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The Color Purple

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  402,964 Ratings  ·  9,640 Reviews
Celie has grown up in rural Georgia, navigating a childhood of ceaseless abuse. Not only is she poor and despised by the society around her, she’s badly treated by her family. As a teenager, she begins writing letters directly to God in an attempt to transcend a life that often seems too much to bear. Her letters span twenty years and record a journey of self-discovery and ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published September 20th 2011 by Open Road Media (first published 1982)
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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)
Karissa Magana Also, I was thinking that maybe she wants to be loved and seen as worthy. Like a queen. Remember, in the beginning she wanted purple fabric for her…moreAlso, I was thinking that maybe she wants to be loved and seen as worthy. Like a queen. Remember, in the beginning she wanted purple fabric for her new clothes, and they couldn't find any.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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
...more
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
...more
Raeleen Lemay
Done my second book for #booktubeathon!
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
...more
Kai
Sep 17, 2015 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 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
...more
Fabian
Jul 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In awe of the magnificent depths of "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 ...more
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 ...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
Jonathan Ashleigh
Oct 07, 2014 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.
Frankie
Aug 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa, 2017
My gran got me this book years ago and just getting round to reading it now. It was a quick read but really emotional. Had elements in it i didnt expect.
The Africa parts bored me and were very slow.
Russ
Jul 13, 2007 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
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Color Purple, Alice Walker
عنوان: به رنگ ارغوان؛ نویسنده: آلیس واکر؛ مترجم: امیرحسین مهدیزاده؛ تهران، نشر نی، 1388، در 306 ص؛ شابک: 9789641851288؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی قرن 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
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 میکند، که در پی خواهر «سلی
...more
Maria Espadinha
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
O Cúmulo Do Machismo


Já alguma vez vos ocorreu pensar sobre o Cúmulo do Machismo?
Pois bem, se lerem este livro irão chegar a uma fórmula mais ou menos assim:
É um marido maltratar a mulher com tal grau de brutalidade, que esta e a amante dele se tornam melhores amigas e ambas optam por vê-lo pelas costas, pirando-se juntas!...

Como corolário dessa misoginia extrema, a única mulher da vida de tal homem, passa a ser um fantasma feminino, com quem flirta ocasionalmente, para alguns passos de dança de
...more
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
...more
K.D. Absolutely
Apr 26, 2012 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
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 so
...more
Scarlet Cameo
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rc-17
Lectura con el grupo PopSugar Reading Challenge en Español



Cuando comence este libro mi primer pensamiento fue "este libro quiere hacerme llorar", lo cual no siempre es bueno, hay libros que buscan manipular al lector de manera obvia para que se lamente de lo que le sucede al protagonistas, pero pasadas unas cuantas páginas me di cuenta que ese no es el objetivo de este libro, sino que nos mostraba cómo inicio el cambio en Celie, como ella se convirtió en mujer.

En principio la historia es bastant
...more
Hadrian
Sep 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Louize
Mar 19, 2011 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
...more
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, ...more
Stepheny


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
...more
Amanda Prado
tag this as lgbt u fuckos, celia is a gd lesbian, dont gal pal her and shug!!!!!

at one point celia says all men look like frogs to her. an american hero.
Erika Curtis
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was probably one of the most beautiful books I've ever read, which is why I flew through it.
Book of Secrets
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can I say about THE COLOR PURPLE? Wow. It's the ultimate story of survival, even when everything in life is stacked against you. When Celie tells her sister Nettie to write, and Nettie responds "Nothing but death can keep me from it!" well, that's when the tears start flowing. I've loved this book for 25 years, and just recently did I get a chance to listen to it on audio. It's narrated by the author herself, Alice Walker, and her voice was perfect for Celie. I enjoyed it so much, and I thi ...more
Vanessa
I remember as a young child my sister watching the movie and crying bucket loads, I vowed from her reaction no way in hell I would watch the movie seeing her almost guttural cries. Fast forward many years and finding this book land on my lap, how could I not read it now.. maybe the book won't be so brutal? Wrong! You really feel the injustice and outrage and you really can't help but feel for the characters. Poor Celie doesn't get much of a chance, a plain black woman who marries someone who car ...more
Onaiza Khan
I really have no idea how to review this book. It’s beautiful, It’s painful. There’s despair and hope. There’s injustice and a happy ending. Most of all there’s so much to learn. No one can really explain what “The color purple” is. It has to be read and absorbed.

Since it is a quick read and so insightful, I’d recommend it to everyone.
May
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: estantería
Una novela INCREÍBLE: feminista, interseccional y rompedora. SÍ O SÍ tenéis que leerla ♥
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 wit
...more
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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.” 1540 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.” 440 likes
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