Author of 'Push: A Novel by Sapphire' to Visit Sage

February 23, 2010 at 12:00 pm

The Sapphire (Precious Movie & Author Lecture/Book Signing) event scheduled for Thursday, February 25th at 6pm has been postponed due to weather.

Russell Sage College is pleased to welcome Sapphire, author of Push: A Novel, the basis for the award winning film, Precious. The film has been nominated for five Academy Awards, including best actress, best director and best picture.

The book and movie tell the story of a brutally abused, illiterate, overweight, pregnant teen and her struggles to find hope. The story centers on the young girls transformation as she gains confidence by learning to read and write. Sapphire wrote the book based on the lives of the young girls she encountered working as a literacy teacher. Sapphire encountered girls like Precious while teaching -- overweight girls who didn't fit into the confines of our society's beauty paradigm, girls who were essentially "locked out" of the broader culture.

Published in 1996, Push: A Novel received critical acclaim at the time. Sapphire received a number of awards, including the Black Caucus of the American Library Association Literary Award: First Novels and the Mind Book of the Year Award. The Village Voice listed it as one of the top 25 books of that year and TimeOut New York placed in its top ten. Sapphires poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in The Black Scholar, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Spin, and Bomb.

The films mostly female cast has been praised for their portrayal of the characters Sapphire created. Gabourey Sibide portrays the title character and has been nominated for Best Actress. MoNique, who plays Preciouss abusive mother, has already won a Golden Globe and is nominated for Best Supporting Actress. Precious is the only film to ever win both the Sundance and Toronto Film Festivals Audience Awards.

Sapphire has taught literature, fiction and poetry workshops at SUNY Purchase, Trinity College, and the Writers Voice in New York City. She has taught graduate writing workshops in MFA programs at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Brooklyn College, and at the New School University.

For those interested in attending Sapphires lecture, please find event details below.


Thursday, February 25

6 p.m. Screening of the movie Precious

8 p.m. Lecture/Book signing


Schacht Fine Arts Center

Corner of Division and 1st Streets

Russell Sage College

Troy, NY


Sage students are FREE with Student ID

Students from area schools $3

Outside Community: $5