Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Prize Winning Fiction
Prize Winning Fiction

1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Winner

The Color Purple by Alice Walker


Publisher: Harcourt

Length: 245 pages

About: Black woman overcomes terrible abuse

Style: 1st person

Where: US (Georgia), Africa and England

When: 1920s - 1930s



Publisher’s synopsis:

Set in the deep American South between the wars, it is the 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 free spirit, freeing her from her past and reuniting her with those she loves.




Dear God, Harpo ast his daddy why he beat me. Mr -------- say, Cause she my wife. Plus, she stubborn. All women good for – he don’t finish. He just tuck his chin over the paper like he do. Remind me of Pa.





A stunning, brilliantly conceived book...a saga filled with joy and pain, humor and bitterness, and an array of characters who live, breathe and illuminate the world of black women.

Publisher's Weekly


Not so good:

If there is a weakness in this novel - besides the somewhat pallid portraits of the males - it is Netti's correspondence for Africa. While Netti's letters broaden and reinforce the theme of female oppression by dexcribing customs of the Olinka tribe that parallel some found in the American South, they are often mere monologues on African history. Appearing, as they do, after Celie's intensely subjective voice has been established, they seem lackluster and intrusive.

New York Times, Mel Watkins 25th July 1982


About the author

Born Feb 9th 1944 Walker was born in Eatonton, Georgia, the eighth child of sharecroppers. In 1965, Walker met and later married Mel Leventhal, a Jewish civil rights lawyer. They became the first legally married inter-racial couple in Mississippi. This brought them a steady stream of harassment and even murderous threats from the Ku Klux Klan. The couple had a daughter, Rebecca in 1969, but divorced eight years later.




















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<1982> -  <1984>














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Age guide: 18



Novels by same author:


Film Directed by Steven Spielberg starring Whoopi Goldberg 1985 and Musical 2005 on Broadway produced by Oprah Winfrey






2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner

It's a massive day in arts and journalism because the 100th annual Pulitzer Prize winners were just announced, and there's a big surprise. 2015's best artistic and nonfiction writing across 21 categories were recognized during a ceremony Monday afternoon at Columbia University in New York City. The first Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Hebert Bayward Swope, a reporter for The New York World, in 1916. (And if you're as big a fan of Newsies as I am, that paper should ring a bell, but try to think of it more positively.)

The major prize for book nerds, the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction went to The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press), a legitimate surprise, if you've been paying attention to the book nerd and industry buzz. The feeling around the prize in the last few months would have you putting all your hard-earned cash down on A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara to take home the award, but that's why you should never gamble. Viet Thanh Nguyen is no less deserving, and moreover, it's his debut novel, which makes it such a wonderful win.

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