Of Cabbages and Kings

June 24, 2007

Alice Walker and The Color Purple

Filed under: books — Chinmayi @ 11:29 am

I’m linking to this only because The Color Purple is one of my favourite books – I am convinced that Alice Walker must be a magnificent person if she managed to write that book (although I did not enjoy Temple of My Familiar as much).  Found an article about her – an article that does not quite capture any kind of person but does provide glimpses of her.

One grandfather, Henry Clay Walker, she once said, chased her grandmother through the fields “shooting at her; missing only because he was drunk”. Like many, she has slave-owner ancestry as well as African, and is connected, she says, to generals on opposite sides in the civil war. “This behaviour – this slave-owning mentality, came down into the family, because their sons and grandsons looked to their behaviour as the behaviour of men.” [an excerpt]



  1. i thought i wouldn’t enjoy the color purple when i picked it up but i did, it was a good read and i’m glad that i did. thoroughly deserving of the pulitzer prize it won.


    Comment by sulz — June 24, 2007 @ 2:12 pm

  2. I am sorry that I took so long to respond Keely. I have been moving house and have been without an internet connection for weeks. I agree that the article shows Alice Walker in a disappointing light – I thought that feminism was about embracing women’s choices and I thought that The Color Purple did a particularly good job of it. I do however find it a little odd that Rebecca does not resent her father for the neglected childhoood – I would imagine that he is also to blame.
    It is a pity though. My mother often says that she lived an oppressive life for two decades because she could not bear the idea that her children would suffer as a consequence of her discarding her traditional role. Alice Walker chose to break the mould – her child lost her so that the world could gain.
    It’s funny. People say the same of Gandhi. His family lost out on a lot so that he could give himself to the people in general.
    Thank you. That was an interesting and read and it gave me a lot to think about.

    Comment by Contrary Mary — June 18, 2008 @ 2:18 pm

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