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The Color Purple

Early Bird Books: In Conversation with Alice Walker

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The author of “The Color Purple” reads three of her poems and answers reader questions about her work, life, and views on society. On February 9, 1944, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker was born in Georgia. Walker lived under Jim Crow laws that were present during that time in the South. But her parents resisted such segregation, refusing to subject their children to working in the fields for white plantation owners. Growing up listening to stories her grandfather would tell, Walker began writing when she was just eight years old. She published her first poetry collection, Once, in 1968, and her debut novel The Third Life of Grange Copeland in 1970. In 1982, she published her award-winning novel The Color Purple. The iconic book…

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Early Bird Books: 10 of Our Favorite First Lines in Literature

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From Melville to Didion, these first sentences created lasting and notable impressions. Some of literature’s most iconic lines come to us within the first paragraphs of our favorite novels. They are the hooks onto which we latch, and the springboards that launch us further into the narrative. There’s a reason these words make up some of the most quotable lines in literature—readers simply can’t get them out of their heads. Take a look below to see some of our favorite opening lines. While first impressions can be tough, they won us over in just a single sentence. “You better not never tell nobody but God.”  The Color Purple By Alice Walker Set in the 1930s, The Color Purple details the…

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Early Bird Books: 8 Notable Books That Inspired Memorable Movies

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Books and movies have a relationship that’s as old as Hollywood itself. Together, writers and filmmakers have given us everything from great adaptations to huge disappointments, and some truly weird interpretations in between. But that comes with the territory of turning our favorite words into live action pieces of cinema. If you’re a fan of both books and movies, check out these eight books that inspired adaptations. The Color Purple, Alice Walker The Color Purple won the Pulitzer Prize in 1983 and went on to inspire the classic 1985 Steven Spielberg film of the same name. With apologies to Spielberg, Walker’s novel remains the definitive version of the story. Walker’s book uses a technique that film just can’t accommodate. The…

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Five Hidden Pearls of African-American Literature

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As an African-American writer, I have long been a student of black writers from many different genres who have influenced, inspired, challenged, enlightened, and entertained me. We’ve all heard of the obvious ones: the speeches of Frederick Douglass, the poetry of Langston Hughes and Gwendolyn Brooks, Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, and Toni Morrison’s Beloved, just to name a few. But there’s a treasure trove of lesser-known works of African-American writing that have had a big impact on me and deserve to be read. Here’s my list of books that you might not know about. (I’ve chosen books in different categories in order to avoid having my special favorites competing in my head with every other…

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