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Book Review: All About Love: New Visions by bell hooks | Munukayumbwa (Mimi) Mwiya

All About Love: New Visions, bell hooks
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I love bell hooks! I think bell hooks (lowercase intentional) is a goddess. If bell hooks had a church, I would worship every day at the church of bell hooks. I think everything bell hooks shares is rhema. Well, almost everything. I’ve reviewed its sequel, so I’m sure some of you know that The Bridges of Madison County is one of my favourite books ever!

In All About Love: New Visions, Aunty bell calls that one of my favourite books ever, a “sentimental, shallow story of love.” Eh! I literally had to put the book down for a minute to just think about my life choices: would Aunty bell stop being my Messiah, or would I rethink my love for The Bridges Of Madison County? The answer was that I’m sure Aunty bell would look past this flaw of mine, she would understand that I myself am a shallow and sentimental human being, so a shallow and sentimental love story might appeal to me.

And she would love me anyway. Because she is a gracious goddess.

Also, she redeems herself by speaking against a book that I think shouldn’t exist: Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. She points out how it suggests that there are basic inherent differences between women and men that keep them from loving/expressing love the same way, when in actual fact, while the perspectives of men and women do often differ, these differences are learned characteristics and not innate “natural” traits.

bell hooks, All About Love: New Visions
Image courtesy of Twenty Somethin’ & Black via Picgra

All About Love: New Visions is a really easy read, but it’s one that will have you thinking hard about your ideas of love. One of my favourite parts is how almost right in the very beginning, she says youth culture today is cynical about love, perhaps because we like to play it safe, and/or prefer to take calculated risks. She says this cynicism is the great mask of disappointed and betrayed hearts.

She writes a lot about her own experiences and how her longing to find love did not make her lose her sense of reason or perspective, but rather gave her incentive to think and talk more about love, as well as to study the subject more serious.

She raises concern on how the vast majority of books written on the subject of love, seem to work hard to avoid giving clear definitions of love, it just seems to have been widely accepted as “the great intangible.” How can we truly learn the art of love, when we do not have a shared definition for it? When it continues to be cloaked in mystery?

All About Love: New Visions. Aunty bell isn’t selling dreams with that title; she truly does touch on it ALL: love and choice, love and justice, love and patriarchy, love and romance, love and family, the fallacy of self-love being (bad) narcissism, love and death, love and spirituality. EVERYTHING!

 

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About the Writer

Mimi Mwiya

Munukayumbwa (Mimi) Mwiya was born in November 1989 in Windhoek, Namibia. She works for a women’s rights organisation in Windhoek, and sometimes in her spare time, writes. Mimi has been published in the German magazine, D+C where she speaks about literature in Namibia in an article titled, Finding A Nation’s Voice. She has been a contributor to the Afridiaspora maiden anthology, My Africa, My City.

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