An Uncut Diamond: A Memoir
By Angela N. Hsi, Ph.D.
An Uncut Diamond: A Memoir is the fascinating, brutally honest story of one young woman’s pursuit of academic freedom across two continents, rife cross-cultural misconceptions, and distrust. It is the story of her encounters with the pivotal points of history, societal upheavals, and political clashes that have shaped both the modern world and a modern woman. It also relates the very personal story of family ties, which shatter and strengthen, even as her own dreams alternately come to fruition and perish. An Uncut Diamond is a compelling tale filled with the author’s experience of sweeping changes, both private and public, and observations and learning that could only be gained by living through such times. It is a true story. It is her story.
This memoir narrates how Smithson experienced a poor and somewhat turbulent childhood that took her and her family to Tennessee, Illinois, and Missouri. She describes her parents, grandparents, her siblings, her daily experiences, the characters who played a role in her upbringing, and the memories of growing up in a different time. This nostalgic look back follows Smithson through her marriage at a young age in 1960 and offers a recap of her family.
With photos included, The Whippoorwill Calls offers a glimpse into one womans past guided by her faith in God, and the history that formed who she is today.
Nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work
Named a Best Book of the Year by The Root
Chosen by Emma Straub as a Best New Celebrity Memoir
“A book of essays as raw and honest as anyone has ever produced.” — Lena Dunham, Lenny Letter
In the spirit of Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl, and Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist, a powerful collection of essays about gender, sexuality, race, beauty, Hollywood, and what it means to be a modern woman.
One month before the release of the highly anticipated film The Birth of a Nation, actress Gabrielle Union shook the world with a vulnerable and impassioned editorial in which she urged our society to have compassion for victims of sexual violence. In the wake of rape allegations made against director and actor Nate Parker, Union—a forty-four-year-old actress who launched her career with roles in iconic ’90s movies—instantly became the insightful, outspoken actress that Hollywood has been desperately awaiting. With honesty and heartbreaking wisdom, she revealed her own trauma as a victim of sexual assault: "It is for you that I am speaking. This is real. We are real."
In this moving collection of thought provoking essays infused with her unique wisdom and deep humor, Union uses that same fearlessness to tell astonishingly personal and true stories about power, color, gender, feminism, and fame. Union tackles a range of experiences, including bullying, beauty standards, and competition between women in Hollywood, growing up in white California suburbia and then spending summers with her black relatives in Nebraska, coping with crushes, puberty, and the divorce of her parents. Genuine and perceptive, Union bravely lays herself bare, uncovering a complex and courageous life of self-doubt and self-discovery with incredible poise and brutal honesty. Throughout, she compels us to be ethical and empathetic, and reminds us of the importance of confidence, self-awareness, and the power of sharing truth, laughter, and support.