The Color Purple.

"Time moves slowly, but passes quickly": First Edition of The Color Purple; Signed by Alice Walker and Steven Spielberg

The Color Purple.

WALKER, Alice [Steven Spielberg].


Item Number: 100542

New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1982.

First edition of Walker’s third novel, in which she became the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize. Octavo, original half cloth. Boldly signed by Alice Walker and director Steven Spielberg on the half-title page. Spielberg produced and directed the 1985 motion picture bearing the same name. Fine in a near fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Judith Kazdym Leeds.

Her third novel, The Color Purple won Alice Walker the 1983 Pulitzer Prize, making her the first African-American woman to win one. "While Walker's first two novels end in the promise of good, The Color Purple ends in happiness, reunion and celebration. Walker has said that she took her great-grandmother's life, which included rape and childbearing at age 11, and gave it a happy ending. Once again she had begun with one of her ancestors' stories, completing and transmuting it through her art" (African American Writers, 351). "Critics have both praised and attacked Walker's use of black folk English to capture [protagonist] Celie's perspective. Walker responded, 'Language is an intrinsic part of who we are and what has, for good or evil, happened to us. And, amazingly, it has sustained us more securely than the arms of angels'" (New York Public Library, Books of the Century, 135). It is the basis for the 1985 Steven Spielberg film starring Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, Desreta Jackson, Margaret Avery, Oprah Winfrey (in her film debut), Rae Dawn Chong, Willard Pugh, and Adolph Caesar in one of his final film roles. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times awarded the film four stars, calling it "the year's best film."

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