I admit that this book came to me following my viewing of the film of the same name. While both in both mediums, the story gives poignant examples of the transformative power of love and the disfiguring effect of cruelty - the novel by far explores both much more deeply. Walker also skims the surface of social issues such as class, race, religion, and of course, family. The story is both beautiful and horrible, heart-warming and heart-wrenching. If you liked the film, you'll love the book. If you didn't like the film, read the book anyway.— Scott
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Alice Walker's iconic modern classic is now a Penguin Book.
A powerful cultural touchstone of modern American literature, The Color Purple depicts the lives of African American women in early twentieth-century rural Georgia. Separated as girls, sisters Celie and Nettie sustain their loyalty to and hope in each other across time, distance and silence. Through a series of letters spanning twenty years, first from Celie to God, then the sisters to each other despite the unknown, the novel draws readers into its rich and memorable portrayals of Celie, Nettie, Shug Avery and Sofia and their experience. The Color Purple broke the silence around domestic and sexual abuse, narrating the lives of women through their pain and struggle, companionship and growth, resilience and bravery. Deeply compassionate and beautifully imagined, Alice Walker's epic carries readers on a spirit-affirming journey towards redemption and love.
About the Author
Alice Walker won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for her novel The Color Purple. Her other novels include By the Light of My Father’s Smile and Possessing the Secret of Joy. She is also the author of three collections of short stories, three collections of essays, seven volumes of poetry, and several children’s books. Born in Eatonton, Georgia, Walker now lives in Northern California.
“Reading The Color Purple was the first time I had seen Southern, Black women’s literature as world literature. In writing us into the world—bravely, unapologetically, and honestly—Alice Walker has given us a gift we will never be able to repay.”
“The Color Purple was what church should have been, what honest familial reckoning could have been, and it is still the only art object in the world by which all three generations of Black artists in my family judge American art.”
“A novel of permanent importance.”
—Peter S. Prescott, Newsweek
“Indelibly affecting … Alice Walker is a lavishly gifted writer.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“A story of revelation . . . One of the great books of our time.”
“A work to stand beside literature of any time and place.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“Places Walker in the company of Faulkner.”
“Remarkable expressiveness, color, and poignancy . . . not only a memorable and infinitely touching character but a whole submerged world is vividly called into being.”
—The New York Review of Books
“Richly evocative . . . a vibrant fugue of devotion and search for love.”
—Los Angeles Herald Examiner
“A national treasure . . . A rare and lovely book.”
—The Cleveland Plain Dealer
“A saga filled with joy and pain, humor and bitterness, and an array of characters who live, breathe, and illuminate the world.”
“My go-to comfort novel is The Color Purple, by Alice Walker. Even though it touches on difficult subject matter like child abuse and forced marriage, this story believes that human kindness, courage and love can defeat any challenge. Its big, beautiful happy ending is heartfelt and hard-won. Every single time I read this book, I walk away as a slightly better person than I was when I picked it up.”
—Tayari Jones, The New York Times