Title: The Color Purple
Author: Alice Walker
Published: June, 1985
Published By: Pocket Books
Format Read: Paperback
Genre: Classic Literature, Historical Fiction
Date Read: May 20, 2016
Alice Walker’s The Color Purple is a Pulitzer Prize winning novel that has become an American classic. The story follows the often turbulent life of an African American woman named Celie in the form of letters to God and her sister Nettie. Married off to a man who doesn’t love her, she raises another woman’s children and learns life lessons from her husband’s mistress and family.
I admit that The Colour Purple was one of the most intimidating books on my to-be read shelf and it sat there for quite some time until I convinced myself to pick it up. I knew very little about the plot, but knowing that this is an important and award winning piece of literature I was curious to learn what makes it so special.
My enjoyment of this novel was a slow build-up, but once I adjusted to Celie’s way of speech and the story moved along, I couldn’t put it down.
Beginning in Celie’s early teens and chronicling her married years, Alice Walker depicts the life of a woman in a culture where she is meant to obey and serve her husband otherwise face the wrath of his abuse. This is just one example of the feminist lessons The Color Purple approaches.
Through the experiences of Nettie’s missionary work, the author compares life in an African tribe to that of life for African Americans in North America, which is quite ironic.
After completing this book I can definitely see and agree with the importance of this novel in literature, especially when examining American culture and feminism. I would recommend this book to those who have an interest in books of those themes.