DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING STRONGER?
By Gabrielle Union with Kevin Carr O’Leary
In the years following the release of actress and producer Gabrielle Union in 2017, her resounding memoir-in-essays, “We’re Gonna Need More Wine,” which detailed her experiences with racism and sexual assault in as a youngster in Hollywood, and her struggle with infertility in her forties – her life continued to make the headlines. She had her daughter, Kaavia James Union Wade, from a surrogate mother; her husband, former Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade, retired from the NBA; she spoke out against Hollywood racism; and she supported her teenage stepdaughter, Zaya, as she turned out to be transgender.
So it makes sense for Union to write another book, if only to give the kind of updates she can’t keep on Instagram, where she has over 18 million followers. In “You Got Anything Stronger? », A collection of humorous, poignant and at times overwhelming essays, she humorously dissects and develops these public moments, addressing pain and feelings of inadequacy more candidly than one might expect from anyone. one that seems so united. . From miscarriages that led to the surrogacy process, to the comfort of watching the 1992 Olympics as she recovered from violent rape, Union reveals how solidarity and companionship can help a person rebuild afterward. a crushing loss.
Although she has long been an icon for black women who watched her fascinating roles in “Bring It On”, “Love & Basketball” and the BET drama series “Being Mary Jane”, Union did not have the type. breakthrough Hollywood that turns actors into Oscar winners. She was therefore well positioned to take advantage of social media’s growing indistinction between celebrity and influencer. By the time she announced her engagement to Wade in 2013, on Instagram, she had already built a brand that relied less on celebrity magazines. Now, her role in the public imagination is shaped as much by the social comments she posts – as well as adorable photos of her husband and daughter – as it is by her on-screen work.
When someone so adept at sharing online posts one memoir, let alone two, it’s easy to wonder if there’s really anything left to know. But as revealing that Union is on its news feed, it is even more so on the page. Blurring the line between public and private, many chapters of “You Got Anything Stronger? Depend on the act of disclosure itself, the moments Union brings social media closer to real life. From steps Zaya took to release (first to family, then to friends, then to the world in February 2020) to conversations Union had with her parents about her decision to use a surrogate after a series of miscarriages, these essays reveal a keen awareness of the pressures of outer expectations and the need to push them back in order to find happiness.