Dey Street Books
A memoir – in stories, We’re Going To Need More Wine is candid, well written. It’s both funny and heart-breaking.
You know Gabrielle Union from so many movies and TV shows – but she was the ugly duckling at school, or so she thought. She wrestled with her blackness, felt awkward, gawky, untalented too.
This is not an aw-shucks/false modesty tale. This is an inspiring set of remembrances around working hard and overcoming obstacles; of realising self through tough inward examination.
Union’s detailing of this – and of how it has informed her life is, of course, a tough read. It’s confronting, challenging. But she has a real skill as a writer. And honours her duty to herself and the reader in detailing the extreme events of her life.
Race and gender are the main topics in the stories here. There are some lightweight/feel-good moments around reaching next levels in her modelling and then acting career – but they are served up as intentionally lighter moments, easy-reading in and around the heartbreak and the challenges and challenging stories.
There’s a real skill, a rare skill, in the way the storytelling here is divided up, weighty subjects are afforded time and space and Union’s unique perspective is strong.
I arrived at this book on the strength of hearing her interviewed in the promotion-rounds; it’s perhaps not (normally) the sort of book I’d seek out. I’m glad I did. Well worth it.
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