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Other titles in the Bell Hooks Love Trilogy series:
All About Love: New Visionsby Bell Hooks
Reading Group Guide
For those confounded and intrigued by the nature of love, "All About Love unravels its meaning and explores the ways in which it is most often undervalued, ignored, and misunderstood. With unwavering insight, clarity, and candor, bell hooks offers radical new visions of love and its force in our lives. Exploring love in its many incarnations, cultural critic and feminist theorist bell hooks challenges some of our most deeply held assumptions and reveals the potential of a life-changing reassessment of love.
"All About Love reveals the ways in which love can transform us both personally and culturally, how — through love — we possess the power to end conflicts within ourselves and within our communities. Hooks asserts that it is never too late to return to love, to speak with our hearts. The power of such transformation resides within each of us.
Questions for Discussion
hooks describes the inspiration and solace she finds in graffiti art declaring, "The search for love continues even in the face of great odds" (p. xv). Where have you found similar signs that have restored your faith in love?
Historically, how have the demands of love for women been different from those for men? How have they differed for adults and children? What does hooks suggest about these distinctions?
Discuss the way in which hooks uses her personal experience throughout this book. How does her personal experience enhance her assertions? Which vignette do you find particularly meaningful?
hooks describes the allure oflying in relation to the allure of power. What are the lies you tell to feel powerful? How do our concepts of power — born from the patriarchal culture we inhabit — keep us from love? What role does greed play and where does it come from?
hooks probes the gap between the values many people "claim to hold and their willingness to do the work of connecting thought and action, theory and practice" (p. 90). How does our culture reward those who nurture this gap? What changes would we have to make in society to nurture and inspire the closing of this gap?
If we must sacrifice "our old selves in order to be changed by love" (p. 188), what is it that we're giving up?
Although she warns against attempting to return to the past rather than forging ahead, hooks advocates repairing and restoring family bonds. Why is this an important goal? How do these bonds enable us to live with love in all areas of our lives?
What are the political ramifications of hooks's visions of love? Is love a political issue?
Look over the chapter titles in "All About Love. If you were to add a chapter, what would it be?
Why do we fear love? Are we more afraid of surrendering ourselves to love or of living without love? What sacrifices does love require? What relief and salve can love offer? Is it possible to be too damaged, too wounded to love?
How has "All About Love enhanced, contradicted, challenged, altered your vision of love?
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