Emma Watson's Book Club · Reviews

“The Color Purple” by Alice Walker

“So what you think? I ast.

I think us here to wonder, myself. To wonder. To ast. And that in wondering bout the big things and asting bout the big things, you learn about the little ones, almost by accident. But you never know nothing more about the big things than you start with. The more I wonder, he say, the more I love.

And people start to love you back, I bet, I say.”

I absolutely adore how approachable The Color Purple is. I adore how it reduces so many I-don’t-understands to dust, so many excuses to ashes, with its simplicity. One will only not see if one chooses to.

“Here’s the thing, say Shug. The thing I believe. God is inside you and inside everybody else. You come into the world with God. But only them that search for it inside find it. And sometimes it just manifest itself even if you not looking, or don’t know what you looking for. Trouble do it for most folks, I think. Sorrow, lord. Feeling like shit.

It? I ast.

Yeah, It. God ain’t a he or a she, but a It.

But what do it look like? I ast.

Don’t look like nothing, she say. It ain’t a picture show. It ain’t something you can look at apart from anything else, including yourself. I believe God is everything, say Shug. Everything that is or ever was or ever will be. And when you can feel that, and be happy to feel that, you’ve found it.”

If I had to choose one word to describe this book I would probably go with openness. There’s space to discuss God and religion, love, violence, homosexuality and racism… and the limit is how far Celie, our main narrator, wants to go, how far she allows herself to go. This, in itself, is a testimony to our capability of acceptance and understanding. It’s not always easy, sometimes it involves swimming against the tide, but we can reach as far as we wish to.

The Color Purple should come with a warning: read before you are sure of everything. Conviction has legs and sometimes we get lost staring at their shadow. If only we stared long enough to see that their size changes according to where the sun is shining, if at all, from…

Emma Watson's Book Club

“My Life on the Road” by Gloria Steinem

I stopped reading for a moment. Gloria Steinem’s melodious voice faded into quietness and all I could hear was the silence surrounding me. I remember thinking, how is it possible to be so quiet when there’s a revolution going on inside my head? Then I realized I had yet to speak up.

My Life on the Road is an extraordinary journey. More than a book of hope, it’s a book of possibilities. Not only are we told stories that make us believe that equality is possible, we are shown proof that equality was once a reality. As Rayna Green would say, “Feminism is a memory”.

I find the way equality was discussed in this book absolutely wonderful. It’s refreshing to read someone writing about how it is truly difference, its acceptance and the respect for it, and by it. Difference is indeed one of the characteristics we all have in common.

“When humans are ranked instead of linked, everyone loses.”

We might have a similar shade of brown eyes, but we all see the world differently. And one specific way is not better than the other, it’s just different. This fact only makes the world a richer place. It’s something we should celebrate.

“If you want people to listen to you, you have to listen to them.
If you hope people will change how they live, you have to know how they live.
If you want people to see you, you have to sit down with them eye-to-eye.”

I had never heard of Gloria Steinem before. However, while reading this book, her voice felt familiar, like one of an old friend that you haven’t seen in years. Suddenly you run into each other and it’s like you were never apart in the first place. I am so grateful for this intimate tone, for her delicate presence.

“In fact, many questions have three or seven or dozen sides. Sometimes I think the only real division into two is between people who divide everything into two, and those who don’t.”

This book is a lesson. A lesson in history, in humanity, in hope, in possibilities. It’s a lesson one shouldn’t skip, a lesson told by one’s favourite professor. All you have to do is listen. Then raise your hand and speak.

“I could leave – because I could return. I could return – because I knew adventure lay just beyond an open door. Instead of either/or, I discovered a whole world of and.”

Gloria Steinem’s memories are so alive. It was a pleasure to walk, arms linked, down her memory lane. I hope more people decide on taking this path. I hope more people fall in love with the idea that one can travel wherever they are, even if they have been in the same place their whole lives.

Oh, and never forget to ask the turtle. You may think you know where it wants to go, but you will never be sure until you ask it.


Parei de ler por um momento. A voz melodiosa de Gloria Steinem desvaneceu-se na quietude. E tudo o que eu conseguia ouvir era o silêncio que me envolvia. Como era possível estar tudo tão silencioso quando uma revolução acontecia dentro da mim? Apercebi-me depois que tinha ainda que falar.

My Life on the Road é uma viagem… extraordinária. É mais do que um livro de esperança, é um livro de possibilidades. Não são apenas contadas histórias que nos levam a acreditar que a igualdade é possível, são-nos mostradas provas de que a igualdade foi um dia uma realidade. Como Rayna Green diria, “O Feminismo é uma memória”*1.

Acho maravilhoso o modo como, neste livro, a igualdade é discutida. É refrescante ler alguém que escreve acerca de como verdadeiramente é a diferença, como ocorre a aceitação e o respeito da e pela dita. A diferença é de facto uma qualidade comum a todos nós.

“Quando seres humanos são hierarquizados, em vez de ligados, todos perdem.”*1

Podemos ter um tom semelhante de olhos castanhos, mas todos vemos o mundo de forma diferente. E uma determinada forma de ver não é mais válida que outra, é somente diferente. Este facto apenas torna o mundo um lugar mais rico. E isto é algo que devíamos celebrar!

“Se queres que as pessoas  te escutem, tens que as escutar a elas.
Se esperas que as pessoas mudem a forma como vivem, tens que saber como vivem.
Se queres que as pessoas te vejam, tens que te sentar com elas, olhos nos olhos.”*1

Nunca antes tinha ouvido falar de Gloria Steinem. Contudo, enquanto lia este livro, a sua voz soou-me familiar, como a de um velho amigo que não vemos há muitos anos. De repente, chocamos um no outro, e é como se nunca nos tivéssemos separado. Sou tão grata por este tom íntimo, pela sua presença delicada.

“De facto, muitas questões têm três, ou sete, ou uma dúzia de lados. Por vezes penso que a única real divisão em dois é entre as pessoas que dividem tudo em dois, e aquelas que não o fazem.”*1

Este livro é uma lição… de lições. Uma lição de história, de humanidade, de esperança, de possibilidades. É uma lição que não devíamos saltar, uma lição que nos é dada pelo nosso professor favorito. Tudo o que temos que fazer é escutar. E depois levantar a mão e falar.

“Eu podia sair – porque eu podia voltar. Eu podia voltar – porque eu sabia que aventuras me esperavam para lá de uma porta aberta. Em vez de um ou outro, descobri um mundo inteiro de e.”*1

As memórias de Gloria Steinem são tão vivas. Foi um prazer caminhar, de braço dado, pela avenida das suas memórias. Espero que mais pessoas decidam seguir este caminho. Espero que mais pessoas se apaixonem pela ideia de que podemos viajar onde quer que estejamos, mesmo quando estacionados num mesmo sítio.

Oh, e nunca se esqueçam de perguntar à tartaruga. Podem pensar que sabem onde ela quer ir, mas nunca vão ter a certeza até perguntar-lhe.


Für einen Moment hörte ich auf zu lesen. Gloria Steinems melodiöse Stimme verstummte und alles, was ich hören konnte, war die Stille, die mich umgab. Ich erinnere mich daran, wie ich mich fragte, wie es möglich ist, so ruhig zu sein, wenn eine Revolution in meinem Kopf stattfindet. Dann erkannte ich, dass ich den Mund aufmachen muss.

My Life on the Road ist eine außergewöhnliche Reise. Mehr noch als ein Buch über Hoffnung, ist es ein Buch über Möglichkeiten. Uns werden nicht nur Geschichten erzählt, die uns glauben lassen, dass Gleichberechtigung möglich ist, uns werden Beweise gezeigt, dass Gleichberechtigung einst Realität gewesen ist. Wie Rayna Green sagen würde: “Feminismus ist eine Erinnerung”*1.

Ich finde die Art und Weise wie Gleichberechtigung hier diskutiert wurde absolut wundervoll. Es ist erfrischend zu lesen wie jemand darüber spricht, dass es wirklich um Verschiedenheit geht, um Akzeptanz von und Respekt für sie. Verschiedenheit ist in der Tat eins der Charakteristiken, die wir alle gemeinsam haben.

“Wenn Menschen aneinandergereiht anstatt verbunden werden, verliert jeder.”*1

Wir haben vielleicht einen ähnlichen Farbton brauner Augen, aber wir alle sehen die Welt verschieden. Und ein bestimmter Weg ist nicht besser als ein zweiter, er ist nur anders. Dieser Umstand macht die Welt lediglich zu einem besseren Ort. Es ist etwas, das wir feiern sollten.

“Wenn du möchtest, dass Leute dir zuhören, musst du ihnen zuhören.
Wenn du darauf hoffst, dass Leute ihren Lebenswandel ändern, dann musst du wissen wie sie leben.
Wenn du möchtest, dass Leute dich sehen, musst du dich auf Augenhöhe zu ihnen setzen.”*1

Ich hatte nie zuvor von Gloria Steinem gehört. Trotzdem fühlte sich ihre Stimme, als ich das Buch las, vertraut an, als ob sie die einer alten Freundin wäre, die ich seit Jahren nicht gesehen habe. Plötzlich trifft man sich und es ist als ob man nie getrennt gewesen wäre. Ich bin so dankbar für diesen vertraulichen Ton, für ihre feinfühlige Präsenz.

“Tatsächlich haben viele Fragen drei oder sieben oder ein Dutzend Seiten. Manchmal denke ich, die einzig wahre Unterteilung in zwei findet zwischen Menschen statt, die alles durch zwei teilen, und diejenigen, die es nicht tun.”*1

Dieses Buch ist eine Lektion. Eine Lektion über Geschichte, über Menschlichkeit, über Hoffnung und Möglichkeiten. Es ist eine Lektion, die man nicht überspringen sollte, eine Lektion, die von unserem Lieblingsprofessor erteilt wird. Alles, was man tun muss, ist zuzuhören. Dann aufzuzeigen und zu sprechen.

“Ich kann aufbrechen – weil ich zurückkehren könnte – weil ich wusste, dass das Abenteuer gleich hinter einer offenen Tür lag. Anstelle von entweder/oder, entdeckte ich eine ganze Welt voller und.”*1

Gloria Steinems Erinnerungen sind so lebendig. Es war ein Vergnügen, und eine Ehre, in ihren Erinnerungen zu schwelgen. Ich hoffe sehr, dass mehr Menschen sich dazu entschließen diesen Weg zu gehen. Ich hoffe, dass mehr Menschen sich in die Idee verlieben, dass man reisen kann, wo immer man sich befindet, selbst dann, wenn man sein Leben lang an einem Ort verbracht hat.

Oh, und vergiss niemals die Schildkröte zu fragen. Du magst vielleicht glauben zu wissen, wohin sie gehen will, aber du wirst dir niemals sicher sein bis du sie fragst.

*1 Tradução livre/ Freie Übersetzung