Bell Hooks's best book.
May 6, 2018 8:24 AM   Subscribe

Which Bell Hooks should I read first? Which is her key text? What other feminist texts should I be reading?
posted by feelinglistless to Society & Culture (10 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
While 'All About Love: New Visions' is my favorite, 'Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center' is probably her key text. If you're planning to read a lot of hooks's books, 'Ain't I a Woman' would also be a good starting point.
posted by box at 8:44 AM on May 6, 2018 [3 favorites]

This list from Tracy Clayton of the Another Round podcast is a good start (don't be put off by the T Swift framing)
posted by adastra at 10:22 AM on May 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

I don't think it's her "key text" but the standard recommendation for which of her books to read first is Feminism Is For Everybody. It's short and is intended as a primer/introductory text.
posted by caek at 12:28 PM on May 6, 2018

I have read nearly a dozen books by bell hooks, and am a big fan. I was in your shoes awhile back and know how overwhelming it can feel. Ultimately, I just bought a bunch of titles used and jumped in. There's a lot of overlap in the books but that's not a bad thing. I agree with box that All About Love: New Visions is a great starting point. My personal favorite -- and actually the first book of hers that I read -- is Belonging: A Culture of Place.
posted by smorgasbord at 12:55 PM on May 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

Seconding Feminsim is for Everybody.
posted by Grandysaur at 1:29 PM on May 6, 2018

I really liked "Communion" which came out recently. It's written from the pov of hooks as a middle aged woman and she has a lot of wisdom to dish out
posted by winterportage at 1:39 PM on May 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

More info would be helpful: where are you at in your feminism currently? Her other main topic is critical race theory, specifically as it intersects with feminism, though hooks also writes about class issues a lot - what's (roughly speaking/whatever you feel comfortable divulging) your background (academic or lived experience both count!) on these issues?
posted by eviemath at 5:41 PM on May 6, 2018

For part two of your question, Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts is the most affecting book I've read about... critical thought... in a couple decades. I think it falls under the heading of feminist texts.
posted by latkes at 5:44 PM on May 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

If you are new to feminism and feminist theory, I agree Feminism is for Everybody is a good one to read. If you're looking for something a bit more 201 than 101, I read both Ain't I a Woman? and Feminist Theory: from Margin to the Center in women's studies classes in college and really got a lot out of them. They are more academic but still accessible and very much seminal texts.

For more contemporary books, Roxanne Gay's Bad Feminist is great.

Also, my advisor in college was a big proponent of memoirs as feminist texts, because often they tell stories that have gone untold. From that perspective, the memoirs of Audre Lorde, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Lindy West are great for understanding how the personal shapes the political (perspective).
posted by lunasol at 6:26 PM on May 6, 2018 [3 favorites]

Thanks everyone. I've started in on Feminist Theory: from Margin to the Center.
posted by feelinglistless at 9:57 AM on May 15, 2018

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