In search of the color purple : the story of an American masterpiece / Salamishah Tillet
Book | Abrams Press | 2021

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xvii, 205 pages : illustrations, genealogical table ; 22 cm
Foreword / by Gloria Steinem -- Introduction: Looking for Alice -- Part I: Celie. The loveliness of her spirit ; I had to do a lot of other writing to get to this point ; In this struggle language is crucial -- Part II: Shug. Opening this secret to the world ; Ready to waltz on down to Hollywood ; Let the film roll -- Part III: Sophia. The single most defining experience I've ever had ; I was struggling with forgiveness at that point in my life -- Epilogue: Now feeling like home -- Afterword / by Beverly Guy-Sheftall
Mixing cultural criticism, literary history, biography, and memoir, an exploration of Alice Walker's critically acclaimed and controversial novel, The Color Purple. Alice Walker made history in 1983 when she became the first black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for The Color Purple. Published in the Reagan era amid a severe backlash to civil rights, the Jazz Age novel tells the story of racial and gender inequality through the life of a 14-year-old girl from Georgia who is haunted by domestic and sexual violence. Prominent academic and activist Salamishah Tillet combines cultural criticism, history, and memoir to explore Walker's epistolary novel and shows how it has influenced and been informed by the zeitgeist. The Color Purple received both praise and criticism upon publication, and the conversation it sparked around race and gender still continues today. It has been adapted for an Oscar-nominated film and a hit Broadway musical. Through archival research and interviews with Walker, Oprah Winfrey, and Quincy Jones (among others), Tillet studies Walker's life and how themes of violence emerged in her earlier work. Reading The Color Purple at age 15 was a groundbreaking experience for Tillet. It continues to resonate with her--as a sexual violence survivor, as a teacher of the novel, and as an accomplished academic. Provocative and personal, In Search of The Color Purple is a bold work from an important public intellectual, and captures Alice Walker's seminal role in rethinking sexuality, intersectional feminism, and racial and gender politics. -- Provided by publisher
Tillet's cultural criticism blends literary history, biography, and memoir in an exploration of Alice Walker's National Book Award-winning novel that examines its influence against a backdrop of the civil rights encroachments of the early 1980s.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
9781419735301 hardcover
1419735306 hardcover
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