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The Third Life of Grange Copeland

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  1,854 ratings  ·  99 reviews
Despondent over the futility of life in the South, black tenant farmer Grange Copeland leaves his wife and son in Georgia to head North. After meeting an equally humiliating existence there, he returns to Georgia, years later, to find his son, Brownfield, imprisoned for the murder of his wife. As the guardian of the couple's youngest daughter, Grange Copeland is looking at ...more
Paperback, 328 pages
Published May 26th 2003 by Mariner Books (first published 1970)
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The Lovely Bones by Alice SeboldThe Color Purple by Alice WalkerAfter You've Gone by Alice AdamsCaroline's Daughters by Alice AdamsFamilies and Survivors by Alice Adams
My Name is Alice
43rd out of 50 books — 12 voters
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Books With A Surname Or Family Name In The Title..
195th out of 233 books — 33 voters

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Community Reviews

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Love it, love it. It's not like Alice Walker's later books, after she fell under the spell of Carl Jung. More simple, more homespun, same soul. One of my favorites of her books.
Paige Farmer
While I am a die hard fan of The Color Purple, some years ago I stumbled upon this lesser known, yet equally as moving novel by Alice Walker. The Third Life of Grange Copeland gives a realistic glimpse into life as a black man in the early to mid twentieth century, chronicling the inevitable personal and societal changes that come with maturity, wisdom and time. Grange is a man with deep flaws and Ms. Walker's story telling leads the reader through a series of emotions toward him, ranging from s ...more
Better than The Color Purple, Walker's first novel is staunchly feminist (in a completely modern human rights kind of way), with a startlingly transparent look into the male characters' motives and perspective on domestic violence. That the reader comes to love such a hateful character as Grange Copeland and feels hope and anger and sorrow and pity for another (who did some truly diabolical things that made me gasp) is testament to Walker's huge talent. This story, while packed with important so ...more
Nov 03, 2007 Melissa rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
This is the best Alice Walker fiction book I ever read. Yes, I have read The Color Purple. I have seen the movie, I have seen the musical. This book is better.
I read it a long time ago so I'm a bit fuzzy on the details. I will say this. She goes into each character and makes you see them. She moves the story along nicely as well. I am person who loves details and writings like paintings and that is what this was.
I plan to re-read it in the near future.
An enlightening book about violence within the black community in the deep south mainly by men against their own families. The men are so angry at their unfair position in society that they take it out on their wives and children and then in turn blame it on their treatment at the hands of white people.

At the beginning of the book Grange is married with a young son, Brownfield. The family lead a miserable, poor existence with Grange barely acknowledging his son and frittering away what little m
F. Glenn
I read The Third Life of Grange Copeland years ago and its message still resonates today. A moving story that explains the origins and continued cycle of violence in the black family. If I remember correctly, it was three generations of an African American family in the “Jim Crow” south that are plagued by violence. Walker story traces the violence from the black man emaciated by racism while his wife is allowed to make a meager living. She essentially supports the family while her husband is no ...more
I read this book for my English class, it's not something I would normally read but it was so good I read it in four days. This book discussed harsh violence of the black people in the south. Especially the wives, the violence from their husbands and the white men
Kendra Mack
A Startlingly Poignant Look...

Alice Walker's The Third Life of Grange Copeland, was a startlingly poignant read. Once done reading I was brought to tears and rendered speechless. I was overwhelmed with thoughts, and revelations past and present. I hadn't previously put everything I had experienced personally (as a African-American woman), with all that I read in the history books, researched, and newly acquired information, as well the stories and memories from family together. Everything seemed
While I have not been exposed to Alice Walker, some weeks ago I stumbled upon this lesser known, yet equally as moving novel. The Third Life of Grange Copeland gives a realistic glimpse into life as a black man in the early to mid twentieth century, chronicling the inevitable personal and societal changes that come with maturity, wisdom and time. Grange is a man with deep flaws and Ms. Walker's story telling leads the reader through a series of emotions toward him, ranging from sorrow to anger t ...more
Jun 21, 2010 Jean rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: af-am
This book is well written, has beautiful character development, and the settings are very realistic. Alice Walker is definitely due her props. With this said, it was way too violent for me. I understand that the violence went with the character development, however it was difficult to read.
Darcia Scates
This book is so well written. Every word is important to the story. You will have NO desire to skim through this book, and skip pages. You will hang on to EVERY word. If you ever thought one can only write one best sellers The Color Purple, and the rest would be fluff, you are clearly mistaken. Alice Walker wrote yet another master piece with this one. She carefully wrote conversation between the characters that is very important to the story. Ms. Walker cleverly gave us enough details so we can ...more
I must admit that I did not quite finish this book. It just became so depressing that I could not read anymore. Instead, I skimmed through the end and found Walker's endnote, which indicated that she anticipated and perhaps aimed for my type of response. Her goal - to show how societal violence manifests in personal violence and how oppression begets oppression - is necessary but because of this very goal, this novel seemed more political than literary and the characters were slightly stereotypi ...more
A book about redemption and looking forward. Deep book with fleshed out characters.
Shahidah Ali
One of the best books I've read outside of my fave Stephen King. Alice Walker is a superb story teller. Her ability to breathe fierce emotion into the reader through her characters in this book is profound. I wrote a long review didn't hit save and just can't retype. However this is a great study in self loathing and self pity. Brownfield Copeland is the epitome of everything that goes wrong when one creates weakness in their own mind and choose to wallow there refusing any lifesavers. Best read ...more
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his a story of the lives of three generations of a black family living in Georgia. Grange - his son Brownfield - his grandaughter Ruth. Grange adalah seorang kulit hitam yang -seperti kulit hitam pada masa itu- hidup di bawah tekanan kulit putih. Alice Walker menggambarkan dengan begitu hidup bagaimana cara berpikir dan motivasi dari tindakan setiap orang. (astaga, sekali lagi, giling deh cara dia mendeskripsikan orang. No shallow character at all. Maksudku, ada karakter yang dangkal, tapi bener ...more
I picked this up at the library because I've never read anything by Alice Walker but I of course have heard of her. At first I wasn't sure I would finish it- it was so much like The Color Purple (in the sense that it was all about cruelty to women and children. I never read it, but saw the movie). But it was a good book. And it meant more to me after I read the Afterword by the author. I like knowing the context in which a book was written- and it interested me that this book was written in the ...more
This is Alice Walker's first novel. It's pretty good. It follows three generations of Copelands, but focuses mostly on Grange and his son, Brownfield, both of whom grow up to be abusive, murderous alcoholics.

Walker does a good job of avoiding two-dimensional portraits. All of the characters are complex and carefully drawn, so you sometimes hate them at the same time that you feel compassion toward them.

There's an amazing scene where Brownfield's long-abused wife, Mem, finally stands up to him,
Lorrie Savoy
Very well-written, truthful, and deeply disturbing. For all it's compelling story, I can't say I like it, or imagine who I recommend it to. I can understand why some people find The Color Purple too happy at the end, but this book has so little hope. As I said, it's truthful, but seems so slanted towards the negative that any moment of life, satisfaction, joy, even contentedness as not allowed. Bleak.
Kyla Mason
This was a very powerful book. I have read several African American books, but this one was different because it showed the violence within black families that in a sense was connected to their strong hatred toward white people. This kept some of them enslaved within themselves. I really disliked Grange in the beginning, but understood him, and then respected him in the end.
Wonderful book with deep complex characters. I love how she initially made me dislike Grange and feel sorry for Brownfield but then moved me to admiration for Grange and total disgust for Brownfield. Having just listened to a TED talk by Chimamanda adichie about people having more than 1 story this story hit me hard. I rank it as 1 of Alice Walker's best
This has to be one of the most depressing and sad, yet poetic and beautifully written novels of all time. The afterword from Alice Walker is very poignant and moving shedding light on the personal experiences that lead her to write this moving portrayal of the life of a poor black man (and his family) during the 1930's in America under the sharecropping system which was really just an extension of slavery.

This is an absolute must read in my opinion and I'm thoroughly shocked that I never heard o
Synopsis: This book tells the story of Grange Copeland, his wife, his son Brownfield and his granddaughter Ruth. Set in Baker County, Georgia in the early 20th century, the black people that work in the fields are virtual slaves as they are encumbered with debts to the white landowners that they'll never be able to repay. Grange heads north looking for a better life and while he's gone Brownfield ends up marrying and killing his wife, landing in prison. Grange returns and tries to turn his life ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tarsa Podunavac
Walker's debut novel is one of the best of the 20th century. The theme of oppression, violence, and family history resonates the great "To Kill a Mockingbird." I only wish there was a follow up novel about what happened to Ruth after...
One of the most moving novels I have read, this is Alice Walker's first novel. The depth of emotion and the character development of this story is truly amazing. This is a must read!
Cyndi Lu
I thought this book was amazing. As I was reading, I felt this was the other half of The Color Purple. Where CP took readers into the minds and experiences of black women, this novel took readers into the minds of black men. There are glimpses of similar characters and themes in both. This novel I found to lack the heart of CP; it felt like a heart-wrenching roller coaster ride that just abruptly stopped. However, I see the resolution in CP, when men and women are able to leave the gender stereo ...more
Found this book by chance, and I'm so glad that I did. Riveting. Highly recommended! Just make sure you set aside enough time to read the whole thing.
This story starts off slow but picks up quickly. You will feel so many different emotions reading this story of a man that selfishly only wants a better life for himself. He walks out on his family leaving them to fend for themselves. His son grows up and not only follows in his father footsteps but does unthinkable things to his family. Plenty of nights while reading this book I wanted to smack Brownfield for being so hateful! There are a few slow parts in this book but it always leads to inten ...more
This book went in a bunch of different directions, emotions, tangents...just...A LOT. Kinda glad it's over. Sheesh.
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Alice Walker (b. 1944), 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, an ...more
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