The Color Purple, Alice Walker
What’s there to say about The Color Purple? It’s so deservedly famous that it’s difficult for me to think of anything that might be interesting to say. I can understand the more negative reviews for it — the epistolary format, the colloquial language and often phonetic spelling, the unrelenting awfulness of the main character’s life. Even some of the plot twists. And of course the more conservative among us aren’t going to be pleased by the female sexuality on display, and particularly not the relationship between Shug and Celie.
And yet. It ends up being quite uplifting, because here are these people who are discovering how to stand on their own two feet, how to live, and how to be their own selves and not what their parents made, and not what society wants them to be either. It seems like there’s no one in the book immune from the possibility of self-discovery and redemption. And despite the fact that Shug has no faith in the typical version of God, and Celie loses it too, there’s something profoundly spiritual about Celie’s journey.
I’m glad I finally got round to reading this.