Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black

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bell hooks writes about the meaning of feminist consciousness in daily life and about self-recovery, about overcoming white and male supremacy, and about intimate relationships, exploring the point where the public and private meet.

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About the Author:

A cultural critic, an intellectual, and a feminist writer, bell hooks is best known for classic books including Ain’t I a Woman, Bone Black, All About Love, Rock My Soul, Belonging, We Real Cool, Where We Stand, Teaching to Transgress, Teaching Community, Outlaw Culture, and Reel to Real. hooks is Distinguished Professor in Residence in Appalachian Studies at Berea College, and resides in her home state of Kentucky.


In her introduction, bell hooks writes about how difficult it is for her to write about her real, personal, Gloria Watkins self: "It has to do with punishment - with all those years in childhood and on, where I was hurt for speaking truths, speaking the outrageous, speaking in my wild and witty way, or as friends sometimes say, 'do we have to go that deep?'" In this collection of twenty-five essays with such enticing (uncapitalized) titles as "feminist scholarship: ethical issues," "on being black at yale: education as the practice of freedom" and "'whose pussy is this': a feminist comment," she examines deeply and speaks unsparingly. Of particular concern in Talking Back, bell hooks' second major theoretical work, is "how deeply connected" the split between our private and public selves is in ongoing practices of domination, especially in our "intimate relationships, [the] ways racism, sexism, and class exploitation work in our daily lives, in those private spaces -- that it is there that we are often most wounded, hurt, dehumanized; there that ourselves are most taken away, terrorized, and broken." Talking Back is a book that can be used by any interested reader to shape new ways of knowing through its thoroughly examined and well-articulated understanding that "domination is not just a subject for radical discourse, for books. It is about pain... Even before the words, we remember the pain." -- For great reviews of books for girls, check out Let's Hear It for the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14. -- From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Jesse Larsen

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