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The Third Life of Grange Copeland

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,459 Ratings  ·  128 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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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Paige Farmer
Jun 27, 2012 Paige Farmer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 08, 2008 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 07, 2014 Trina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 15, 2012 Kristy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
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
Nov 03, 2007 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
Margaret Carmel
Feb 01, 2015 Margaret Carmel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I have wanted to read Alice Walker for awhile now, I hadn't gotten around to it until I was assigned this book in my Contemporary Black Women Writers Class.

I was immediately pulled in by her simple, yet moving language. Walker tells dark and twisted stories of the black experience effortless, almost to the point where startling events would take me by surprise. I often found myself going back to reread passages to ensure that I what I thought I read did in fact happen.

While many of her s
Feb 27, 2016 Madeleine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My husband and I read this together, kinda completely by accident.! It was just so interesting when I began to read it, in the first chapter, I asked if he wanted to hear it, and next thing we knew we read the whole book. Alice Walker possesses a beautiful ability with finding the right ways, in the framing of one sentence, to showcase a person's character, their personality, the essence of the soul and the way they fit within a culture. But that's not all that this book is about. This book is a ...more
F. Glenn
Dec 16, 2009 F. Glenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Daphne Walker
Mar 11, 2016 Daphne Walker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let me begin (and maybe end) with this "Alice Walker writes with honesty, truth and dignity". Now this story is not only about Grange Copeland, but in a way it is about black families and communities during that time, and unfortunately now. Little has changed. She does not describe or tell us there is racism, or oppression she allows us to experience it and feel it for ourselves through her characters. She vividly describes the 'absent father' in society without hitting us over the head or makin ...more
Mar 26, 2014 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Emily Rosenbaum
Feb 21, 2015 Emily Rosenbaum rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Walker's writing is not as mature as in her later works, but this book is just so powerful. Grange Copeland--product of a society that emasculates black men--creates a tragic legacy in his son, Brownfield. The chapter after Brownfield marries is one of the most intensely emotional things I've ever read. The book shows Grange's redemption through his granddaughter. Walker's indictment of Southern society is embodied in the struggles of three generations of a family that finally is able to overcom ...more
Kendra Mack
Aug 27, 2014 Kendra Mack rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 18, 2014 Alex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Lorrie Savoy
Sep 18, 2014 Lorrie Savoy rated it liked it
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.
Carolyn Russett
I would give this three 1/2 stars. Grange copeland is a black tenant farmer in Georgia. Despondent over the futility of life in the south, he leaves his wife and son to head north. Life isn't what he expected there either, and ends up coming back to Georgia to try and right some things he has done wrong. He returns to his where is son is grown, married, with children, and just in time to help raise his granddaughter after his son is sent to jail for killing his wife. It is a disturbing book abou ...more
Jun 21, 2010 Jean rated it liked it
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
Martha Alami
Apr 19, 2016 Martha Alami rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book should be required reading, if not already, in all U.S. Schools. Walker presents the racial issues of the U.S. in a deeply moving novel, centering on racial oppression and its resulting violence and hatred. With a great understanding of the issues, she reveals the feelings and views of the oppressed characters in a way that should reach the soul of every reader, regardless of race and background. I enjoyed the afterword that was included in the edition I read and to find out this was W ...more
Aug 25, 2014 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
very sad. definitely tied to a specific place and i felt like that guided the narrative. it was very powerful and emotional, particularly in the last few parts with ruth and grange. also really liked the characterisation and relationship of those two by the novel's end.

so much sadness surrounding the female characters, particularly mem. i think this is why i struggled to like the book, i could appreciate it's brilliance but all the awful things which happened to the women made it hard to enjoy r
A book about redemption and looking forward. Deep book with fleshed out characters.
I loved every moment of this book.
Shahidah Ali
Jul 03, 2014 Shahidah Ali rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 06, 2016 Alexandria rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 23, 2007 Sondang rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Teri Drake-Floyd
I will leave the longer reviews to others who have said it better. This book is utterly breathtaking. Heartbreaking and at times very hard to read. I had to put it down a couple of times but couldn't stay away long; I was too invested. The ending made me break down, and I don't cry at very many books.

The Color Purple is seen as her definitive work, but this is light years better (and I say that as a huge fan of the Color Purple). This book will stick with me forever. I can't praise it highly en
Feb 20, 2010 Vicky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 25, 2007 sydney rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
This was a very difficult book to complete. It is a serious expose on the trials a person of color faces in this country through the eyes of three generations. It is not pretty. Time has made changes but the pain, fear and destruction of lives is a very high price. Such a slow, if measurable progression. A reviewer recommended reading Black Like Me, before reading this, I would have to agree.
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.
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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
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