Meara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
It was a beautiful story that made you want to cry, laugh and smile along with the characters. Well put together plot line, the characters were people you could really feel for and identify with. I loved the humanness of it all, way different stories were intermingled with each other and how you felt closure at the end of it all. Read it. Everyone.
Jul 13, 2007 Russ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Women, students, anyone who is not prudish
Shelves: 2007, novel
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
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I originally read this book in junior high, like grades 8 or 9, so... early 90s? I seem to remember my English class having a variety of books for us to choose from - we were in a combined English/History class, the two teachers worked together to help us learn, so the class itself was rather large. We were split into groups based on which book we chose to read.

I chose to read them all on my own. But I think The Color Purple was the one I had chosen for the purpose of the class.

We also watched t
Apr 21, 2011 Louize rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adult readers
Since its release in 1982, The Color Purple had been a subject of frequent censorship due to its violent sexual content and language. Not to mention the casual and constant change of partners, lesbianism and the polygamous society of the Olinka tribe. Written in epistolary form, the book is a series of letters addressed to God through which our protagonist, Celie, found solace in her chaotic life. She exists in a time of male dominance and fixed gender roles.

“Well sometime Mr._____ git on me pr
Patrizia O
Jan 23, 2014 Patrizia O rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporanei

La vicenda narrata in questo libro racchiude diversi temi, ciascuno dei quali propone una possibile chiave di lettura. La storia della protagonista, Celie, ha luogo nel profondo sud degli Stati Uniti, in un arco temporale che, più o meno, va dalla fine del 1800 sino agli anni '40.
E' però riduttivo individuare un'unica protagonista; in realtà la storia di Celie si intreccia con quella di molti altri personaggi, ciascuno dei quali svolge un ruolo essenziale nell'economia del romanzo.
Senza dubbi

"The Help" was a runaway bestseller on the NYTimes for over one hundred weeks. Now, the movie is a top grosser. I can't deny I liked it. I gave it five stars. There's nothing not to like. It was a sleeper hit. It was a short run first print and a first print of "The Help" will cost you a sweet price. But it didn't win a Pulitzer or the National Book Award. It is not a great American Novel. It will not endure as "The Color Purple" will.

Sure, the maids in Jackson, Mississippi, have it bad. It take
I've had an awfully difficult time writing about this book, so I'll keep my thoughts to a few short points which others have doubtless said better elsewhere.

The Color Purple is a series of letters written by a poor Southern black woman, Celie, to God and her sister. Because of who she is, she's placed at the bottom rung of American society due to her race, gender, semi-literacy, and her status as a target of gruesome violence.

The writing style is controlled study in dialect. The deliberate choi

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
"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
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.


Have you seen the movie? I had. I thought I was prepared. Because the movie was devastating. I remember vividly being in the house
K.D. Absolutely
May 10, 2012 K.D. Absolutely rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: The Filipino Group 100 Favorite Books; 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2010)
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 ...more
«En semejantes momentos es cuando veo que este mundo no lo hicimos nosotros. Y esa gente de color que dice que todos tenemos que amamos los unos a los otros es que no se ha fijado en lo que dice.»

Este es un libro un tanto inusual en su estilo de narración, y en muchos momentos dolorosamente crudo.
El color púrpura está compuesto íntegramente por cartas, y las remitentes son dos hermanas que vuelcan al papel sus historias cargadas de sentimiento, donde narran la injusta y difícil vida que lle

I’ve had The Color Purple on my TBR list for a long, long time. I had had it on my kindle for almost 2 whole years prior to me reading it. But, I’m a mood reader and I wait for the book to call to me. I started it, put it on hold while I did a couple buddy reads and finally got around to finishing it.

There was only one thing in the whole book that bothered me and it was the character that is consistently referred to as Mr.____. Throughout the whole book his last name is omitted and I still don’t
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
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, ...more
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 ...more
Nandakishore Varma
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jonathan Ashleigh
Jan 05, 2016 Jonathan Ashleigh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 16, 2016 Fabian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In awe of the depths in "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 epistola ...more
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 ...more
Oct 10, 2016 Kai rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glbt, 2016, important

“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 heard it was about black people, about women's rights, 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 probabl
You can see why the Color Purple ran up against censorship in the eighties. It's firmly against organized religion, although it's spiritual in its own hippie way. It's pretty gay: Alice Walker defines a "womanist" (her term for black feminists, which has caught some traction) as a woman who, among other things, "loves other woman, sexually and/or nonsexually," and she seems to have a fluid idea of female sexuality.

It's pro woman in the same way its contemporary Handmaid's Tale is. Neither book i
Feb 03, 2016 Vladimir rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book, 2016
Dirljiva priča o hrabrosti, večnoj ljubavi i oproštaju... priča o ženama koje su naučile da se bore i ono najvažnije, priča o ženama koje su naučile da vole.

Iako sam film pogledao sigurno bar deset puta, Celiena priča me je opet dirnula ko da sam je čuo prvi put.

Ovo je pravi mali dragulj koji bi svako trebao da pročita.

Joana Catarina
Gostava de dizer que adorei este livro mas não seria verdade... Em breve partilho uma opinião mais completa.
Wiebke (1book1review)
This was a classic case of: I thought I knew what this is about.

Seriously this novel is everything and so much more. It touches on so many different ways of oppression and relationships it is impressive. Choosing letters to tell the story gives her the opportunity to show the differences in life and education between the two sisters.
The pace is rather slow and listening to it narrated by the author added to my experience of the story.

It was hard to hear of all the things the characters had to en
While there are always favourite books and books that you love, it's not often that a book truly affects you and resonates with you. This book is absolutely beautiful. There are sad and heartbreaking moments, sure, but it's also incredibly life affirming and heartwarming. I loved that the whole book was written as letters, it made it feel that much more personal and like a real life account which I felt made it even more powerful. It features strong characters that all go through excellent chara ...more
Raeleen Lemay
Done my second book for #booktubeathon!
Sidharth Vardhan
“It is the very mark of the spirit of rebellion to crave for happiness in this life.”
- Henrik Ibsen

The African village Natie visits in this book had this ritual where members are initiated to community though facial scarring. Something easily accepted by most villagers, but with which embarrasses a more conscious Tashi:

“ Tashi is, unfortunately, ashamed of these scars on her face, and now hardly ever raises her head.”

It is a novel about people reacting to very similar scars given to them by s
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
Rereading. Even though the first time I read it was only a few months ago.
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Alice Walker, one of the United States’ preeminent writers, is an award-winning author of novels, stories, essays, and poetry. In 1983, Walker became the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction with her novel The Color Purple, which also won the National Book Award. Her other books include The Third Life of Grange Copeland, Meridian, The Temple of My Familiar, and Possessi ...more
More about Alice Walker...

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“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.” 1470 likes
“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it. People think pleasing God is all God cares about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.” 391 likes
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