On Tuesday, October 17th when Gabrielle Union released her first book, We’re Going to Need More Wine, she started the day at number 900 on the charts. Before the end of the night, she was number 60 on Amazon and rising. The book is bound to be a best-seller. Like every other thing that Gabrielle touches, the book is destined to be a success.
But, We’re Going to Need More Wine is more than just another celebrity book. It is an incredible look into the life of one of Black Hollywood’s most beloved (and private) stars.
At a ticketed event at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City, Union sat with podcasters Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams during an intimate conversation about the book and Union’s experiences in writing it. “A lot of it had been discussed and journaled in therapy,” she explains, “Wanting to connect with other people, wanting to help other people, as people are reading the book everyone responds to something different. It’s amazing because for a long time, I didn’t feel like my words were good enough, that I was talented enough.”
Union explains that she was inspired to write the book by reading some of the recent great releases by Issa Rae and Phoebe Robinson herself, “I thought, I can’t come behind as an elder statesman on some bulls**t. I wanted to share my journey on some authenticity. I’m inspired by women of color who put pen to paper.”
We’re Going to Need More Wine is a collection of nonfiction short stories from her life. With an openness that she has never before displayed, she talks about her experiences growing up as one of the few black girls in her community of Pleasanton, California. She delves into the idea of double-consciousness of being black on the outside and even blacker on the inside. Union thoughtfully tackles ideas of colorism in the black community, dating, and her disastrous first marriage.
As has been widely reported, Union also thoughtfully discusses her past as a sexual assault survivor having been raped at 19 while working at a Payless Shoe Source. She is a fierce spokesperson for victims of sexual assault and Planned Parenthood. She also talks about her battle with infertility, and her role as a stepmother to the sons of her husband, Dwyane Wade. The book is a roller coaster ride of funny moments and thoughtful moments, just like life. At 45, Union has blossomed into even more of an entrepreneur with a hair care line, Flawless by Gabrielle Union and with a joint venture with New York and Company. With this book, she again takes the lead and direction of her own story and narrative for the rest of her career. It’s a triumph of grown womanhood.
At the end of the book, Union states that she wants people to think, “She’s a real one,” explaining, “I’m not some cardboard cutout, Hollywood caricature. I’m a woman who deals with real woman sh*t. I’m a black woman who deals with real black woman sh*t. I want you to recognize all parts of me. The good, the bad, the deliciously wonderful. The complicated. I’m ready to be seen as my authentic self. I want to see other people as their authentic selves. I want to help towards healing.”