December 13, 2009

Literary Pick (*)

Push A Novel (Sapphire)

The story is a typical ghetto tragedy of a young uneducated girl who's raped by her father and severely abused (also raped) by her mother. She ends up having two children by her dad, one of which who has Downs Syndrome. She also sadly ends up contacting the HIV virus from him as well.
I feel the author took the easy way out in making the book too shockingly vulgar, which is the only thing I felt held this novel together. The writer definitely tried too hard in that aspect of the story, and I wasn't really impressed by it. It's a shame the Philadelphia Inquire proclaimed this book may find a place in the African-American literary canon. If that's true, What does this say about African-American literature? not very much.
This story-line has been done so many times in literature and especially in film.
I think people are more like 'oooh this book is so good because her father rapes her and she says she likes it'. I myself am not so easily convinced.
Also Precious Jones' ignorant talk sounded more like bad ghetto Yorkshire than a girl who is simply ignorant and uneducated. Just because she couldn't read or write doesn't mean she shouldn't be able to speak. I knew people who grew up in bad situations who couldn't read or write, they spoke fine. The writer makes her talk like she's been living in a basement for 16 years.
One thing I did like about the story is how the teacher had each of  girls create a private journal as a way for them to communicate back and forth and express themselves about difficult issues they weren't comfortable talking about face to face with their teacher or counselors/social workers. The journals provided the girls with a sense of anonymity they needed in order to talk about the horrendous things they had to endure in their day to day home life.


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