Sunday, February 12, 2012


In 1996, Paula L Woods contrives a publication based on the novel ‘Push’ for the Los Angeles Times wherein she is obviously praises the book, but also notes its imperfections. Firstly Woods draw attention to the style of which the tone of the novel is written, stating ‘'hits the reader like a Mack truck, and it clearly signals that the literary ride ahead won't be in your father's Oldsmobile’ for me this is a brilliant quote due to the inevitable unease the audience are supposed to feel, also interesting highlighting the lack of a male role model in Precious’ life. Furthermore describing the personal narrative ‘a voice that may shock readers with its liberal use of four-letter words and graphic descriptions of sex, but a voice that also conjures up Precious's gritty, unforgiving world.’Alluding to the point that the style of which the novel is written reflects Precious’s world and is therefore necessary. The content of the novel, and its first person perspective, gives the narrative a heart and soul. It personifies welfare and highlights the inequality found deeply routed in the United States today. The fact that the novel is still a relevant talking point further enforces this; Push written in 1996, set in the 80s, and Precious the movie released in 2009, all reinforce the narrative as a timeless piece.
Woods notes that criticisms may be made against Push because of the mere fact that Precious is so unlucky, claiming it to be improbable Woods clearly identifies these criticisms will come from 'right-wingers'. However Woods argues that this novel makes it impossible for the reader to ignore Precious, and what she represents, even if they are prone to do so for 'real life Preciouses of the world.’ Although recognising the message Precious portrays as relevant and shockingly true Woods others some well-argued critique, ‘As it stands, "Push" is wildly inconsistent in its narrative voice and use of language. The criticism, however, is leveled reluctantly and with much sympathy for the author's dilemma: How do you write a book about a protagonist who can barely read or write? The author's solution is to mostly write in Precious' voice, although there is a lengthy section of the first chapter that inexplicably--and annoyingly--shifts to a distant third-person narrator.’
'Regardless of the controversy that may surround the book's themes, perspective or language,' Woods sums up 'Push is an impressive yet deeply flawed debut.' This appears to be a balanced and unbiased review of the novel in favour of Sapphire; the criticisms raised are legitimate however deemed inevitable.

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