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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, this novel about a resilient and courageous woman has become a Broadway show and a cultural phenomenon.

A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick

Celie has grown up poor in rural Georgia, despised by the society around her and abused by her own family. She strives to protect her sister, Nettie, from a similar fate, and while Nettie escapes to a new life as a missionary in Africa, Celie is left behind without her best friend and confidante, married off to an older suitor, and sentenced to a life alone with a harsh and brutal husband.

In an attempt to transcend a life that often seems too much to bear, Celie begins writing letters directly to God. The letters, spanning 20 years, record a journey of self-discovery and empowerment guided by the light of a few strong women. She meets Shug Avery, her husband’s mistress and a jazz singer with a zest for life, and her stepson’s wife, Sophia, who challenges her to fight for independence. And though the many letters from Celie’s sister are hidden by her husband, Nettie’s unwavering support will prove to be the most breathtaking of all

The Color Purple has sold more than five million copies, inspired an Academy Award-nominated film starring Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey and directed by Steven Spielberg, and been adapted into a Tony-nominated Broadway musical. Lauded as a literary masterpiece, this is the groundbreaking novel that placed Walker “in the company of Faulkner” (The Nation) and remains a wrenching - yet intensely uplifting - experience for new generations of listeners.

©1982 Alice Walker (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Color Purple

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Its like a soft breeze of wind

This to me was not just an audiobook. It was like sitting next to an elderly person of the family and listening to their tales, real life experiences. The story is engaging, entertaining and at the same time my stomach ties in knots time to time listening to the way events unfold. I came across many short and simple one liners that almost chocked me. Such a simple but powerful way to express deepest feeling... Loved the book and the narration equally.

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Not too good

To be honest, I didn't like it much. The plot didn't intrigue me and the narration is really difficult to understand , specially if you're not a native English speaker. The story is not much engrossing either..

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A hearth-touching story of self-discovery

Celie writes letters to God, because she doesn't know who else to tell to. Her father abuses and rapes her. She has been forced out of school. Her two children have been taken taken away from her by her father. She has been married to a man who never wanted her and treats her like dirt. The only person who loves her and cares about her is her little sister Nettie. But Nettie ran away. Celie believes Nettie is dead because she promised that she will write letters to Celie but she never did. She has resolved to be a nobody and nothing.
But things change for her when her husband's lover, Shug Avery, a sassy and fierce woman enters her life. With Shug's help, Celie begins to redeem, rediscover and redefine herself.

This is the first time that I have read a novel in the form of collected letters. As the letters are written to God, the emotions expressed feel honest and sincere. I loved how the author has used bad grammar in dialogues to show that the characters are not well-educated.

Absolutely loved the book.

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not related to the title of the book!

this book is more about the struggles of women in the 19th century. very informative!!!

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  • Ms. Blacq
  • 13-10-19

way better than the movie

I read this book as a girl and so much went over my head. now as an matured woman I caught it all, I think... I'll read again in 20 years to see what i missed this go around. best book I've ever read.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-02-19

spectacular

The narration itself itself is remarkable. Lyrical, subtle and warm. The characters seem full and on the blind cusp of their own unfolding experiences.
Sectacular story as well as audio production.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Precious Honey
  • 09-01-19

In depth

having only ever seen the movie it was nice to have a more in-depth fleshed-out look at all of the characters things that are hinted at in the movie play all the way out in the book very much worth the credit

11 people found this helpful

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  • Melissa Hurwitz
  • 05-08-19

Amazing. Fortifying. Beautiful.

How did I wait so long to read this? Much more uplifting than I could ever expect.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Zelda
  • 13-02-19

what the heart wants

saw the movie years ago but as usual the movie left out some pretty important details.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Michael
  • 10-09-20

Simple. If you haven't read it yet, do it not.

What a book, what a voice. Alice Walker reading her novel is a gift to the world.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Paul
  • 06-09-20

A Classic of Western Literature

It is wonderful to hear Ms. Walker read her amazing novel. I read it in the early to mid '80s. Now over 35 years later, it speaks to me and moves me all over again.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Ashley N. Martin
  • 11-09-19

Absolutely WONDERFUL!!

Listening to the book gives you so much more insight than the movie! Never thought I would say this, I'd rather read the book than look at the movie!!!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Emily Eicher
  • 25-08-19

Raw Transparency

Narrated by the author, this story felt like I was part of an intimate setting with a friend who told of the journey of her life.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Patti
  • 10-05-19

what an amazing story, its an emotional love story

A true love story about how deeply we love the people in our life. the authors narration was perfect!

5 people found this helpful

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  • OSR
  • 13-12-19

Even better as an audiobook

Utterly beautiful and poignant - two weeks after finishing this it is still haunting me. One of the few books which is made even better by being listened to - Alice Walker's narration gave a perspective I simply would not have had without the character voices and accents.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Sigrin
  • 03-04-20

Simply outstanding


This is up there in my top ten books of all time.

I very rarely read or listen to a book twice as there are too many books and too little time. However seeing as it was at least 20 years ago since I last read and enjoyed it. I decided to give this a go on audible.

The narration by the author bought so much more to this book than the written word.

It is a simply outstanding book. I can not praise Alice Walkers exquisite delivery of her exceptional book enough.

Thoroughly recommend.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Memamouse
  • 11-05-20

Beautiful.

Such a sad, yet uplifting and historically interesting book. All the characters are carved so gently and their weaving stories move with elegant ease from one brutal, ugly act to another without ever letting the listening give up hope.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Fiona Keates
  • 14-01-20

good solid listen

well read, well written and interesting to listen to. could relate to the chatacters and found them to be very believable, as well as the situations presented. hard not to believe this wasn't based on true life

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jo
  • 21-12-19

Incredible, moving book

This is obviously a dark and often tragic story, but that doesn't mean it's not hugely compelling. I had read as a teenager but the audiobook is incredible and let's you really get Celie's voice and story

3 people found this helpful

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  • Danette Topham
  • 26-05-20

The colour purple

Absolutely enjoyed listening to this story would definitely recommend. I enjoyed it so much I could listen to again.

2 people found this helpful

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  • siobhan brophy
  • 20-05-20

beautiful

such a lovely, well written, well read book. I would reccomend it to anyone.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ru
  • 19-05-20

Couldn’t stop listening

Extremely well written and read book. I’m glad it was read by the author, I could not put it down. Highly recommend to everyone.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Michael
  • 04-05-20

heartwarming

I loved every minute of it. the author reading it makes it so much more special

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  • Nyah Farier
  • 02-05-20

Stunningly beautiful work

I couldn't stop listening. Beautifully written and narrated. I visualised and was captivated by every word

1 person found this helpful

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  • Thomas Booth
  • 17-07-21

Beautiful and Uplifting

One of the most uplifting books I've read. Walker's narration is beautiful. Recommended reading for all!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 20-12-20

Beautiful and vulnerable

A masterpiece read, much deeper than the movie dares treat yourself to this queer classic

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  • Mary Rita Martin
  • 05-01-20

A wonderful tale of how to live

I read this book many years ago and loved it, but had forgotten much of the story. To listen to the author Alice Walker read her own work, and share this story of love and kiss and pain and suffering and enduring and surging, and in being happy is a true delight. It transforms and uplifts you.

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  • Vicki Reeves
  • 28-11-19

Read this book!!!

I haven't read this book for over 20 years. Even better second time round I think. The story is just as moving the first time, and I loved the narration by the author herself. Priceless!!

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  • Jane Feast
  • 13-09-19

From the mouth of Alice Walker to my ears.

So much more to this story than I thought possible. Astounding. Thank you Ms Walker.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-04-19

Stunning...

A beautiful tale of a spiritual journey.... beautifully read and leaves you wanting more. I loved it. ❤️ Now to watch the movie 😀