Author: Rebecca Walker
Published by: Riverhead Books (2001)
Rebecca is the product of a biracial and bicoastal home. In her memoir, she recounts her sexual experiences, her identity crisis (is she white, Jewish, or black?), and everything in between.
What is missing in her memoir are the spaces in between – there weren’t enough instances where the reader (well, this reader anyway) was too involved in her story. There was an emotional distance prevalent in the tale. The writing wasn’t particularly salient, novel, or fresh. There were run on sentences that drove me crazy or places that were incomplete.
As a person of color myself, I was able to relate to her identity crisis (am I American or Dominican, or both?) but I wanted more. She was the daughter of a famous and well-renowned African-American author; why didn’t we hear more about that? I comprehended this book was about her and not her mother but Alice Walker was her mother, after all. She also recounted many friends from the different coasts she lived from year to year – which I could not keep track of for the life of me.
This book was lacking insight; I kept thinking, “Okay, so what?” Almost like an essay with a good thesis statement and not enough examples to prove her point. A decent portrait of her childhood but not enough to keep this reader vastly interested in her story.
I started reading a novel which is in the new “Bitch Lit” genre and I have to say, I couldn’t get down with it. I read a quarter through the story and absolutely hated the lead character. The writing was good but I was completely unenrolled with the story.
Upon completely discarding this tale about a feminist and fashionista, I researched the author’s blog. I liked the author’s message about feminism in real time than in the story. She talks about the ability to have it all: successful career, marriage, and babies. I don’t know how the story ends but I sure wasn’t interested in the protagonist’s journey to love because I’ve read books like that and it’s a lot harder than it seems.
If this is the other side to “Chick Lit,” I’m not down with it. I comprehend the genre and I can truthfully say I have not encountered women like the protagonist in this novel. The author did such a great job at painting her, I had to stop reading. It was as if I was in the same room with this woman, listening to her thoughts, and I had to run away as far as I could in the other direction. I’m not the kind of person to watch a train wreck happen or even as an accident nearly happens but turns out okay. I don’t pay much mind to that but for others who love drama, I can see why folks enjoyed this.
I applaud this author, Erica Kennedy, who made this person so authentic, I couldn’t stand her! Good job! Her blog is especially empowering and I respect her message.
I’m not a fan of “Bitch Lit” and don’t read much “Chick Lit” either but I’d be interested to see more incarnations in the genre.