Sunday, 12 February 2012

Push by Sapphire

I chose, this week, to look at a review of the book "Push" from the Sydney Morning Herald, a widely known newspaper in Australia.
This review immediately cuts to the chase, and states what the books is, in essence, about.
"Readers were enthralled and appalled by protagonist Precious Jones, the NY girl abused by her father and failed by the system, who stood up and fought back."
The key part of that, is that Precious' character was ruined, she was beaten, abused and as low as she could possibly go; still, she got up and fought back. So this book, for me, isn't about her eternal suffering, it's about Precious Jones and her strength to fight back against the system that wronged her so badly.

Oprah Winfrey believes in this book, and so do the many suffers from abuse and incest that have read it in their support groups, using Sapphire's creation as a shoulder to lean on. Who are we to say that this book is a "truth too hard to handle" when people in similar situations are using the novel to help themselves in their own personal ways. If someone is a better person, physically, mentally, emotionally because of a book then to me, that author deserves as many awards as possible, not to be torn down by a newspaper, or shady critics.

A popular opinion, is that "Push" was in fact autobiographical work. This is not true.
Sapphire, is yes a black African American, that however doesn't strip her from having an imagination.
"That's the same thing as thinking Mark Twain was Huckleberry Finn." She says. "It has something to do with class and race and the way African Americans are percieved in the world of literature. We're not often seen as people with imagination and vision and focus and artistry."

It saddens me that someone who has created such a powerful work, has to be torn down because of her race and ethnic background. I'm not saying she should be given more recognition for being an African American author, I'm just calling for equality.

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