Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times by Carolina De Robertis

Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times

Radical Hope is a collection of letters--to ancestors, to children five generations from now, to strangers in grocery lines, to any and all who feel weary and discouraged--written by award-winning novelists, poets, political thinkers, and activists. Provocative and inspiring, Radical Hope offers readers a kaleidoscopic view of the love and courage needed to navigate this t...

Title:Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0525435131
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:272 pages

Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times Reviews

  • Diane S ☔
    May 10, 2017

    Like many, author Carolina de Robertis was overcome with fear, a new President had been elected. Worried about the civil rights of many, people of color, different sexual orientation , different religions, she put in a call for action. She reached out to fellow writers, asking for love letters, letters written for what she believes will be a turbulent time. Some of our most well known authors and some I wasn't familiar with did what they do best, put pen to paper. Most of these letters are simpl

    Like many, author Carolina de Robertis was overcome with fear, a new President had been elected. Worried about the civil rights of many, people of color, different sexual orientation , different religions, she put in a call for action. She reached out to fellow writers, asking for love letters, letters written for what she believes will be a turbulent time. Some of our most well known authors and some I wasn't familiar with did what they do best, put pen to paper. Most of these letters are simply amazing.

    Some are written to their child, some to the reading public, ancestors or children not yet born, some to famous boundary breakers of the past. They come from different backgrounds, they or their ancestors came from different countries, Syria, China, Vietnam, Mexico, Egypt. They are black, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, Asian, we hear the words from many, the world over. Some of the most known are Lisa See, Jane Smiley, Junot Diaz, Karen Joy Fowler, Claire Massud and Celestica Ng. They are full of fear, hope, love and anger, Karen Joy Fowler's was the most angry but does end of a note of hope. My favorite was by Viet Thanh Nguyen, the author of the Sympathizer and the Refugees.

    A wonderful collection that expresses many of things so many of us feel in a very personal and real way. Very intersting, informative and welll done.

    ARC from publisher.

  • Ceillie
    Apr 25, 2017

    You want this anthology.

    Read the full review

  • Hannah (fullybookedreviews)
    Mar 24, 2017

    I’m not American, but I did follow the electoral goings-on with a mixture of horror and dismay. And dramatic political upheavals are not limited to the US of A – a brief glance at the news will reveal that bigotry and corruption have gotten a stranglehold in countries across the globe.

    So when I saw this book up for request on Edelweiss, I didn’t hesitate to click. I think we’re all in need of some mental encouragement, some restorative for the soul in these rather trying times. (I’m not one to b

    I’m not American, but I did follow the electoral goings-on with a mixture of horror and dismay. And dramatic political upheavals are not limited to the US of A – a brief glance at the news will reveal that bigotry and corruption have gotten a stranglehold in countries across the globe.

    So when I saw this book up for request on Edelweiss, I didn’t hesitate to click. I think we’re all in need of some mental encouragement, some restorative for the soul in these rather trying times. (I’m not one to bury my head in the sand, but constant political awareness is somewhat exhausting and depressing.)

    While the anthology is obviously US-centric, many of the lessons, observations and encouragements contained in this anthology can be applied across borders. As evidenced by the cover, this collection is made up of a diverse array of voices, some which may resonate with you, and others you will learn from.

    And I think, for this review, I’ll allow a selection of quotes from the book to speak for themselves.

    On nationality, roots and ancestral history:

    On idealism:

    Being a white women, it is perhaps unsurprising that one of the essays that resonated with me was one entitled “Dear White People”.

    &

    On those who hold political power:

    On despair:

    A critique of the ‘better option’ still not being good enough:

    And this food for thought, which I don’t think I have the goodness to embrace:

    This thoughtful rumination on the power of words:

    A scathing indictment of US policy towards migrants – this passage just gripped me and wouldn’t let me go:

    And a final message for all of us, going forward.

    ***

  • Mrs. Europaea
    Mar 12, 2017

    If you read only one book this year please, please make it Radical Hope by Carolina De Robertis. Radical Hope is composed of individual letters written in a variety of tones: tender, analytical, impassioned, hopeful, deeply personal, and much more. The collection of these love letters are written by various writers discussing their personal reactions in the days and weeks proceeding the November 8th, 2016 election. The letters are addressed to historical figures like Harriett Tubman, to sons and

    If you read only one book this year please, please make it Radical Hope by Carolina De Robertis. Radical Hope is composed of individual letters written in a variety of tones: tender, analytical, impassioned, hopeful, deeply personal, and much more. The collection of these love letters are written by various writers discussing their personal reactions in the days and weeks proceeding the November 8th, 2016 election. The letters are addressed to historical figures like Harriett Tubman, to sons and daughters, to White People, and to future kin generations from now.

    Radical Hope combines into one epistolary essay what many American people have been feeling and protesting in the months since Trump won the electoral college, putting a face, along with a story behind each threat to human rights and democracy.

    No matter what side of the political spectrum you fall on, Radical Hope is a story shared by individuals discussing their life experiences and their hopes for the future. While you may not share Junot Diaz’s opinion that Trump is a toxic misogynist, racial demagogue who wants to make America great by destroying the civil rights gained of the past fifty years, you will come to understand the feelings and experiences behind his rationale on why colonial power, patriarchal power and capital power must be battled everywhere, all the time. If you are in a place of privilege and have trouble relating to the social issues minorities face, Schatz lays it out for you in her letter “What I Mean” addressed: Dear White People. Schatz asks white people to recognize their privilege, recognize that in America there is a system to ensure hierarchies of economic, political, and social control that white people benefit from every day. Even if you didn’t vote for Trump, Schatz explains, we still elected him and it is our responsibility to accept and acknowledge this in order to resist.

    So, again, if you only read one book this year, please make it Radical Hope. We don’t always have to agree but we do need to hear people’s stories, we don’t need to agree but we can grow from hearing another perspective. At the end of the day all we are are our experiences, they make us, mold us into who we are, what we stand for, and what we place value on.

  • Nancy
    Apr 22, 2017

    I was attracted to Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times because of the outstanding contributors, including Junot Díaz, Lisa See, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Jane Smiley, and Celeste Ng. A firm believer that writers are the key to maintaining society's highest aspirations, I hoped to find inspiration and affirmation in these pages.

    The letters are written to leaders of the past, to real and and to imagined future children, to strangers and to the known. Each contributor speaks of t

    I was attracted to Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times because of the outstanding contributors, including Junot Díaz, Lisa See, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Jane Smiley, and Celeste Ng. A firm believer that writers are the key to maintaining society's highest aspirations, I hoped to find inspiration and affirmation in these pages.

    The letters are written to leaders of the past, to real and and to imagined future children, to strangers and to the known. Each contributor speaks of their personal journey and agony. They share a fear of our government's agenda that threatens hard-won rights and protections.

    The letters are divided into three sections: Roots, which "explores the histories that bring us to this moment," and Branches, considering present day people and communities, and Seeds, considering the future who will inherit the system and world we will leave behind.

    Frankly, many of these letters were hard to read, confronting us with the pain and misery inflicted upon people because of their color, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. I could only read an essay or two a day. Yet there is also in these letters a strength, a commitment, a vision of hope.

    The message, says Katie Kitamura, is that this is not a time for complacency, and yet we must be open and not mired in certitude, to think and not be compelled to "ideological haste."

    "Beware easy answers," warns Boris Fishman, "Lets get out of our comfort zones...let's lose our certainty--perhaps our arrogance."

    "Be kind, be curious, be helpful...stay open," Celeste Ng writes to her child.

    "Please promise me that you will, insoar as any person can, set your fear aside and devote yourself to a full, honest life. That, my child, is the first and most important act of resistance any of us can undertake," advises Meredith Russo to her child.

    The struggle for human rights is ongoing, continual. We have seen the backlash against hard gained protections and equality. The battle continues.

    I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

  • Amanda Torres
    Jun 10, 2017

    4.5 stars. This is exactly what I needed. Some of these letters are beautifully written and all of them provide much needed healing (in very diff ways).

  • Ally
    Jun 12, 2017

    Carolina de Robertis has curated a really magical and interesting body of work. In RADICAL HOPE: LETTERS OF LOVE AND DISSENT IN DANGEROUS TIMES, she has amassed essays from over 30 authors, writing about how American society has changed since the 45th President took office, and how we can not give up hope. Among the disastrous normalizing of racism, sexism, homophobia, scapegoating, stereotyping, etc., there are still places where love and hope exist...and the authors dive into these places whil

    Carolina de Robertis has curated a really magical and interesting body of work. In RADICAL HOPE: LETTERS OF LOVE AND DISSENT IN DANGEROUS TIMES, she has amassed essays from over 30 authors, writing about how American society has changed since the 45th President took office, and how we can not give up hope. Among the disastrous normalizing of racism, sexism, homophobia, scapegoating, stereotyping, etc., there are still places where love and hope exist...and the authors dive into these places while never avoiding acknowledging the nastiness.

    What is so noteworthy is the format of the collection, as well as the format of the essays themselves. As the subtitle would suggest, all of the essays are written in epistolary format. This means that they are in the form of letters, written from the author to someone else. The structure of RADICAL HOPE is such that the letters are organized into "Roots", "Branches", and "Seeds"; the "Roots" letters are written to people in the authors' pasts, the "Branches" are written to friends/family/strangers/acquaintances in the authors' present day, and "Seeds" are written to the generations upcoming or in the distant future. There are letters written to Harriet Beecher Stowe, to immigrant and refugee ancestors, to Muslims living in America today, to "You", to authors and readers, to Mexican-Americans, to white Americans, to activists, to people you see on the street but never meet, to Millennials and Baby Boomers, to godchildren living abroad, to generations many years yet to be. Because the form is a letter, rather than a traditional essay, it naturally encourages the writer to engage with the topic on personal, political, and expositional levels. Although each letter is only a few pages, I felt as though I was given a window into a part of their lives that I'd never otherwise get. Through this, I felt a sense of connection and camaraderie with these wonderful artists.

    RADICAL HOPE is a stirring and affirming reassurance to those of us who disagree with the bedrock on which the current American administration stands, and are deeply discouraged with our current society. The authors do not avoid the anger, but offer counteraction - love and hope. The collection offers hope, by remembering where we've come from, where we are, and where we are going.

  • Vendela
    Jun 18, 2017

    I cried so many times while reading this book I made strangers in multiple countries worry about me. Possibly I shouldn't have been reading it in public. But it's beautiful, joyful, painful and I'm so glad it exists. Read it. It will make your next step a little easier.

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