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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

PUSH by Sapphire

While rummaging through old boxes of my mothers books I stole from her while moving, I saw this publication. PUSH, by Sapphire. I really didn't know what it was a about, but when I read the back it looked interesting. I started reading it the other day and couldn't put it down. I think it was like a school reading criteria book. You know the ones that have study guides and questions to go with them, but I don't know who would be studying this book in class it's so real and deep and vulgar.

This is what it's about: From the author Sapphire, "Precious Jones, the protagonist, has been raped by her father since she was seven years old. She's also been abused and battered by her mother, horribly. In addition, she's slipped through all the cracks in the educational system. So at sixteen, when the novel begins, she's still in junior high, unable to read and write, and pregnant with her father's child. She wants to stay in school just in the hope of someday getting to be a part of something, but they kick her out because she's pregnant. And then she goes to an alternative school, where she's allowed to have her innocence back. And these older women and fellow outcasts who are in the class embrace her. So she goes from being this object of ridicule and abuse to being like the baby. "

Quite moving I must say. Made me take my warm & loving life for granted. Take knowing how to read & write, and how to talk proper and knowing how to put "our face" (puttin on the proper-esque and saving face is used to get by, like walking with zombies) on for granted. I couldn't imagine illiteracy even if I wanted too, and that's kind of sad.

The book might not be suited for all, my husband read a page when she was talking about her father raping her and he just set the book down and was confused all night. I think it shook him a little, and didn't understand that things like this happen in the world. Illiteracy, rape, poverty, addiction... = oppression. Sometimes we act like we don't hear those cries.

Anyway, not to pour on the sadness thick, just wanted to recommend a book that stirred me up a lil'. It's pissy, it's graphic, it's sad, it's vulgar, it's black.

Here's a link to the interview with the first time novelist.

Next: Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison.


She's Gotta Have It said...

I read this book ages ago, and now that it's been turned into a movie, I wanted to re-read it but I can't find it.

I remember being frustrated like crazy because of all the misspellings. Looking back, I realize that she was illiterate. It truly was a sad story. I want to see the film.

Bon Don said...

WOW! I must read this, The color purple is still one of my favorites... but this seems way darker.

She's Gotta Have It: Is the movie named "Push" as well??

miss-b. said...

omg. i read this about 7 years ago. totally forgot about this. great book. i agree with She's Gotta Have It, it was a little hard to read.

i have no clue where this book is. now, i want to go buy a new copy and read it again.

great blog, btw. =)

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