Sapphire Pens ‘Precious’ Sequel

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(Philadelphia Inquirer) — She had to kill off Precious.  That was what Sapphire, the 60-year-old author of the 1996 underground classic Push, the novel that was the basis for the unflinching movie Precious,concluded.  The California-born literacy teacher, poet, and author had no choice, given her commitment to social realism: An HIV-infected black woman in the 1980s would not have lived long enough to make it past the first page of her sequel, The Kid (Penguin Press).  So, the new book, to be published Tuesday, begins with Precious’ funeral.  “At the time Precious is diagnosed with HIV, African American women who were diagnosed with HIV were dying at a higher rate than white gay men,” said Sapphire, who will appear at the Free Library of Philadelphia at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. “For Precious to have made it as long as she did, to age 27, was a miracle.”

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