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The Third Life of Grange Copeland [Kindle Edition]

Alice Walker
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £6.99
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Book Description

Alice Walker's powerful first novel.

Alice Walker's first book recounts the lives of three generations growing up in Georgia, where the author herself grew up. Grange Copeland is a black tenant farmer who is forced to leave his land and family in search of a better future. He heads North but discovers that the racism and poverty he experienced in the South are, in fact, everywhere. When he returns to Georgia years later he finds that his son Brownfield has been imprisoned for the murder of his wife. But hope comes in the form of the third generation as the guardian of the couple's youngest daughter, Grange Copeland, who glimpses a chance of both spiritual and social freedom.

Product Description


"American Scholar" Alice Walker is a vastly gifted, almost preternaturally perceptive novelist.

Book Description

Alice Walker's powerful first novel.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 866 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; New Ed edition (29 Dec. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006MOFOE0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #289,710 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Alice Walker won the Pulitzer prize and the American Book Award for The Color Purple. She is the author of many bestselling novels, essays and collections of poetry including Meridian, By the Light of My Father's Smile and The Third Life of Grange Copeland.

She lives and teaches in San Francisco.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
This novel tells the story of three generations of a poor black farming family living in Georgia, USA, in the early to mid twentieth century. Although slavery has long been abolished the Copeland family are far from being free. They are kept in abject poverty by the white landowner, working for next to no pay and kept in broken down farm 'houses' that would not be fit for animals. The landowners pass the family amongst their relatives to work on their farms, as some would do with farm machinery, and feel they are doing the Copelands a favour by "keeping them in the family".

This is a harrowing story that set my emotions on a roller coaster ride. I went from sorrow, to anger, to frustration and horror. The men dominate the women and take all their frustrations out on their family to compensate for their feeling inferior and subservient to the white landowners. There were times I felt elated, thinking the family were finally going to break free of their cruel life (for example when Mem finally had enough of Brownfields beatings and threatened him with a gun) but the mindset and attitude of the people at this time sucked them right back in to the viscous, violent cycle.

This is not an easy story to read; it is written with an honesty that is raw and hurting, but this is a book that is very thought provoking and will stay in your mind forever.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A harrowing work of genius, even 40 years on 5 Dec. 2012
Three generations of a poor black family living in Georgia, USA, in the first half of the 20th century are at the heart of this remarkable novel. The menfolk, little more than slaves of racist masters, take out their frustration by treating their womenfolk and children violently. Escape to the North is no consolation because the same racist attitudes apply there, even if they are shown differently.

Attempts by successive generations of both genders to break out of their situations are failures, role models are absent and the cycles of desperation, drink and violence continue. We are used to reading fiction and watching media reports of inter-racial violence during this particular period in America, but this book is different in that the violence highlighted is that of black against black.

This is a challenging book to read in the 21st century and so one can only imagine the effect that it must have produced when first published in 1970, the first of Alice Walker's novels. Equally difficult to imagine is the effect that writing this novel must have had on the author since she would have known how it would be received by many of her community who wished to keep the truth of the lives and actions portrayed hidden in order to maximise the contrast between the downtrodden African-Americans and the racist whites. In an Afterword, the author describes the way in which the novel was written and the direct personal experiences that she incorporated.

As generation succeeds generation, cycles of violence and destruction repeat themselves in a way that suggests that these are the norm.
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3.0 out of 5 stars challenging read 4 Sept. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Interesting and insightful, sometimes poetic, often challenging. Stick with it though- its worth reading through til the end. Here after word also provided a great insight.
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5.0 out of 5 stars If you like colour purple you will like this... 3 Aug. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book. Written in true Alice Walker fashion. You can really relate and feel for the characters. Good book
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