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Splattered InkPostfeminist Gothic Fiction and Gendered Violence$
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Sarah E. Whitney

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040467

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040467.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 23 July 2021

Break Through to Me

Break Through to Me

Sapphire’s Ghost in the Postfeminist Machine

Chapter:
(p.85) 4 Break Through to Me
Source:
Splattered Ink
Author(s):

Sarah E. Whitney

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252040467.003.0004

This chapter examines Sapphire's novels, Push and its sequel, The Kid. In Push, Sapphire undertakes specific literary strategies to challenge postfeminist resistance to incest trauma, to deconstruct its preoccupation with the black female body as a site of suffering, and finally to foreclose a reading of her novel as an uplifting tale of exceptionalism. In addition, Sapphire's reworking of her source material in The Kid signals her refusal to accept a neoliberal or postfeminist reading of Push as an up-by-the-bootstraps tale of hard work and meritorious victory. In writing The Kid, Sapphire speaks to the need for radical changes in the American social safety net and precludes readers from considering the struggles of Push's protagonist as consigned to the past.

Keywords:   Sapphire, Push, The Kid, incest trauma, social safety net, black female body, black female hypersexuality, sexual violence

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