Narrated by Precious Jones, a 16-year-old African-American girl pregnant for the second time with her father's child, Push is a novel tracing her movement from anger, illiteracy, resignation, and self-contempt to some version of hope. The voice of Precious, raw and almost unintelligible at the beginning of the story, is changed when a courageous African-American teacher relentlessly inspires Precious, along with several other seemingly doomed teenagers, to learn to read, to discover what and how they feel, and to put it all down in a diary. The novel ends with everything uncertain and unfinished, but with a young woman changed by the appearance of self-respect.


This is a very disturbing novel. It is difficult to read, not only because of the language--"Underneaf what I wrote Miz Rain write what I said in pencil. li MG o mi m (Little Mongo on my mind)"--but also because of the raw, brutal language Precious uses to describe the incestuous relationship she had with her father from a very young age. This incestuous relationship was witnessed by her mother, who also sexually abused her.

The book would be a valuable addition to any syllabus dealing with incest, AIDS, and body self-image (Precious is very, very obese). The language of this novel is not for everyone.



Place Published

New York



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