Precious Paperback – Jan 1 2010
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Claireece Precious Jones endures unimaginable hardships in her young life. Abused by her mother, raped by her father, she grows up poor, angry, illiterate, fat, unloved and generally unnoticed. So what better way to learn about her than through her own, halting dialect. That is the device deployed in the first novel by poet and singer Sapphire. "Sometimes I wish I was not alive," Precious says. "But I don't know how to die. Ain' no plug to pull out. 'N no matter how bad I feel my heart don't stop beating and my eyes open in the morning." An intense story of adversity and the mechanisms to cope with it. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
With this much anticipated first novel, told from the point of view of an illiterate, brutalized Harlem teenager, Sapphire (American Dreams), a writer affiliated with the Nuyorican poets, charts the psychic damage of the most ghettoized of inner-city inhabitants. Obese, dark-skinned, HIV-positive, bullied by her sexually abusive mother, Clareece, Precious Jones is, at the novel's outset, pregnant for the second time with her father's child. (Precious had her first daughter at 12, named Little Mongo, "short for Mongoloid Down Sinder, which is what she is; sometimes what I feel I is. I feel so stupid sometimes. So ugly, worth nuffin.") Referred to a pilot program by an unusually solicitous principal, Precious comes under the experimental pedagogy of a lesbian miracle worker named, implausibly enough, Blue Rain. Under her angelic mentorship, Precious, who has never before experienced real nurturing, learns to voice her long suppressed feelings in a journal. As her language skills improve, she finds sustenance in writing poetry, in friendships and in support groups-one for "insect" survivors and one for HIV-positive teens. It is here that Sapphire falters, as her slim and harrowing novel, with its references to Harriet Tubman, Langston Hughes and The Color Purple (a parallel the author hints at again and again), becomes a conventional, albeit dark and unresolved, allegory about redemption. The ending, composed of excerpts from the journals of Precious's classmates, lends heightened realism and a wider scope to the narrative, but also gives it a quality of incompleteness. Sapphire has created a remarkable heroine in Precious, whose first-person street talk is by turns blisteringly savvy, rawly lyrical, hilariously pig-headed and wrenchingly vulnerable. Yet that voice begs to be heard in a larger novel of more depth and complexity. 150,000 first printing; first serial to the New Yorker; audio rights to Random; foreign rights sold to England, France, Germany, Holland, Portugal and Brazil.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Sapphire does a great job first having us identify the main character, Precious Jones, as other, someone separate from us, and then slowly pulling us in to get to know her. This technique allows us to recognize that someone in reality whom we identify as other can become someone we know and understand independent of our own personal situations.
Note to readers: make sure to read the poem in the beginning before and after reading Push and see how your understanding of that poem changes.
At 139 pages Push was a short but tough read for me on many different levels and I found myself putting it aside more than once so I could regroup. The subject matter here is beyond shocking, at times nauseating and definitely not for the feint of heart. And unfortunately just when you think it couldn't possibly get any sadder, it does. Precious's story has also been written in the vernacular and requires some deciphering to be able to understand what she's trying to say.
Through journal entries (and some flashbacks) between Precious and her teacher, Ms Rain Precious tells us her story. Including; illegible writing (with translations) incorrect spelling and grammar, slang, swearing, alphabet recitals, poems and corrections from Ms Rain. As her reading, writing and self esteem issues improve so does the writing in the book, so that towards the end Precious is talking about GEDs and college and I'm enjoying her progress in a very real way. Despite everything Precious's spirit is very real and you can't help but cheer for her and hope for the best.
PUSH is the book that the recent academy award winning film "Precious" was based upon and although I haven't seen the movie yet, out of the two (and in a push) I would recommend the movie.
Publisher: Vintage Books
Source: Personal Copy
Push is an emotional, raw, and heart-breaking novel. Claireece Precious Jones lives a life that no one wants to hear about. Precious has repeatedly been molested by her father, pregnant at twelve and again at sixteen. Precious doesn't know where to turn or who to ask for help. Her mother is not the nurturing type; she's actually jealous of the attention Precious receives from Carl. She accuses Precious of stealing her husband and repeatedly beats her. Precious is aware that her life is not normal, she is aware that there are parents in this world who love their children. She is just not sure why she was given this set of parents. She wishes she weren't invisible, she wishes she wasn't fat and ugly. She wants more for herself and her children. Her mother gave her daughter to her grandmother but Precious refuses to give up her son. Eventually she enrols in an alternative school, but continues to struggle through life.
I had a hard time reading this novel; emotionally I didn't know if I could continue. At one point I put it down and felt like crying. I couldn't believe the storyline, knowing full well that this does happen in real life. Precious was so young and tried to seek help but was pushed away from everyone. The vulgar language was very raw and disturbing for me. This book throws the harsh realities of life at you. I kept reading because I was rooting for Precious, I felt so sad and angry for her. This book brings you on an emotional roller coaster.
Most recent customer reviews
The book is small and a quick read but as you read it you feel everything the main character feelsPublished on Oct. 4 2013 by Danica
This book is a quick read but by no means a light one. The subject matter is dark, deeply depressing and extremely graphic. The novel is very well written. Read morePublished on June 17 2013 by A. Soares
Such a good book I gave it to my mother-in-law. A novel written like no other, with a moving story and possibly the read of the year!Published on Feb. 26 2010 by C. Lessard
From the moment I picked up this book, I was hooked. The author has written and described Precious so well and with such compassion that I wanted to reach out and hug her. Read morePublished on Feb. 11 2010 by Marsha Baxter
I was very surprised to find the way this novel was written. There is a lot of profanity and grafic recounts by the narrator, of scence of incest. Read morePublished on Feb. 4 2010 by S. Devaladares
Push was easy yet hard to read. I enjoyed reading through Precious's eyes and her first person narrative was well done. Read morePublished on Dec 29 2009 by T. Walden
In light of the movie coming out, I picked up the book Push. It is a quick read, 1 week or less. However, it packs a lot of punch in those few pages. Read morePublished on Oct. 23 2009 by L. Alfred-Moses
The book is told from the perspective of Precious Jones.The grammar and style of writing progresses with the growth and enlightenment of the protagonist. Read morePublished on Sept. 27 2009 by Rafael Benedicto