Precious (Push Movie Tie-in Edition)
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780307474841, 192pp.)
Publication Date: October 20, 2009
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Includes a Reading Group Guide
Precious Jones, an illiterate sixteen-year-old, has up until now been invisible to the father who rapes her and the mother who batters her and to the authorities who dismiss her as just one more of Harlem's casualties. But when Precious, pregnant with a second child by her father, meets a determined and radical teacher, we follow her on a journey of education and enlightenment as she learns not only how to write about her life, but how to make it truly her own for the first time.
Sapphire is the author of American Dreams, a collection of poetry which was cited by Publishers Weekly as, "One of the strongest debut collections of the nineties." Push, her novel, won the Book-of-the-Month Club Stephen Crane award for First Fiction, the Black Caucus of the American Library Association's First Novelist Award, and, in Great Britain, the Mind Book of the Year Award. Push was named by the Village Voice and Time Out New York as one of the top ten books of 1996. Push was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in the category of Outstanding Literary Work of Fiction. About her most recent book of poetry Poet's and Writer's Magazine wrote, "With her soul on the line in each verse, her latest collection, Black Wings & Blind Angels, retains Sapphire's incendiary power to win hearts and singe minds."
Sapphire's work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Black Scholar, Spin, and Bomb. In February of 2007 Arizona State University presented PUSHing Boundaries, PUSHing Art: A Symposium on the Works of Sapphire. Sapphire's work has been translated into eleven languages and has been adapted for stage in the United States and Europe. Precious, the film adaption of her novel, recently won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Awards in the U.S. dramatic competition at Sundance (2009).
The gritty realism of the film Precious is even more intense in the novel Push, upon which the film is based. Author Sapphire discusses the inspiration for her work — and her initial reluctance to allow her work to become a film. More at NPR.org
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"You feel you've witnessed nothing less than the birth of a soul." —Entertainment Weekly
"Affecting and impassioned. . . . Sails on the strength of pure, stirring feeling." —The New York Times Book Review
"A fascinating novel that may well find a place in the African-American literary canon. . . . With a fresh new voice that echoes the streets, Sapphire's work is sure to win as many hearts as it disturbs minds." —Philadelphia Inquirer
"A horrific, hope-filled story [that is] brilliant, blunt, merciless." —Newsday
"Brutal, redemptive. . . . You just can't take your eyes off Precious Jones." —Newsweek
"A stunningly frank effort that marks the emergence of an immensely promising writer." —Los Angeles Times Book Review
"[Sapphire] writes with a poet's ear for rhythms, in a voice that pushes her story relentlessly into your mind." —Interview
"Push . . . develops so richly and fearlessly that one cannon resist its power." —Elle
"Precious's story, told through her own unique style and spelling, is a major achievement. It documents a remarkable resilience of spirit." —Boston Globe
"To read the story [is] magic. . . . [It is] paint-peelingly profane and thoroughly real." --Washington Post