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Reviews of Another Word for Love by Carvell Wallace

Another Word for Love by Carvell Wallace

Another Word for Love

A Memoir

by Carvell Wallace
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  • First Published:
  • May 14, 2024
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About This Book

Book Summary

A transformative memoir that reimagines the conventions of love and posits a radical vision for healing.

In Another Word for Love, Carvell Wallace excavates layers of his own history, situated in the struggles and beauty of growing up Black and queer in America.

Wallace is an award-winning journalist who has built his career on writing unforgettable profiles, bringing a provocative and engaged sensitivity to his subjects. Now he turns the focus on himself, examining his own life and the circumstances that frame it—to make sense of seeking refuge from homelessness with a young single mother, living in a ghostly white Pennsylvania town, becoming a partner and parent, raising two teenagers in what feels like a collapsing world.

With courage, vulnerability, and a remarkable expansiveness of spirit—not to mention a thrilling, and unrivaled, storytelling verve—Another Word for Love makes an irresistible case for life, healing, the fullness of our humanity, and, of course, love. It could be called a theory of life itself—a theory of being that will leave you open to the wonder of the world.

The Quiet

We had been homeless for about a year. We never slept on the street; mostly we bounced from one temporary living situation to another with the occasional night in a motel or a car. Some of these situations were fine. Some were not. Maybe it was less than a year but it felt like a long time, full of endings and tiny deaths.

I was seven and a half years old, almost eight. We eventually found an apartment in Virginia, which I could tell meant a lot to my mother. There was one bedroom, a small patio, a kitchen, and a sunken living room, which I guessed was a thing to be coveted by the reverence with which these words—"sunken living room"—were spoken.

I remember the days in that apartment as lonely ones. It was just the two of us. The afternoons were long and quiet. We had no furniture, save for a bunk bed and a rocking chair whose lengthening shadow would spread across my body as I lay on the empty carpet while afternoon turned to night and my mother slept like she had ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

"I write about beautiful things because I live in a country that has tried to kill me and every single one of my ancestors." This might serve as Carvell Wallace's mission statement. His memoir candidly acknowledges wrongs that have been done—to him personally and to Black people collectively. But he also relates what he has learned about sexuality and spirituality, both of which provoke openness to love and wonder. Marriage and parenting, overcoming addiction, his mother's death, and the pandemic are other topics in these varied and relatable autobiographical essays. Together they depict the chronological sweep of Wallace's life. Readers who expect or prefer a traditional memoir may be frustrated by the structure. This wasn't my usual reading fare, but it's worth taking a risk to encounter an original new voice...continued

Full Review Members Only (756 words)

(Reviewed by Rebecca Foster).

Media Reviews

The New York Times Book Review
[Another Word for Love] arrives with great beauty, teeth and vulnerability ... [Carvell Wallace] has spent his late-blooming journalism career writing bold and intimate profiles ... He now turns his pen to his own life with the same poetic sensitivity and complexity ... This book is funny and heartbreaking, religiously vivid and lovingly open.

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Intricate and exhilarating ... An exquisite, soulful must-read.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
In this stunning self-portrait, journalist Wallace (The Sixth Man) examines the role of love in his life...The elliptical chapters don't skimp on struggle (including a harrowing, near-deadly confrontation with L.A. police), but what elevates the narrative is Wallace's capacity for forgiveness and his virtuosic—but never indulgent—prose. This profoundly compassionate volume hugs the reader tightly and doesn't let go.

Author Blurb Ashley C. Ford, author of Somebody's Daughter
This book was like holding hands with a friend while they tell me everything I ever wanted to know in all the ways I never expected to find out. Every page was worth reading, and I'm sure I'll read them all again and again.

Author Blurb James McBride, author of The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store
This is a remarkable book by one of the finest young writers I've come across in many years. An insightful work by a young scribe of deep talent, whose courage and ingenuity is inspirational.

Author Blurb Kaveh Akbar, author of Martyr!
Carvell Wallace's Another Word For Love moves us symphonically, presenting an orchestra of moving parts, sounds, ideas, exquisite images to the reader as if to a beloved. It gives us a nearly unprecedented vision of life. It is one of the most beautiful memoirs I've ever read.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book



An Interview with Carvell Wallace

Photo portrait of author Carvell Wallace wearing a tan baseball cap and white shirt with blue stripes outdoors Carvell Wallace's debut memoir, Another Word for Love, explores how spirituality and embracing his queer identity helped him heal from childhood trauma. The journalist and podcaster is known for co-writing basketball player Andre Iguodala's 2019 memoir The Sixth Man and for his Peabody Award–nominated podcast series Finding Fred (2019). He lives in Oakland, California and lectures in the Narrative Department at the UC Berkeley School of Journalism. Wallace spoke with BookBrowse's Rebecca Foster about accessing the past and pondering the concept of goodness.

Rebecca Foster: How did you arrive at the structure of the book? Did you write chronologically, or as scenes came to mind?

Carvell Wallace: The structure of ...

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Read-Alikes

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