Thursday, November 17, 2016
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The fall and winter months always put me in the mood to re-read favorite books. The cool weather makes me inclined to want to lie on the couch cuddled up with a favorite book, a snuggly blanket, and a mug of something warm. That is my idea of what a close to perfect afternoon would be like. The Color Purple is one of those books that I tend to want to reread during this time of year. Perhaps it's the heavy themes that are throughout The Color Purple that makes it a book that calls to me during this time of year. Alice Walker fully takes on the devastating subjects of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, racism, colorism, misogyny, sexual identity, and the complicated and fractured dynamics of the African American family. Despite everything that occurs in The Color Purple, I always feel a since of triumph over soul crushing adversities in the end. Ms. Walker's writing is captivating and The Color Purple was a defining read for me. Since I am an unapologetic re-reader, I can't imagine only reading The Color Purple once and feeling as though I got everything possible from it. Every single time I read it, I feel that I gain a little more from the experience.
Celie has grown up poor in rural Georgia, despised by the society around her and abused by her own family. She strives to protect her sister, Nettie, from a similar fate, and while Nettie escapes to a new life as a missionary in Africa, Celie is left behind without her best friend and confidante, married off to an older suitor, and sentenced to a life alone with a harsh and brutal husband.
In an attempt to transcend a life that often seems too much to bear, Celie begins writing letters directly to God. The letters, spanning twenty years, record a journey of self-discovery and empowerment guided by the light of a few strong women. She meets Shug Avery, her husband’s mistress and a jazz singer with a zest for life, and her stepson’s wife, Sophia, who challenges her to fight for independence. And though the many letters from Celie’s sister are hidden by her husband, Nettie’s unwavering support will prove to be the most breathtaking of all.
The Color Purple has sold more than five million copies, inspired an Academy Award–nominated film starring Oprah Winfrey and directed by Steven Spielberg, and been adapted into a Tony-nominated Broadway musical. Lauded as a literary masterpiece, this is the groundbreaking novel that placed Walker “in the company of Faulkner” (The Nation), and remains a wrenching—yet intensely uplifting—experience for new generations of readers.
This ebook features a new introduction written by the author on the twenty-fifth anniversary of publication, and an illustrated biography of Alice Walker including rare photos from the author’s personal collection.