In an electrifying novel, a black street girl, sixteen years old and pregnant, again, with her father’s child, speaks. In a voice that shakes us by its language, its story, and its unflinching honesty, Precious Jones records her journey up from Harlem’s lowest depths… For Precious, miraculously, hope appears and the world begins to open up when a courageous black woman – a teacher hellbent to teach – bullies, cajoles, and inspires her to learn to read, to define her own feelings and set them down in a diary: to discover the truth of her life. Day after day they go over the pages, translating the illiterate but developing language of Precious’ journals. The learning process itself, as vividly revealed as the most brutal aspects of Precious’ daily existence, is the heartbeat of a novel that will disturb, galvanize, and stay in the mind.
Sapphire was born in 1950 and spent her first twelve years on army bases in California and Texas. As a teenager she lived in South Philadelphia and Los Angeles. She graduated from City College in New York and received an MFA from Brooklyn College. From 1983 to 1993 she lived in Harlem, where she taught reading and writing to teenagers and adults. Sapphire is a performance poet and the author of a collection of poetry and prose, American Dreams. She lives in New York City.