"I was left back when I was 12 because I had a baby for my fahver."
The opening line of Sapphire's first novel hits the reader like a Mack truck, and it clearly signals that the literary ride ahead won't be in your father's Oldsmobile. The journey of Harlem teenager Claireece Precious Jones is sickening and confusing, painful and hopeful. By turns thought-provoking and horrifying, "Push" is sure to provoke passionate debate about the book's literary merits and the author's talents--as well as issues ranging from incest to teen pregnancy, literacy programs and welfare reform. Despite shortcomings, "Push" is a stunningly frank effort that marks the emergence of an immensely promising writer.