Remembered Rapture: The Writer at Work

Remembered Rapture: The Writer at Work

Through her postmodernist perspective, bell hooks addresses several issues including racism, sexuality, art, history, and feminism in this contemplative collection of essays. She celebrates various aspects of literacy such as the joy of writing and reading in the Remembered Rapture. Hooks is always optimistic that she will eventually bring awareness to the issues of gender and race oppression to help empower women. Her work is often relatable because she artistically uses personal experiences to illustrate various concepts and ideas in writing. She has consistently proven that regardless of the challenges she encounters in life and her career path, she is not afraid to face them. She is always dedicated to writing about issues that most writers find a little too sensitive, especially women writers who find it challenging to create work that goes against the grain. Hooks learned the power of written word and the value of speaking her mind from an early age. She has been a lecturer at Yale and Oberlin among other colleges.

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The 22 essays describe her journey to earning the title of a celebrated writer and her transformation into becoming an academic guru. The essays loosely define the proper living of a true writer by mixing manifesto and intellectual autobiography. Although she ruminates her childhood when growing up in the rural south in some of the essays, the other essays read like American literature transcripts for college lectures with suggested readings. Apart from her own writing, hooks analyzes the work of Jamaica Kincaid, Toni Morrison, and Lorraine Hansberry. Some of the essays focus on how black writers envy each other, the publishing “politics,” and the rancorousness of academia. She emphasizes the value of political and personal identity in writing. She writes passionately and knows how to present her prose clearly.

Her love for language enables her to explore content and match different genres in ways that most academics don’t. The essays are a testimony to the inherent difficulties that a purveyor of ideas and languages encounters on a daily basis. She claims that every writer who hopes to be true to artistic integrity should strive to surrender to the shape that his or her work takes on its own accord. Hooks resists categorization by fusing autobiography and refracting a larger social dynamic in Remembered Rapture, her 17th book. She demonstrates her experience as an African American writer who reveals her personal story to make points about creativity, spirituality, politics, criticism, and publishing.

Essentially, the word “rapture” is used to represent the reality of writing as a solitary meditation: that moment of grace when words just flow, and she surrenders to their ecstatic power without any witness, except that she expertly witnesses her writing process. The essays serve as a testament to the value of creative expression and as a commentary of some of the prevailing market forces, which influence the viability of the written word. She makes her opinion plain, especially on the lack of nonfiction by African American women authors and the cynicism surrounding the publishing industry.


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