Book review: The Color Purple

January 20, 2011

Title: The Color Purple
Author: Alice Walker
Pages: 262

The Color Purple is a novel set in the American South. It is about a black woman called Celie. The book is unique because it consists entirely of letters. The bulk of them are written by Celie to God. There are also letters between Celie and her sister.

Celie is a poor woman and barely literate. Her letters are full of colloquial and badly spelled English:

“She tell me, Your skin. Your hair. Your teefs. He try to give her a
compliment, she pass it on to me. After while I git to feeling pretty
cute”

I liked the style this book was written in. Celie’s journey from a quiet woman who is bullied, beaten and abused to an independent and proud woman is remarkable. You would think that trying to tell a story entirely through letters would present some narrative difficulties and you would be right. The author sometimes mixes up voices in the letters. For ex, Celie is writing in the first-person but then she suddenly begins quoting Sofia (her daughter-in-law) in the first-person. It was a bit confusing.

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One Response to “Book review: The Color Purple”


  1. […] The Color Purple by Alice Walker […]

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