This is the story of Precious Jones, a sixteen year old illiterate black girl who has never been out of Harlem. She is pregnant by her own father for the second time, and kicked out of school when that pregnancy becomes obvious. Placed in an alternative teaching programme, she learns to read and write. This is Precious's diary, in which she honestly records her relationships and her life.
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An inspired and inspiring debut, a The Color Purple for the nineties - Vogue
Sapphire's vibrant, unindulgent first novel has you cheering the awesome Precious on until the last page: her voice is true and the book is cool - Mail on Sunday
Part wishful prayer, part manifesto, mingling poetry and humour...her novel, while heavily weighted with adversity, is buoyant, cresting wave after voluble wave of splendid, turbulent, bracing language...Its voice demands attention, perseverance and concentration, then its music takes you over, its story grips, its current and undercurrents mesmerise, depress and then uplift... A voice to remember - Scotland on Sunday
Unforgettable...a mesmerising and uplifting read... Has all the power and vehemence of rap...brutal in its defence of the vulnerable - Independent
Harrowing yet hilarious...packs a powerful punch... The powerful writing makes the book a cracking read...a tour de force - Guardian
By this author
About the Author
Sapphire is the author of American Dreams, a collection of poetry which was cited by Publisher's Weekly as, 'one of the strongest debut collections of the nineties.' Her novel Push, won the Book-of-the-Month Club Stephen Crane award for First Fiction, the Black Caucus of the American Library Association's First Novelist Award, and in Great Britain, the Mind Book of the Year Award. Push was named by TimeOut New York as one of the top ten books of 1996 and nominated for an NAACP Image Award in the category of Outstanding Literary Work of Fiction. About her last book of poetry, Poet's and Writer's Magazine wrote, 'with her soul on the line in each verse, her latest collection, Black Wings & Blind Angels, retains Sapphire's incendiary power to win hearts and singe minds.'
Sapphire's work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Black Scholar, Spin, and Bomb. Sapphire's work has been translated in eleven languages and has been adapted for stage in the United States and Europe.