The Color Purple (Musical Tie-In)

The Color Purple (Musical Tie-In)

4.4 395
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

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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

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Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range:
14 Years

Meet 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.

Brief Biography

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. 395 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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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 17 hours ago
av11 4 days ago
The Color Purple was a novel written by Alice Walker. A very slow pace book, with letters that are revealed over many years. There are four main characters in this novel, with Celie being the largest. This novel gives an insight on what the time was like and what the people focused on. It starts off explaining Celie’s troubling story with the relationship between her sister and father. At a young age Celie was forced to work and was used to carry other men's babies. Raped by her own father, she doesn't understand the purpose behind love. Later with a bargain, she's left committing to a loveless relationship with 4 kids and a husband, beaten and raped regularly. Celie is treated nothing more than a slave. Forced to work and take care of Mr._____ her husband. (Later discovered as Albert). She is stuck in a house with her sister and other former friends just like her. When Mr.____ sends Celie's sister away, Nettie, everything breaks loose. Left with no one to turn to, she later finds herself falling in love with her husband’s mistress, Shug Avery. She learns quickly that Shug is everything she wants to be. However, when Shug comes to live with Celie and Mr.____ she is in horrible condition. Celie has no choice but to take care of a woman who loves her own husband. Later on in the novel Shug shows her the meaning of love, and demonstrates what it should feel like. Being a shock to Celie, never experiencing feelings quite as intense. Meanwhile, Nettie has written and sent over 25 letters to Celie back home. Mr.____ refuses to give them to Celie, so they remain a secret. Nettie is making a life of her own in Africa with folks that decided to take her in as their own. Not until Shug comes around and sneaks the letters to Celie does she know her sister is still alive. Shug sleeps with Celie's husband all the chances she get, but when talking to Celie about it she doesn't care. She reveals all the times he has hurt and raped her and Shug fixes the problem. Over a period of time the girls grow a longing for one another; realizing they truly do love each other. Celie’s friends cause trouble, making matters worse. With all of them leaving and putting in jail time Celie and Shug grow closer and closer. Leaving matters behind and moving to a home Celie can call her own, thanks to her hurtful father. When this happens Celie begins writing to Nettie, explaining how she has a life planned for the two of them when she returns. Neither of them are receiving the letters, but they continue to write. This story explains the hardships of a relationship and explores why love is such a harsh and cruel concept to hold onto. It is written through the perspective of Celie the entire time with other stories told in memories and letters. It is based in the 1920’s, there are still racial tensions and troubles with the rights of women. This novel touches on all of this subjects, leaving the audience with a greater understanding of the time period. Overall The Color Purple was an excellent novel, it is meant for a mature audience. Being able to truly grasp the concept of this story will allow the audience to feel for the characters.
APLit3 5 months ago
The Color Purple is one of the strongest written novels of how love transforms and cruelty disfigures the human spirit. It provides a disturbing yet realistic account into the life of a young black woman named Celie. Even at 14 years old, she has been physically, emotionally, and sexually abused more times than one could even imagine. She manages to survive by living one day at a time and writing to God and her sister when she can. Celie’s father marries her off to her husband who is just as inhuman. He is so cold and distant that she can only refer to him as Mr. ______. By not stating his name, the author proves effective in illustrating a character that is cruel and heartless. She depicts her husband as a man incapable of showing kindness and any sense of humanity. Her tragic, abusive past teaches her how to survive, let go of the past, and most of all, love. I thought the way in which Walker chose to write her book was perfect. Dividing the novel into diary form establishes a sense of intimate and immediate connection between her and the reader. They are able to really connect with the main character and everything she is going through. As a reader, you immediately begin to feel for Celie and the tragic, abusive past she has experienced. Walker draws the reader in from the beginning by starting with a fairly graphic scene of the physical abuse Celie’s father subjected her to. This makes you think about the different lifestyles and society’s people around the world are forced to grow up in. Celie’s strength and courage through all the tragedies she has encountered classify her as one of the most inspirational characters ever read about. She makes you believe that even in the darkest moments and worst of times when all else seems to be lost, one can find hope, just as Celie did. If Celie was able to overcome all the hardships experienced through her life, then we should all remain hopeful that things will work out for us as well. Through these diary entries, one could learn more about Celie’s lack of education and the naivety of a young black girl who lived in a world where men were always the dominant figure further suppressing Celie’s hopes and dreams. The author later introduces Shug Avery and Sofia as a way to balance out Celie’s submissive qualities as these women are seen as independent, strong, and inspirational individuals. Through Shug’s love and encouragement, Celie learns to stand up for herself and become the powerful and intelligent women she longed to be. Although there were various graphic sexual abuse/actions and violence that made the text uncomfortable to read, the story began to unravel as it went on. The story showcased self-discovery as well as the coming of age of a woman who had been suppressed for so long. The reasons for the sexual content later expressed the freedom Celie was feeling and the pain she experienced – rather than to shock or disgust the reader. Overall, The Color Purple, was an unforgettable read with intense, emotional impact that holds a permanent importance. Alice Walker shows us the transformation of a great woman--what she was, what she is capable of, and what she has finally become. It's an extraordinary novel, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for inspiration or strong female role models.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I fell in love with this book and was so excited to see the autobiographical bit at the end,sadly the text was cut short below the pictures and i felt cheated since the book was $10!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book its sad tough
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tm1229 More than 1 year ago
To read a book with such abuse is really hard, its almost like you want to stop reading, but…you know its going to get better. The Color Purple by Alice Walker, shows a hard life of a young girl living in a family of abuse, love, and pain. A 14-year old by the name of Celie has grown up being sexually abused by her father and faces life with much pain. She is now forced to marry a grown man by the name of Mr. _____. Celie encounters many struggles, one in particular is when her sister leaves for an extensive time. After, a strong bond is then formed with a lady by the name of Shug Avery, which helps Celie to overcome her many battles. Although, this book does contain a lot of profanity and sexual scenes, it really teaches the reader what it was like in a harsh rural life of an African-American woman in the pre-civil rights South. So, what does this book teach the reader?  The character development in this story is very strong. In the beginning of the book, Celie is sexually enslaved by her husband. She is treated with disrespect, but doesn't think much of it since she is continuously occupied with constant household demands. Towards the end of the book she starts to form a stronger relationship with many of the characters who the reader would never guess. In this story, she continues to write to god and her sister. With the help of the strongest people in her life she overcomes her struggles. Character development in the story shows that the biggest struggles in life can always be overcome. This is a good lesson that is taught in this book that can affect many of the readers. Harpo, Celie’s husbands son, asks his father why he beat Celie, he responds with, “Cause she my wife,” At this time Celie calmly accepted the abuse, “He beat me like he beat the children. Cept he don’t ever hardly beat them.” This acceptance that Celie had for the beatings was very confusing for a reader who doesn't understand what the world was like at that day in age. African Americans, particularly women, were sexually abused, and they didn't have the power to do anything about it. Celie’s husband, Albert, is in no way thinking of his actions, this is simply his nature and what he feels should be done.  This book takes you on a journey through toil and strife. It shows how one big impact on your life can affect you so much more in the future, it makes you stronger. Its how forming bonds with unfamiliar people is so powerful, and how different kinds of love can end up being harmful. This book teaches the reader that no matter the circumstance or struggle that they have to go through, there is always a way around it. Yeah, this book might be sick, and very inappropriate to some people, but its a part of our world thats still happening, right now. Anyone who is interested in learning about hard times in history or just wanting a book with a deep, deep meaning, then The Color Purple should come to mind. Wipe the tear from your eye they always tell me. “Life is to short to cry. A tear will no longer last. Until the day when you can see the past. Don’t worry much just let life be. Go and be free. I’m not going to be that girl. A girl without a wish, a dream, a fantasy. I'm going to cry and Im not wiping my eyes. Leave me alone and let me be, because nobody can be free.” - Aujahne Sampson