Summer is now truly over. I'm back to reading Great Books.
So I decided to read Alice Walker's The Color Purple because I read her daughter's book Black ,White, and Jewish.
All this time I thought The Color Purple would be a bad book because it was made into a movie with Oprah Winfrey in it. How stupid! It's wonderful.
It's an epistolary novel, beginning with letters from Celie, a young black woman in pre WWII Georgia, to God, asking Him to explain what is happening to her and help her.
And what letters. Celie is raped by her father, who takes the two children that she bears away from her. Her mother dies and she is left to protect her younger sister alone. That's the first three pages.
Her father gives her in marriage to a man who needs a wife to care for his children, who despises her and abuses her. She loses her younger sister Nettie. Celie almost succeeds in rubbing herself out completely. But then her husband brings his sick lover into their home. Shug Avery is a singer with a long black body. She knows who she is and what she wants. She changes Celie's life.
Walker conveys the drudgery and poverty of farm life that James Agee described in Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, but adds the emotion and drama of an entire beautiful life, Celie's life from the beginning to the end of adulthood.
The dialect could have seemed trite, but it doesn't. Celie is real as pain can be on a page. I wanted to cry when she finally got her first little bit of happiness.