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favorite work of African American fiction

When I read "The Color Purple," I was knocked off my feet. Alice Walker put me inside the heart of an abused, ignorant, over-shadowed soul. The desperation and cruelty of the world described, sharecroppers in the 1920s or 30s, was immense, yet somehow, she wrote with strokes of hope, and every small instant of kindness or laughter was a big thing in the narrative, as it really should be in all lives. I couldn't stop reading, gripped by the story. The main character's blossoming was a long time coming and triumphant when it did come. And love between sisters and/or siblings was powerfully underlined. Walker put me inside someone very far from my own experience, and I believed it and came away with a larger heart, I hope. I adored it.