“The Kid presents even more of a challenge [to the reader] than Push did,” says Sapphire, who will sign paperback copies of the book at the Tattered Cover today. “Many people can identify with a victim — but when you have a victim and a victimizer in the same person, it becomes problematic.”
In The Kid, Precious has died of AIDS and nine-year-old Abdul Jones lands in the not-so-comforting hands of a Catholic boys’ school, where the young man first becomes the target of visceral sexual abuse, then the perpetrator. Sapphire feels that in addition to the complex nature of our protagonist also being a villain, The Kid tests a reader’s empathy in a way that Push didn’t, simply because of the gender reversal.
“I think in general, people identify more with women than they do with men, especially black women. I think if you start to show the underclass of African-American men, they still generate fear. This is a very different and complex book, and I think that a lot of people were frightened by that.”
The reading and signing begins at 7:30 p.m. at 2526 East Colfax Avenue. For more information, visit www.tatteredcover.com.
Tue., June 26, 7:30 p.m., 2012