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Amazon.com: 23 commentaires
13 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Series of Meditations on Issues of Identity Construction 17 juillet 2014
Par Dr. Laurence Raw - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
If readers expect pat answers to issues of identity and identity politics, then WHITE GIRLS is not for them. In a series of interrelated pieces, both factual and fictional, Hilton Als explores issues of African American identity past and present. He challenges existing categorizations, especially those constructed by while liberals, and emphasizes the importance of individuals trying to get to know themselves as well as others. In a series of discrete yet interrelated pieces, Als adopts a variety of authorial voices; in the first essay, he becomes someone called "Hilton" looking back on his love-affairs, in other pieces he assumes the identity of Louise Brooks; and Richard Pryor's sister. In other pieces he takes a critical look at familiar figures; his piece on Richard Pryor is nothing short of brilliant; and there are equally suggestive essays on GONE WITH THE WIND and the actor Buddy Ebsen. WHITE GIRLS looks at how negative stereotypes of the African American have been constructed and reinforced (although few people would be prepared to admit it, there is still a stigma attached to the idea of a White woman going out with an African American), as well as challenged by celebrities such as Lily Tomlin. Her television special, broadcast in the early Seventies, when she had Richard Pryor on her show in a sketch about relationships, was a seminal moment in race relations history, even though CBS tried their best to minimize its impact. Als views such moments in television and film history as a springboard for indviduals to construct their own ideas about their identities; to reject established conceptions and experiment for themselves, while realizing at the same that such identities are nothing more than performances. Like Richard Pryor's sister, who earns her living providing voices for porno films, everyone is in some way putting on an act. WHITE GIRLS offers no concrete answers to the issues surrounding identity construction, or the relationship between private and public selves, but it alerts us to the complexities involved in thinking about them. Written in a variety of styles, from the brutally colloquial to a stream-of-consciousness that is almost Joycean in construction, the book is nothing more than an authorial tour de force; thoroughly absorbing reading.
13 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Something New and True 16 février 2014
Par Peter Mladinic - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I don't have a lot of time at the moment, but can't leave this page without raving a little about White Girls. I've never read another book like it, not quite like it, and I will read many, perhaps all of these essays again. I say essays, but Als does things with his essays that make them original. His use of personas such as Richard Pryor's sister is..what it is, engaging, compelling, and utilitarian; with those personas we see from unique perspectives, reflecting the times of people such as Malcolm X's mother. I like the Capote essay, the O'Connor essay, Malcolm, and Pryor essays. The first essay, totally original, and the last totally compelling, but really this entire collection is original and compelling. "It Will Soon Be Here" is a masterpiece, which, I'm sure will be anthologized in years to come. I'm very curious about Diana Sands, (Beneatha in my favorite American play) and I'm curious about Als' weaving Kafka's cockroach into the Pryor essay. This book is lyrical, written by someone in love with language, and compelling, written by someone digging for truth in himself and the world, though digging's not the word I want. White Girls is author-driven, not dollar-driven. It's against stereotypes, and is intensely political, and global. It blends fact and fiction, it risks, and succeeds. Hats off to Hilton Als. Thanks for this much needed book!
10 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
White Girls by Hilton Als 30 janvier 2014
Par cynthiawarrenclark - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
He's done it, again. Excellent writing and truly a master of his subject. I have been anxiously awaiting a second book from Als. The title here had me a little concerned but when I got it, I got it!! I will anxiously await his next book. My history with him began when reading his essays in The New Yorker years ago. The Women was a fantastic eye-opening read. I gave it as a gift to many friends. I will do the same with White Girls. Bravo, Als. I am your fan and so are those I turn you on to. If you are a person who evolves reading beyond the norm, I suggest you read Hilton Als.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Observations: Culturally and Racially Charged Essays... 16 septembre 2014
Par missmickeesunshine - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
"White Girls" is an absorbing and astonishing collection of 13 literary essays that explore Hilton Al's personal relationships with family members, famous friends from Diana Vreeland (1903-1989), Truman Capote (1924-1984) to fashion designer Andre Leon Talley (1949-). Al's also writes in depth about Richard Pryor, Michael Jackson, Eminem, Louise Brooks, Flannery O'Connor, and Malcolm X. Al's discusses gay culture, and the beginnings of the AID's epidemic that claimed the life of his beloved partner "K" (in 1992); also the sobering truth of the remains of early AID's victims being stuffed into black plastic trash bags, which was widely (sensationally) reported in the media, and nearly forgotten in current times. A few times throughout the book, his expletive language/commentary seemed slightly offensive/unprofessional, yet considering how great this book was; it was just as easy to overlook.

TRISTES TROPIQUES: For over three decades Al's had a close friendship with Sir or Lady (SL) who he met in 1982. SL was a graphic designer, photographer/film maker, the man he loved in friendship, emulated, accepted/understood. Al's identified with "twin-ship", his brother, the first Hilton was stillborn, he was raised by his single mother and had 4 sisters who dressed like the (1980's pop girl group) "Pointer Sister's".
After months of being away, SL would return, resuming their friendship. The white women that SL had romantic relationships, predictably got to know Al's: calling him, or hiring him to freelance/write for them, so they could critique/bash him; with jealousies over his close relationship with SL. Al's would host nice parties and they would arrive to make a scene, out of passion for SL. This played out in the same re-occurring pattern.
Al's loved SL more then grief, he used SL's women to maintain their dramatic friendship "play". They rarely discussed their feelings for one another outright, or articulated on their relationship standing. Al's felt a "sisterhood" connection to black female writers, and "brotherhood" with gay male artists.

THE WOMEN: The exciting 1966 release of Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood" was a turning point for this author, further defining his place in the establishment of cultural "literary masculinity" then held by (Jewish) writers: Philip Roth, William S. Paley, and Norman Mailer. Capote, an openly gay man, with his effeminate high voice, gestures/mannerisms, took his place with these manly-men as a literary icon.
Flannery O'Conner (1925-1964) hardly wrote about her Irish-Catholic religion in her Southern Gothic portrayals, and was critical of Tennessee Williams and Carson McCullers clichéd "Southerness" imagery.

GWTW: The photography of the southern black lynchings are highly disturbing. Al's writes of his hyper awareness of walking away from white women as to not offend them, lest he be accused of rape, being slammed against a wall by 4-5 policemen in a case of mistaken identity, being accosted on his way to school accused of truancy, and his fear of being accidently killed as the writer/poet Henry Dumas (1934-1968).

PHILOSOPHER OR DOG? Writers of color wear the "mask of piety", just as often their voice is compromised, as the quality, thought, of the writing without having to deal with the face behind the mask.
The powerful story of Malcolm X (MX) was covered: how MX was favored by his father because of his lighter skin, and held in lower regard for the same reason by his mother. Al's discusses MX mother's West Indie's cultural beliefs in ghosts: how ghosts were a part of consciousness, appearing in dreams, with signs and warnings. After the murder of MX father, his mother was held in a Kalamazoo, MI state mental asylum for over 26 years.

WHITE NOISE: The start of Marshall Mathers III/Eminem (1972-) career often included a "trash tongue" explosive flow of rage against poverty, his mother, LGBT persons, and authority figures. In recent times, his lyrics highlight political issues, individualism, recovery, and a variety of other themes.
Raised in Warren MI a suburb of Detroit- outside the "Arsenal of Democracy", his life was defined by poverty, abuse and neglect. He dropped out of school in the 9th grade, unable to continue with the torment, bullying, violence. Unlike other whites, Eminem never realized the privilege/birthright of his race. The fact hat he had survived in such a harsh environment was similar to that of a black man. Eminem's would articulate his life experience through his love of music, expressed through the rap/hip-hop genre of black music and culture. Eminem is a multi-platinum selling recording artist and hip-hop icon.

All the essays were outstanding, it would be hard to highlight each piece for this review. I was fascinated by Al's insight on Andre Leon Talley's inability to love or form romantic attachments, his observations of the life times of Michael Jackson (1958-2009), also comic genius Richard Pryor (1940-2005), of Pryor's family members, and his former wife Jennifer Lee, who wrote the book "Tarnished Angel". Lee returned to Pryor, lovingly assisted with his care, until his death.
"An actress is a liar!" Al's declares. They are paid to play a role, desperate, as they attempt to seduce male writers, directors, etc. Unable to stop acting, or love anyone as they love themselves.
The wide and high "field of memory" are closing observations in his final essay. A "holocaust" of feeling and emotion what is either remembered, forgotten, or even misremembered to accommodate the high wall of acceptance.
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
simply beautiful 28 décembre 2013
Par T.R. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Wow. Moving, thoughtful, insightful, beautiful. Als writes like no one else. Incredibly personal and smart as hell. I need more.
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