Recommended by Daniel Austin (Director)

THE COLOR PURPLE by Alice Walker (1983)

This is another book that I have spent the past 35 years re-reading because of the impact that it originally had on my life whilst a teenager and studying. It was primary reading on a course called WOMEN AND THE NEW ORDER in my first year at college and I spent the whole Easter holiday writing a 3,000 word essay on the representation of women in the novel.

This book changed the way I now read, understand, analyse and research…

The way in which Alice Walker explores the representation of women: their multitude of roles in society, how women have invariably been treated by men across history, and their relationships with one another, have been instrumental in my awareness of the inequalities that exist in so many aspects of our histories and lives.

The story is about two sisters – Celie and Nettie – and their lives in the harsh, segregated world of the Deep South between the wars. It is about sisterhood, marriage, consent, segregation, redemption, liberation and hope. It is a hard-hitting but beautiful and inspiring read!

‘The Colour Purple’ won the Pulizter literature prize in 1983.




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