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The Taboos and Doubters Alice Walker Defied to Write ‘The Color Purple’

An excerpt from ‘In Search of The Color Purple’

Whoopi Goldberg in “The Color Purple.” Photo: Warner Bros

To tell Celie’s epic tale, Alice Walker broke multiple taboos. The first was that of incest. When we first encounter Celie’s own private thoughts to herself, we believe, as she does, that “Pa” is her actual father and only learn much later in the novel that a White…

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Salamishah Tillet

Salamishah Tillet

Professor at Rutgers — Newark; Critic at The New York Times, Author of “In Search of The Color Purple”; Co-Founder of A Long Walk Home

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