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Wounds of Passion: A Writing Life
by Bell Hooks
ISBN 080504146X / 9780805041460 / 0-8050-4146-X
Publisher Henry Holt & Co
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Feminist scholar bell hooks (Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism) has long raised uncomfortable questions about race, gender, and class. Wounds of Passion explores her long-term, sexually open relationship with Mack, a fellow poet she met as an undergraduate at age 19. Some years older and working toward his Ph.D., Mack, an urbane, physically striking black man, slips through the shoals of racial enmity in American academia while hooks slams up against them with passion and fury. "I talk about being black, curse, talk loudly, speak bluntly," she says, frustrated, but not surprised that this dooms her initial attempts to get a graduate degree. It baffles those who set and follow rules, too, starting with her father, who repeatedly tried to break her spirit as a child. Bearing witness to the wounds of past and present, hooks shuttles between straight narration and sometimes precious third-person observations. Raw and mean, hot and sugary, her feelings spill onto and stain the page. [via]