The Color Purple
Iconic modern classic
Set in the deep American South between the wars, The Color Purple is the classic tale of Celie, a young black girl born into poverty and segregation. Raped repeatedly by the man she calls ‘father’, she has two children taken away from her, is separated from her beloved sister Nettie and is trapped into an ugly marriage. But then she meets the glamorous Shug Avery, singer and magic-maker – a woman who has taken charge of her own destiny. Gradually Celie discovers the power and joy of her own spirit, freeing her from her past and reuniting her with those she loves.
Published in 1982, The Color Purple went on to win both the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. In 1985, the book was adapted into a film directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover and Oprah Winfrey, and in 2005 it was adapted into a Broadway musical.
Part of our ‘Beyond the Book’ Series. View
Kirsty Young’s castaway this week is the Pulitzer Prize winning writer Alice Walker. Author, poet, feminist and activist, it was her novel The Color Purple that brought her worldwide attention and acclaim. The story of a poor black girl surviving in the deep American south, between the wars, it is a landmark work, disturbing and exhilarating in equal measure.Play
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Alice Walker discusses the birth of her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Steven Spielberg’s big-screen version, and her thoughts on the musical adaptation.Watch
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Review of The Color Purple shortly after it was published by Mel Watkins for the New York TimesRead Article
Journalist, Anna Clark, recalls her original 1983 review of The Color Purple that still features on the National Book Award website.Read Article
A review of the cultural impact of The Color Purple, by Victoria Bond for The New Republic.Read Article
Alice Walker author website
Alice Walker’s official websiteVisit Website
Book notes on The Color Purple
Free study guide on The Color Purple from bookrags.comRead
Symbolism of Purple
A short analysis of the symbolism of the use of purple in the novel.Read More
Website for The Color Purple Musical
Website for the musical version of The Color Purple including video clips and songs.Visit Website