Wednesday, 2 December 2009

The Color Purple - Alice Walker

The Color Purple (1982) is a Pulitzer prize-winning novel by Alice Walker, an American author who has written at length on issues of race and gender. I first became aware of the story after watching the movie of the same name many years ago. The novel has long been on my TBR list.

The Color Purple is written as a series of letters from the main character, Celie, to God, and later between Celie and her sister, Nettie. Celie, a poor uneducated young black woman growing up in Georgia in the 1930s, is twice raped by the man she calls 'Pa' before he forces into a marriage against her will. Years of abuse ensue before the arrival of Shug Avery, her husband's long-term mistress. Shug is everything that Celie is not: beautiful, glamorous, a singer, and the holder of Celie's husband's heart. The relationships between Shug, Celie, and other strong characters, such as Sofia, ultimately set her free. Also, the hope of once again seeing her beloved sister, Nettie, a missionary working in Africa with Celie's two children, gives Celie the strength to overcome the hardships in her life and be true to herself.

This is a powerful, moving story which is superbly told. It is easy to build an affinity for the characters and admire the strength and aptitude that they develop. Highly recommended.

4 comments:

Kellee said...

I've always wanted to see that movie. Although I don't think I ever realised it was a book. Maybe I should make the trek to the library rather than video store...

anothercookiecrumbles said...

This is such a beautiful book, and all the relationships that are so artistically created make the book much more touching.

Juli Ryan said...

Highly recommended. In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens is another great book (it's a collection of essays) by Alice Walker.

La'Tonya Richardson said...

You chose on of my all time FAVORITE books!

I saw the movie years ago, but read the book for the first time about 10 years back. I've always loved the movie, but the book has my heart. I carried that book around with me for months! I even bought a copy for my mother.

That's an idea... give copies of this book to my friends for Christmas!