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Summary

From its inception in California in 1974 to its highly acclaimed critical success at Joseph Papp's Public Theater and on Broadway, the Obie Award-winning for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf has excited, inspired, and transformed audiences all over the country. Passionate and fearless, Shange's words reveal what it is to be of color and female in the 20th century.

First published in 1975 when it was praised by The New Yorker for "encompassing...every feeling and experience a woman has ever had," for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf will be read and performed for generations to come. Here is the complete text of a groundbreaking dramatic prose poem written in vivid and powerful language that resonates with unusual beauty in its fierce message to the world.

©1975, 1976, 1977 Ntozake Shange (P)2010 Audible, Inc

Critic reviews

"These poems and prose selections are...rich with the author's special voice: by turns bitter, funny, ironic, and savage; fiercely honest and personal." ( New York Post)
"Thandie Newton’s narration works well with the introduction. Her voice echoes the weight and emphasis of Shange’s words…Newton creates distinct voices for each part." ( AudioFile)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lisa
  • London, W6 7JP
  • 06-11-12

Loved It

The book was well written, and Thandie Newton did an excellent job as the narrator. The way she changes her voice to suit each persona was brilliant.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

a well performed piece

when I read that the book was only read by one person I worried the fact it is multiple women would get lost yet it shows the talent of ms newton to give each reader her own voice til I could almost picture each woman as they spoke

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

hated it

the title makes it sound like it would be interesting. its not.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Robert
  • 16-01-11

Doesn't Work Well as Audio Book

I found it very hard to understand parts of the book. I think that this type of work is probably better either as a play or just in book form. Each character is introduced every-time they speak so effectively for large sections of the book you are mostly hearing, lady in blue, lady in green, and so on with little in-between. I did find the overall work to be very haunting and touching so I don't think that it is a problem with the general material, but rather the form. Possibly like one other reviewer suggested if a cast read the book instead of just one performer this would be effective if they just didn't say who they were each time they spoke. However, I think that this would make it impossible to remember who was who unless they were very distinctive.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • knitica
  • 06-01-11

Audible--please try again

I bet the play is great, but this doesn't work as a single voiced audio book. Why wasn't it recorded with a full cast? The material is fine, so is the reader, but it's incredibly difficult to follow the sections where each character says one word of the sentence when there is only one reader who has to read something like
Miss Red: I
Miss Blue: bet
Miss Green: the
Miss Yellow: play

...you get the picture. Hearing the sentence spoken by multiple voices would be rich and easy to follow. Hearing one person read it as a script, character name followed by word, is cumbersome at best. I only got through it because it's so short.

This is just the wrong presentation of this particular work.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Shondalicious
  • 11-09-17

A Must

I'm new to audible and don't particularly care for "dry" reading. I'm familiar with the book and was excited with the first beat. Thandie's delivery of this powerful piece is spectacular. The content is so rich. I will be listening again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Latoya storey
  • 05-08-18

such a powerful read

This book empowered me in so many ways, I loved every min of it. This was much better than the movie

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Catherine Patton
  • 04-08-17

It's not for everyone.

This work connects to whom it was intended. Brilliant poetry. Brilliant performance (although a full cast would have been beautiful). I love it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Doreen Patterson
  • 21-03-17

Great classic!

I enjoyed this novel, Tandie's performance was amazing. Was it revised? I missed 1st release, so I'm not sure when it was written or if it was in the AIDS era?

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ijeoma U
  • 28-12-16

A Very Beautiful Book

I've enjoyed listening to this book. Not only is it interesting, Thandie Newton is an amazing reader and the story is amazing. Highly recommended.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lady Mbatswe
  • 06-01-16

Beautifully written, eloquently performed!

Where does for colored girls who have considered suicide - when the rainbow is enuf rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I have listened to 16 titles, and this book ranks #1! I listen to it over and over again, I love it. The Author paints vivid pictures with the stories she tells, and the Narrator makes these women and their stories come to life!

What did you like best about this story?

How the Author conveyed each woman by color, highlighting different aspects of society, from a woman's, specifically one who is of color, point of view. I like that the Author wrote the book in a way that was entertaining, enlightening, and encouraging.

Which character – as performed by Thandie Newton – was your favorite?

The monologue, "My Stuff".

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

My Love is too Sincere to be thrown back in my face.

Any additional comments?

The first time I read the book, I was maybe 19 or 20. I am twenty-seven now and still love the book, maybe more so now. I can appreciate the book more now, and instead of being a sad book, it has become an inspirational book. All women, especially those of color should read this book. Men should, too. It could shed some light and give a perspective they might not otherwise see.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Junette
  • 17-01-11

Interesting

I am not into poems and only bought this as Tyler Perry used this as a basis for his movie. Thandie did a great job bringing this work to life. Easy to follow! Entertaining.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Betty
  • 11-11-10

Don't waste your money..

This book was read beautifully, however it doesn't have a very good plot. It is an extremely DEPRESSING work. Go see the play or the movie. They have to be better than this book.

18 of 54 people found this review helpful