So this morning, over breakfast, Alexa, the Amazon Echo personal assistant, mentions the actress Gabrielle Union’s new book We’re Going to Need More Wine. I’ll drink to that! I respond, without realizing what the book is about.
(After all, my wife and I resort to wine almost every evening. It’s not analgesic so much as joy. A day without wine is, well, like a day without wine. Our coffee bar testifies to our morning and evening rituals, or addictions, of coffee and wine.)
Union’s title is perlocutionary, isn’t it? It’s clever. It gets our attention, keeps it, directs us to the book. We want to see what she has to say, read a bit, see if we don’t want to purchase it.
On Amazon, I see that the subtitle is Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True. So it is, and it’s not, all fun and games. It’s complicated, you see. It’s true. And the puff for the piece explains,
In this moving collection of thought provoking essays infused with her unique wisdom and deep humor [oh, puhlease!], Union uses … 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….
Without reading the book, I would guess that wine enters, whether too much wine or just enough to anesthetize, in the “funny” part of the subtitle. Sure, let’s eat, drink, and be merry — whatever dreary or depressing or difficult truths press in on us. “Deep humor,” yes, might be in the wings if we buy and read Ms. Union’s book. “Unique wisdom”? I seriously doubt it.