Sapphire on “Push” and “Precious”

Apr 7, 2010

The film “Precious,” nominated for six Oscars and winner of “Best Adapted Screenplay” and “Best Supporting Actress,” shocked audiences with its gritty dose of realism that deals head-on with the uncomfortable subjects of incest, abuse and poverty, but the novel “Push,” upon which the film was based, is even more intense. Patt talks with the novelist Sapphire about the origins of the book she began in 1993 as she was about to leave her job as a remedial reading teach in Harlem, and about criticism that turning the work into a high profile film served largely to reinforce negative stereotypes about the black community.

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