bell hooks The last interview and other conversations

bell hooks, 1952-2021

Book - 2023

"bell hooks was a prolific, trailblazing author, feminist, social activist, cultural critic, and professor. Born Gloria Jean Watkins, bell used her pen name to center attention on her ideas and to honor her courageous great-grandmother, Bell Blair Hooks. hooks's unflinching dedication to her work carved deep grooves for the feminist and anti-racist movements. In this collection of 7 interviews, stretching from early in her career until her last interview, she discusses feminism, the complexity of rap music and masculinity, her relationship to Buddhism, the "politic of domination," sexuality, and love and the importance of communication across cultural borders. Whether she was sparking controversy on campuses or facing cr...iticism from contemporaries, hooks relentlessly challenged herself and those around her, inserted herself into the tensions of the cultural moment, and anchored herself with love"--

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor New Shelf 305.488/Hooks (NEW SHELF) Due Nov 20, 2023
Brooklyn : Melville House [2023]
Main Author
bell hooks, 1952-2021 (interviewee)
Other Authors
Mikki Kendall (writer of introduction), Yvonne Zylan (Interviewer), Helen Tworkov, Lawrence Chua, Lisa Miya-Jervis, Don Jennings, Silas House, 1971-, Abigail Bereola
Physical Description
xiv, 128 pages ; 21 cm
  • Introduction
  • From Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black
  • Interview
  • Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black
  • March 24, 1989
  • Agent of Change: An Interview with Bell Hooks
  • Interview
  • Tricycle: The Buddhist Review
  • Fall 1992
  • Bell Hooks by Lawrence Chua
  • Interview
  • BOMB Magazine
  • July 1, 1994
  • Tender Hooks
  • Interview
  • Bitch Magazine
  • Winter 2000
  • How Do You Practice Intersectionalism? An Interview with Bell Hooks
  • Interview
  • Black Rose Anarchist Federation
  • May 5, 2011
  • Hillbilly Solid Radio Interview
  • Interview
  • Hillbilly Solid
  • November 2012
  • Tough Love with Bell Hooks
  • Interview
  • Shondaland
  • December 13, 2017
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

The stimulating latest in Melville's Last Interview series collects six conversations--spanning from 1989 to 2017--with feminist theorist bell hooks, who died in 2021. Speaking with sociologist Yvonne Zylan in 1989, hooks reflected on the contentious reception to a lecture she had given earlier that year at Yale Law School, maintaining that "a lot of the hostility that people feel towards me is that we simply do live in a world where women don't often assert power, and that people get pissed off when women do." Elsewhere, hooks critiques sexism in the writings of Thich Nhat Hanh, arguing in an interview with Tricycle magazine that the Buddhist monk's disapproval of casual sex conforms with "very traditional" notions of women's propriety. In a 1994 interview for Bomb Magazine, she castigates gangsta rap for its misogynistic lyrics even as she "embrace the rage... and the sense of powerlessness that undergirds it." Other conversations touch on hooks's ambivalence about her Kentucky upbringing, the importance of intersectionality, and obstacles to fulfilling relationships, demonstrating the incisive analysis of race and gender that earned her a devoted following. Wide-ranging and insightful, this makes for a solid primer on hooks's ideas. (July)

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

A controversial public intellectual speaks her mind. This collection of seven interviews with prominent Black feminist, activist, and theorist bell hooks (1952-2021), introduced by diversity consultant and essayist Mikki Kendall, reveals the evolution of hooks' thought from 1989 to 2017 as she reflected on important social and political issues of her time. In 1978, hooks, a college professor of English, changed her name from Gloria Jean Watkins as a way of affirming her identity--and honoring a feisty ancestor. "Gloria Jean, given to me--really reflects how much my parents wanted me to be a very feminine, Southern belle type girl," hooks told an interviewer, "and I think that in order to find my voice and use it, I had to use the name of my great-grandmother on a maternal side--bell hooks--in order to bring a self into being that my parents and my home were not nurturing." That self comes across as caring, passionate, and defiant; in more than 30 books and public presentations, hooks has been likely to "hit raw nerves, delving into the possibilities of culture as a place of resistance to white supremacy, capitalism and patriarchy." Hooks contextualizes many of her books, including Where We Stand: Class Matters, Feminism Is for Everybody, and even her children's book Happy To Be Nappy. She discusses her eagerness to reach audiences outside of academia, which once led her to appear on the Ricki Lake talk show, where, she admitted, she was "treated like shit." The interviews range over many topics, including hip-hop, Buddhism, sex, love, gender, lesbianism, the environment, the meaning of intersectionality, and capitalism. "Any system that encourages us to think about interdependency, and to be able to use the world's resources in a wiser way, for the good of the whole," hooks asserts, "would be better for the world than capitalism." A candid self-portrait of an important 20th-century thinker. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.