The Color Purple (Musical Tie-In)

The Color Purple (Musical Tie-In)

by Alice Walker


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Now a Broadway musical featuring Jennifer Hudson

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

Winner of the National Book Award

Published to unprecedented acclaim, The Color Purple established Alice Walker as a major voice in modern fiction. This is the story of two sisters—one a missionary in Africa and the other a child wife living in the South—who sustain their loyalty to and trust in each other across time, distance, and silence. Beautifully imagined and deeply compassionate, this classic novel of American literature is rich with passion, pain, inspiration, and an indomitable love of life.

“Intense emotional impact . . . Indelibly affecting . . . Alice Walker is a lavishly gifted writer.” — New York Times Book Review

“Places Walker in the company of Faulkner.” — The Nation

“Superb . . . A work to stand beside literature of any time and place.” — San Francisco Chronicle

“A novel of permanent importance.” — Peter S. Prescott, Newsweek

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780544805026
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 11/10/2015
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 576,931
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Alice Walker is an internationally celebrated writer, poet and activist whose books include seven novels, four collections of short stories, four children’s books, and volumes of essays and poetry.  She won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction in 1983 and the National Book Award.


Mendocino, California

Date of Birth:

February 9, 1944

Place of Birth:

Eatonton, Georgia


B.A., Sarah Lawrence College, 1965; attended Spelman College, 1961-63

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The Color Purple 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 463 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I watched the movie Color Purple and really loved it and when I was required to read the book I kind of didn't want to read it because I already saw the movie, but I think the book helps you better understand the movie if there was some parts that you didn't understand, and I really loved the book almost as much as the movie. So I think everyone should read this book at lease once!
Darsey_spudnick More than 1 year ago
Probably one of the most impressive accomplishments of the Color Purple is the slow pace Alice Walker employed to lay out Celie's letters. With the exception of a few jolts and shocks, the letters unfold themselves leisurely, over many years, with a few shifts of focus and orientation and character, but overall the same in quality and tone. (Of course, as Celie's world expands, so does her world view and vocabulary, and the "outside" gradually becomes a part of her ever expanding horizon.) This makes The Color Purple, a rather mid-sized book by novelistic standards, feel much longer. The epistolary format of the novel, used to great effect, gives the sense that time is unfolding in a far greater sweep than the 295 pages in the paperback edition. But this is only one of the masterful elements of this novel. Walker has complete command of the art of writing a work such as this, and has fully realized its potential in nearly every area of writing: character development, plot, language, style, the presentation of conflict and its resolution. Reading the Color Purple, for those who write, provides ample opportunities to show how well a novel can work when a writer exercises complete command over her materials. Alice Walker, the master of wordsmithing.
HazelSR More than 1 year ago
This epistolary novel is an endearing story about the life and heartache of Celie. This story shows the terrible treatment Celie received from the men in her life. It wasn't until she had an experience with a woman that she began to understand love and acceptance. The Color Purple has some plot elements that are perhaps far-fetched, but it adds to the overall beauty and point of the story. This is a fantastic novel that every student of American literature should read at least once.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The color purple is about two sisters named Celie and Nettie who struggle in life. The setting was in Georgia. Their mom died when they were younger. This meant Celie who was the oldest had to take care of the children. They lived with their Stepfather Alfonso who takes advantage of Celie and abuses her physically, mentally, and verbally. He killed Celie's and his baby she had and sold the second baby. After awhile a man named Mr._____ wants to marry Nettie Celie's younger sister but Alfonso doesn't allow it instead offers Celie as a bride. Mr.______ accepts Celie and they get married. Their marriage is horrible he does the same to her as her father Alphonso did. Mr.______ Celie's husband has a lover named Shug Avery a singer. Nettie Celie's younger sister runs away to a missionary in Africa. Shug Avery Celie's husband's lover gets sick and Celie has to take care of her. Shug Avery treats Celie horrifically. Then Shug Avery finds out that Mr._____ beats Celie. She cares for Celie and they become friends. Celie then starts to be attracted to Shug. Nettie and Celie stayed contact they sent each other letters. Celie then finds that the children of the couple Nettie are with adopted to children that were hers. Celie later moves out and lives with Shug Avery. Nettie and Celie reunite and Celie gets to meet her children. This story inspired me to be grateful of my life because others in this world have it a lot more worse then you. What I loved about this book is that anybody can over come problems and you shouldn't let anyone put you down or treat you like you're nothing because you're someone and you have a heart. Everyone should be treated with respect. What other books I would love to read about Alice Walker In Love and Trouble because its inspiring its about African American woman who share a bond not because of their background its because of what they share in common and life experience they had that the other women did to.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The dialogue was hard to follow along in reading.I kept wanting to correct spelling, etc. Once you get into it the personalities of the characters grab you, once you get pass the 'ast' and 'gits' which indicated a lack of education or a familiar way of addressing each other. At times anger rose at the conversations indicating that young girls were being used and had no decisions in what happened to them. The kind of book that can be threatening to someone who has been abused and might cause them to abandon it. Found it graphic in some places referring to sexual matters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book and definitely recommend it to anyone. The characters and storyline are developed so well. The book only consists of letters so the fact that Walker is able to develop all the characters so well is awesome. I have read a few books like this with similar characters, the closest is probably The Bluest Eye but this was definitely my favorite out of any book in this genre. I also LOVED the relationship between all of the women in this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I do not think I can get past the first part with the semi graphic rape of the main character by her dad... I understand that it is accomplished and understand the historical and emotional context that was portrayed. I acknowledge its plot in bringing two sisters through very trying times in there lives and that of the other supporting characters while the world goes through significant changes. I am also satisfied with how the book tapered to close. Yet, I was not able to enjoy my read for this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'I don't say nothing. I think bout Nettie, dead. She fight, she run away. What good it do? I don't fight, I stay where I'm told. But I'm alive.' That basically describes Celie, the main character in The Color Purple. She is quiet and rarely speaks up while undergoing traumatic events. It was the most poignant book I have ever read. Alice Walker¿s The Color Purple is a heartbreaking novel with a descriptive setting and well described characters, a thorough and interesting plot, and connections any reader can make. The main character in The Color Purple is Celie. She undergoes many hardships throughout her life, and then ends up loosing her best friend/sister at a very young age. She undergoes many African American issues because of the time period. Alice Walker really reaches into the soul of Celie and her sister Nettie. She writes it with a unique letter format with no chapters.
JimRGill2012 More than 1 year ago
Utterly brilliant and breathtaking. Rarely does an author create a narrative voice so compelling, so poignantly sad and simultaneously strong. The is a story of the triumph of faith and love over racism, misogyny, and economic enslavement. Published 35 years ago, but as relevant and resonant today as it was in 1982.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Alice Walker’s The Color Purple is a novel based upon several societal issues. The narrative follows the lives of Celie and Nettie as they face domestic abuse, racism, rape, as well as other serious problems down South in the 1940s. The readers follow Celie as she explains her story in journal entries where she describes the mistreatment she faces. Celie also goes on to explain the physical and emotional pain she undergoes because of the cruel actions of others. Celie loses her desire to live because she feels “just miserable” as she wonders “why us have life at all if all it can do most times is make us feel bad” (Walker 289). The effects of her undeserving punishments bear on her mind and makes her question whether her life contains any meaning to it. Thus, the novel should be read age appropriately- teenagers and older- because it sheds light on the seriousness of societal issues such as rape and domestic abuse. Hopefully, people who read this novel gain a better understanding of these problems and the world will join together to stop these practices.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Most people have seen the movie but there is so much more depth in the book that I didn't know just from watching the movie.
Jillian_L More than 1 year ago
“The Color Purple” was genuine in its theme for freedom. Celie battles an inner conflict of self-slavery while those around her enslave her body, soul, and mind till she is a mere pawn in day to day life. She is dissected for her race, her physical appearance, and her lack of courage. Her education seemed useless to the men and not being able to master it was only one more failure she had to suffer for. As a sanctuary of safety, the women that surround her soon after her marriage were strong and would never let any man tell them what do to, let alone beat them. Her new daughter-in-law and friend, Sophia showed her what it looked like to stand up to your husband by leaving. To her, women deserved to have a little fun and with it, she got herself locked in jail and maid to the Major’s wife. Celie shuns the notion of running off and “having fun”, but as secrets begin to pop up with no explanation for what is what, her wits seem to pull her through. She finds her sister’s letters after the long belief of her being dead is dismissed by her new friend and interest, Shug Avery. Together, they manipulate Mr._____, Celie’s husband, into releasing Celie to Shug for a better life. Celie began to sew pants, symbolic of her quest for independence while conquering her love for Shug, physical and emotional. Yet when this new life overwhelms her, she returns to her home with her husband in his new sense of appreciation of Celie. The book holds literary merit with its elements of style and symbols. The theme of freedom shows in her letters, the only place she can express what she truly feels and thinks, but then she feels love for the sister she has loved and regained and the women who found her. The scandals in her life had built her up and in the end had made her the woman she most wanted to be; someone that was strong and could just live.
Pretend_Spoon More than 1 year ago
By far, one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read. Amazing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have grown up watching the film version of this story with Whoopi Goldberg and Danny Glover, and I just read this book for the first time ever. The movie is amazing but the book is exponentially more so. The parts of the book that are in the movie are exactly as they were in the movie (good job Hollywood) and the things that were left out of the film add so much depth to the story and make it that much more amazing. I love the way you get to watch the characters grow over time and how things come together. Also, the book is written in the form of letters, which, when I first found out worried me, but it still comes across perfectly. And you don't want to put it down, you just want to keep reading and find out what exactly is going to happen next and how. I will be happy to read this book again many more times just as I've watched the movie many times. It's absolutely beautiful.
astreckenbach More than 1 year ago
The author wrote this book knowing it would be timeless and for any reader. People learn about slavery starting at a young age, so I believe people around the age of twenty could read this book and get a real and powerful perspective, but also an old lady could read it and feel deeply impacted. I believe that my age, a sixteen year old girl, is perfect for this book because Celie is around my age. Therefore, I can best relate to her. The title was well thought out. In the book, Shug Avery and Celie are walking through a path of purple flowers talking about God and Shug says: "God gets pissed off if people walk by the color purple and don't notice it". I believe this title can be interpreted any way, but purple represents violence and pain so I think she is trying to make a point that people are ignorant and don't recognize something so beautiful, like flowers, or African Americans in this metaphor, and what they are doing to them. It's hard to explain but kind of explains my interpretation of the title. It was obviously well thought out and makes me wonder. I do not want to give the end of the story away! But I will say that it was fulfilling and wrapped the novel up beautifully since as a whole it was so moving and powerful. The most interesting part of the book is in the structure. Celie writes "Dear God," but he is a distant figure. It seems as if she recognizes his existence but he never real comes to play. Although she tells only him all of her thoughts and feelings, she never goes deeper to explain any relationship with God. The most exciting part of the book was when Shug Avery was going to live with Celie. It was toward the beginning of the book, so talk of her abusive past was fresh in the reader's mind. The only light in Celie's letters was her amazement in Shug Avery. She looked up to her dearly so it was very exciting that a foreshadowing of Shug influencing Celie was near. It made me love Celie as a character and want to help her in any way so I felt happy for her. The author's style is very much trying to get lost in the character. She is Celie. As stated before, it is in first person and Celie writes in the dialect of her time period and setting. This makes the book even more realistic and meaningful because it makes the reader feel like it's all happening as they read. I loved it personally.
CAPRIEUS More than 1 year ago
To begin, this book is truly amazing! It certainly brought tears to my eyes. Just thinking about how those men treated the women in their life is unbearable. Not only did they abuse them physically, but mentally. One of the main characters began talking to God through prayer and poems asking for guidance. After reading this book I was definitely realized how blessed I am. Not to mention how easy to words are. Although, you may have to go back and reread a couple of line in order to understand exactly which character is doing what. Once you start reading it is hard to put down. I will definitely read it again.
Cloud14 More than 1 year ago
I loved it and read it during every free moment I had. You feel bad for the main character as she lives on in her miserable life but you'll wait patiently for her to gain her courage and make decisions that make her happy. I'd love to reread this book and look at the symbolism found throughout the book that I most likely missed. Not a tear jerker but very moving.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was required to read this book as a part of my humanities literature course at IUP, and at first, I wasn't so sure. I hadn't enjoyed either of the previous novels we had read, so I wasn't sure if this one was going to be any different, but it really was worth reading. Once I began, I found myself zipping through the pages wanting to know what happend to Celie next. The fact that the novel was set up in letters made it easier to read. Although the dialogue was difficult to understand at first, I found myself finding it easier and easier to read as I went on. Amazing book, and I would definitely reccommend it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book for a literature class to take and at first i was skeptical because i was obligated to read it. Adapting to the southern dialect took a few chapters but once i began to fully comprehend the lingo i really started to enjoy the book. For those that did or do not understand the opression of females in the early 1900's this book is a real eye opener. It takes you on a journey through celie's eyes all the hardships she encounters and how she continually manages to overcome them is a true test of charecter. This story is mostly sad and could be percieved as inappropriate at times but overall it is a real page turner. this is one book that i definately do not regret having read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Even though this story is written in letter format, it is still a pretty slow read. The grammer is hard to understand, and just plain confusing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dear God... The opening line in a book of self discovery and growth. Celie the main character in this book, takes on the responsiblility of taking care of her younger siblings at the age of 14. As she grow she is given to a man known as Mr. ____ who beats her and forces her to take care of his god awful children. She thinks of herself as nothing more than a slave in "her own home." On Celie's walk of life she meets a woman named Shug Avery. Shug is a traveling preformer and a very independent woman. She teaches Celie how to stand up for herself and learn how to live. The Color Purple is a very well written book and comes to all its readers highly recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Its a good book once you can handle all the damn slang and ebonics, im not hating i just couldnt understand half of what they were saying, but it was worthwhile
Anonymous 2 days ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Color Purple-Alice Walker-Drama-Classic The Color Purple is a story of two sisters living in a time of slavery and poverty. The first sister Celici is the first one to marry and she is married to Mr.____. Celici is a slave and she and her husband are in a terrible relationship. Her sister Nettie leaves to be a missionary in Africa. Nettie tries and struggles to show the people the ways of the christian church, the people do not take this information, but are grateful for the work that the missionaries do for them. Nettie writes to Celici, but Mr._____ hides the letters and prevents Celici from reading them. The singer Shrug, know for causing husbands to cheat on their wives, ill, and is child like at times, lives with Celici for a long time. Shrug becomes ill and stays with Celici, who knows that Mr.____ is cheating on her with. Celici helps bring Shrug back to good health. Shrug discovers the letters and gives them to Celici. Celici eventually escaped slavery and then starts a custom pants business that is very successful. The book is written in a very unique style, its written in letters and prayers to God. Nettie went to school longer and so her english skills are much better, while Celici’s english is not up to par. When Celici’s side of the story is told it is written with poor grammar and spelling, almost with an accent. Nettie has perfect english and it is easily told when reading her letters. I enjoyed the book, it is very different and the story brings many thinking points. During the book Shrug brings this energy that the rest of the characters have never seen before. Shrug represents all these desires that the rest of the characters have. She made me think. The book also related to my beliefs and experiences through my religion and my experience going on a mission trip. I would recommend this book because of its historical value. It causing one to think about what they would do in the situation. The characters are well described and help express the time as well. The book is also a classic and should be read by everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A deeper understanding of the relationship between the ex and the wife