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Tuesday

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October 2021

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COMMENTS

You Got Anything Stronger? by Gabrielle Union

Written by , Posted in Reviews

4 Stars

Best for:
Anyone who appreciates and is interested in very personal memoirs.

In a nutshell:
In her second collection of autobiographical essay, Union shares her struggles with fertility and more personal life experiences.

Worth quoting:
I listened to the audio book so didn’t jot down notes, but I did laugh out loud when she referred to the crackling of joints as she ages as “old age farts.”

Why I chose it:
I enjoyed her first book. (https://cannonballread.com/2017/11/great-storytelling/)

Review:
Content warning for pretty much all the things: infertility, sexual assault, racism, misogyny.

The book starts off with an intense chapter where Union discusses her miscarriages and struggles with infertility. While some chapters are lighter, most are fairly intense, and all are extremely well-written. One lighter chapter – her experience auditioning for the Matrix sequels – involved the kind of ‘oh shit’ moment that had me cackling out loud. I love that she felt comfortable enough with readers to share what was an embarrassing moment with the world.

One chapter that has received a lot of attention is the experience she and some colleague has in Dubrovnik, where they stopped into a bar that turned out to essentially be a neo-nazi enclave. The story is harrowing. The mayor of Dubrovnik has put out a statement sort of apologizing, but essentially gaslighting her and suggesting that it didn’t really happen the way she said (I’m not linking it here, but you can look it up). Even when sharing her experiences with racism, a white man basically says ‘no, that couldn’t have happened, not really.’

I chose the audio book for this, read by Union, and would recommend it for others.

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