bell's Lettres

hooks's writing here (though never in her memoirs) is creaky, her ideas simplistic. Rapture may be in the title, but it's not on the page. The work abounds with banalities ("A really great conversation can be such a stimulus to any writer who works with ideas.") But its worst stylistic fault is its numbing repetition. hooks warns that the 20-year span of the essays necessarily "leads to some repetition"— but within individual essays? "Even though black women and women of color are publishing more than ever before there is still a dearth of material. . . . There is still not enough writing by and about black women." Two pages later: "that the majority of [feminist] books are by and about white women reminds us also that there is still a dearth of writing by and about black women/women of color." The eyes jounce along like the tin cup dragged across those old-time prison bars.


Remembered Rapture: The Writer at Work
By bell hooks
Henry Holt, 237 pp., $23
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It is to hooks's discredit that she squandered this opportunity to provide her faithful audience with a thoughtful, well-written analysis of the obstacles, strategies, and sources of inspiration facing minority intellectuals. Unlike the work of such underappreciated black women thinkers as Kimberly Crenshaw and Regina Austin, Rapture is too often a pity party of one.

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