In 2009, Oprah and Tyler Perry put their money and resources behind the film adaption of the novel Push by Sapphire. The result, of course, was the critically acclaimed box office success Precious, which earned $1.8 million in its limited release opening weekend and six Academy Awards nominations. But while the film was praised for its gritty portrayal of abuse and poverty, and for the actors who so passionately brought the story to life, the book is much simpler – and sadly, much less praised. It’s written in the voice and style of illiterate 16-year old Precious, making for a disturbingly candid account of horrific abuse that’s somehow poetic and dare I say it – beautiful.
“I bite my fingernails till they look like disease, pull strips of my skin away. Get Daddy’s razor out cabinet. Cut cut cut arm wrist, not trying to die, trying to plug myself back in.”