1. The Color Purple // Alice Walker
Alice Walker’s most famous novel focuses on the lives of black women in the 1930s American South. Raped and abused by her father, Celie is set on a new path of life when she is married off to an older man in the place of her sister, but is faced with tragedy, obsession and betrayal upon the way. Walker’s writing is shocking and raw, with the young narrator vividly describing the social injustices and violent horrors that African-American women faced. Walker ingeniously uses erratic, sometimes incomprehensible grammar to give us insight into the brutal world of uneducated and abused girls. The Color Purple is strong political and feminist fiction, but the narrative stands alone in this sharp and moving story.