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Push [Hardcover]

4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 32.00
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Hardcover, Bargain Price CDN $12.80  
Hardcover, June 11 1996 CDN $25.60  
Paperback CDN $11.55  
Audio, CD, Abridged, Audiobook CDN $13.83  

Book Description

June 11 1996
An electrifying first novel that shocks by its language, its circumstances, and its brutal honesty, Push recounts a young black street-girl's horrendous and redemptive journey through a Harlem inferno. For Precious Jones, 16 and pregnant with her father's child, miraculous hope appears and the world begins to open up for her when a courageous, determined teacher bullies, cajoles, and inspires her to learn to read, to define her own feelings and set them down in a diary.

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Product Description

From Amazon

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.

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Push by Sapphire Oct. 18 2009
"Push" is a dynamic, living novel that has documented trials and tribulations secretly experienced by many families. The writing is fierce, heart-breaking and harsh, yet can be so true as it documents an ugly story.Themes of poverty, power and control, sexual exploitation, poverty, domination, racism etc. ring through the poetry and Ebonics used by the author to make the piece more realistic. The setting is stilted with bare stone buildings, shelters, schools, hospitals placed in ghetto surroundings that provide little stimulation for growth and development. The main character, Precious, shows a strong willingness to survive and overcome her deplorable circumstances with only one main supporter, her teacher, who believe in her. Getting an education will save her from the abuse and destruction of her parents, enabling her to make an effort to break the cycle of darkness and repression for her own children. The book is a masterpiece.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great book Oct. 4 2013
By Danica
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is small and a quick read but as you read it you feel everything the main character feels
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well written... not enjoyable... June 17 2013
By A. Soares TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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. The author makes use of deliberate misspellings and grammatical errors to draw us in to the POV of an illiterate teenager.

Precious is barely a teenager and pregnant for the second time by her abusive father. Unfortunately, her story is not unique. Many children are let down by our educational and legal systems. There is no easy happy ending for Precious; no one to swoop her out of poverty and darkness. This novel deals with depressing reality and shows us to open our eyes to the plight of those who have fallen through the cracks of our social system.

This novel is worth reading. I cannot classify it as enjoyable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reminder not to write off anyone as a lost cause. March 7 2000
This book was incredibly difficult to read due to the graphic manner in which the subject matter was relayed. But this same graphic manner made the book that much more powerful of a read.
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.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rated R Feb. 4 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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. It is also hard to follow at times because it is written as the main character, Precious Jones, would speak. As one would assume someone who could not read or write and was very under educated would tell a story. Misspelled words, bad grammer etc.

All in all, it was a decent story but very short. Only about 150 pages in length. I didn't feel satisfied when I finished it. I felt like the story could have continued for a while longer in order to have a better conclusion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars rivetting, but hard to read Dec 29 2009
Push was easy yet hard to read. I enjoyed reading through Precious's eyes and her first person narrative was well done. However, the details of the abuse by the mother and father's abuse of an infant was haunting and sickening. I had to skip it. The poetry was my favourite part.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You Can't Forget It April 23 2002
By A Customer
Warning. This not a fun book. The heroine goes through all kinds of graphic hell. After reading Push I felt like taking a bath becuse you really do wade through the mud. Push is not a great book but it does have powerful emotional punch that has stayed on my mind long after I put it down.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Push II? Oct. 24 2001
By Silva
"Push" had its ups and downs. Disturbing and motivating. It pretty much grabbed my attention. The estory reflected the dispair of a child who had to find her way out the hell of her existence.
I was left with a few questions. Did Precious see all at the age of sixteen? Did Abdul give Precious the strengths to overcome her miseries? Was Precious ending the pattern of abusive relationships in her family?
"Push" is unfinished. Precious is a character of power, she needed to be more explored.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A TOUGH READ
Precious Jones is an angry, obese and illiterate sixteen year old girl who has suffered horrific abuse at the hands of both her parents. Read more
Published on April 26 2010 by Buggy
5.0 out of 5 stars wa wa wow!
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Profound
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 more
Published on Feb. 11 2010 by Marsha Baxter
5.0 out of 5 stars Mrs. Q: Book Addict ~Visit my blog for newest reviews~
Title: Push
Author: Sapphire
Publisher: Vintage Books
Source: Personal Copy
Pages. 178

Push is an emotional, raw, and heart-breaking novel. Read more
Published on Feb. 8 2010 by Mrs. Q: Book Addict
5.0 out of 5 stars It's just powerful!
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 more
Published on Oct. 23 2009 by L. Alfred-Moses
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving masterpeice!
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 more
Published on Sept. 27 2009 by Rafael Benedicto
5.0 out of 5 stars Just PUSH...
"Push" by Sapphire, is an inspiring story about Claireece Precious Jones -- better known as Precious, a girl who grew up in a unimaginably rough enviornment. Read more
Published on July 2 2004 by Steph B.
5.0 out of 5 stars A VERY SAD STORY
Published on June 25 2004 by Ms Johnson
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