The Color Purple

The Color Purple

Book - 2003
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Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate, and continuing over the course of her marriage to "Mister," a brutal man who terrorizes her. Celie eventually learns that her abusive husband has been keeping her sister's letters from her and the rage she feels, combined with an example of love and independence provided by her close friend Shug, pushes her finally toward an awakening of her creative and loving self.

Baker & Taylor
Banned in several school districts mostly for sexual and racial themes, a novel about Celie, a poor black woman who surmounts rape and abuse to find her true self, still retains its power today. Reprint.

& Taylor

The lives of two sisters--Nettie, a missionary in Africa, and Celie, a Southern woman married to a man she hates--are revealed in a series of letters exchanged over thirty years.

Publisher: Orlando, Fla. : Harcourt, Inc., 2003, 1982
ISBN: 9780156031820
Characteristics: 294 p. ; 18 cm


From the critics

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Dec 04, 2017

A beautiful example of diverse fiction. The emotional and heart-breaking tale of two sisters who end up with very separate lives and their journey to find each other. This book is told from an interesting perspective, in the form of letters the two sisters send each other as they grow up and old over the years. An outstanding story that will last through the centuries.

AL_JENNIEB May 12, 2017

A beautifully written story of a friendship that becomes so much more, and about the deep bonds that connect women.

May 06, 2017

The guilt felt by white liberals about black slavery has led to an undeserved adulation of the negro in the present day. I say undeserved as the negro has contributed little or nothing to technology, the arts, or humanity: no major inventions, no great painting, and no great writing. The Color Purple is garbage concealed in a semi-argot of ignorant black speech. The first half of the book is the continual rut of the negro male; the second half is beatification of life in a grass hut environment in Africa where man supposedly arose, but civilization never occurred.
As the empty suit that is obama was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace even before he created enmity and destruction for eight long years, this tripe was awarded prizes similarly just for being negro.

Tagged as offensive? By what? Must be a negro; is there one who can read? A coon, or a smegma eating libtard--both are perennially offended.

This is the story of two sisters; one, a child wife and the other a missionary. They connect and learn from each other through a series of letters.This book is my fav because it's beautifully written. - Hanan - Teen Volunteer

Feb 09, 2017

Great book in high school English class.
Pity faithful movie miscast one of the key role.

Sep 25, 2016

The last week of September is typically celebrated by the ALA as Banned Books Week, in which readers exercise their right to read whatever they please, free from censorship. As someone who wholeheartedly supports freedom of expression, I really felt the need to mark this occasion. THE COLOUR PURPLE is one of those books that I have meant to read because I saw the film at a young age and knew the book was out there but never got around to reading. So, you can imagine my delight in finally finding a reason to read it that was a touch greater than the fact that I really, really, really wanted to. I found that THE COLOUR PURPLE is largely plotless, but in a good way. I don't mean that nothing happens. In fact, a lot of things happen. It's hard to recount all the things that happen. But since this book is about a life and life is largely plotless, it feels like that, each event occurring because it happened to, and not because someone wrote it to be so. The novel revolves around the miserable existence that our protagonist, Celie, ekes out while married to an abusive husband who openly courts another woman right in front of Celie's eyes. She raises his disrespectful children and feels the oppression of being an African-American farmwife in the early decades of the twentieth century. I won't say too much because I don't want to ruin the novel (I never want to ruin a novel for anyone who hasn't read it), but I must say that watching Celie become more and more liberated is wonderful. An independent woman is a beautiful thing, a woman who realizes she needs love but that sometimes it comes in weird and unexpected forms. And, above all, this is a book about sorority. The relationship between Celie and her sister Nettie is intensely vital. Without it, the book lacks that golden thread to tie all its parts together. It's a solidly written tale of Celie's life. And, of course, I appreciate the title. I may not speak the same words as they do or share the same belief system, but I too believe in the power of the colour purple.

Jul 26, 2016

This book had explicit content. Otherwise it was a good read.

Mar 01, 2016

i have no words for this book except it was a fantastic read. the characters were so well written and the pace was steady. i read it in practically one sitting. Celie's and Nettie's relationship was beautiful. 5 stars.

Jan 10, 2016

A very thought-provoking novel about identity issues. I enjoyed the vast array of topics ranging from racism, sexism, feminism, all sorts of discrimination, sexuality, true love, family, and especially a non-traditional approach to practicing Christianity. Though the language is hard to read through, you'll get used to it towards the end. A wonderful read!

May 25, 2015

Very heart touching story of two sisters. The older sister celie is a true inspiration.

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Add Age Suitability

Jan 10, 2016

Davy_Anteater thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Jun 20, 2014

cellering thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Jian Feng Wang
Jan 04, 2014

Jian Feng Wang thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Nahnsu Jul 09, 2013

Nahnsu thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


YHAQUERINIOLA thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 13

K_ROK Jan 25, 2013

K_ROK thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

EuSei Jun 03, 2011

EuSei thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Apr 22, 2011

Black_Dog_49 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


Add Notices

EuSei Jun 03, 2011

Violence: This title contains Violence.

EuSei Jun 03, 2011

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.

EuSei Jun 03, 2011

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

Jun 07, 2008

Violence: This title contains Violence.


Add a Quote

Sep 25, 2016

"I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it."

Sep 25, 2016

"I hadn't realized I was so ignorant, Celie. The little I knew about my own self wouldn't have filled a thimble! And to think Miss Beasley always said I was the smartest child she ever taught! But one thing I do thank her for, for teaching me to learn for myself, by reading and studying and writing a clear hand. And for keeping alive in me somehow the desire to know."

Sep 25, 2016

"All my life I had to fight. I had to fight my daddy. I had to fight my brothers. I had to fight my cousins and my uncles. A girl child ain't safe in a family of men. But I never thought I'd have to fight in my own house."


Add a Summary

Nahnsu Jul 09, 2013

Celie, a fourteen year old black girl, lives with her dying mother and abusive father in the South. Her father rapes her, impregnating her twice, and then rids himself of the children after birth. She learns to obey men to the letter, to grow used to beatings, and has dropped out of school in order to do housework. However, her "cleverer" and "prettier" sister, Nettie, is allowed to continue her studies, and is lusted after by a Mr. Johnson, who is known to have a dark past with a woman named Shug Avery. However, Nettie declines the mans advances, and the father offers Celie instead. Nettie and Celie are separated for years, each making their own discoveries about love, god and bigotry.

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