You Got Anything Stronger? : Stories
Author(s): Gabrielle Union
Included in Time's 100 Must Read Books of 2021 list * A New York Times Best Seller * One of Audible's Best of The Year * AV Club's Best Books to Buy
“Funny, tender, and so good.” — Mindy Kaling, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Why Not Me?
Remember when we hit it off so well that we decided We’re Going to Need More Wine? Well, this time you and I are going to turn to our friend the bartender and ask, You Got Anything Stronger? I promise to continue to make you laugh, but with this round, the stakes get higher as the conversation goes deeper.
So. Where were we?
Right, you and I left off in October 2017, when my first book came out. The weeks before were filled with dreams of loss. Pets dying. My husband leaving me. Babies not being born. My therapist told me it was my soul preparing for my true self to emerge after letting go of my grief. I had finally spoken openly about my fertility journey. I was having second thoughts—in fact, so many thoughts they were organizing to go on strike. But I knew I had to be honest because I didn’t want other women going through IVF to feel as alone as I did. I had suffered in isolation, having so many miscarriages that I could not give an exact number. Strangers shared their own journeys and heartbreak with me. I had led with the truth, and it opened the door to compassion.
When I released We’re Going to Need More Wine, the response was so great people asked when I would do a sequel. The New York Times even ran a headline reading “We’re Going to Need More Gabrielle Union.” Frankly, after being so open and honest in my writing, I wasn’t sure there was more of me I was ready to share. But life happens with all its plot twists. And new stories demand to be told. This time, I need to be more vulnerable—not so much for me, but anyone who feels alone in what they’re going through.
A lot has changed in four years—I became a mom and I’m raising two amazing girls. My husband retired. My career has expanded so that I have the opportunity to lift up other voices that need to be heard. But the world has also shown us that we have a lot we still have to fight for—as women, as black women, as mothers, as aging women, as human beings, as friends. In You Got Anything Stronger?, I show you how this ever-changing life presents challenges, even as it gives me moments of pure joy. I take you on a girl’s night at Chateau Marmont, and I also talk to Isis, my character from Bring It On. For the first time, I truly open up about my surrogacy journey and the birth of Kaavia James Union Wade. And I take on racist institutions and practices in the entertainment industry, asking for equality and real accountability.
You Got Anything Stronger? is me at my most vulnerable. I have recently found true strength in that vulnerability, and I want to share that power with you here, through this book.
“However revealing Union is on her feed, she’s even more so on the page. Blurring the line between public and private, many chapters in You Got Anything Stronger? hinge on the very act of disclosure, the moments where Union relatably brings social media more in line with real life”
“You Got Anything Stronger? continues the project of unshackling. It’s soul-baring work.”
"Heartfelt, vulnerable, witty, and sincere."
“Union deftly writes about the life-changing diagnosis that led her to surrogacy as a path to motherhood; the impact of cracking open her family’s life for all to see; and how she discovered who she is beyond others’ projections. . . She makes you wish she were your best friend, her number saved in your favorites—a kindred spirit always ready to share real talk over a round of shots.”
“In so many ways, You Got Anything Stronger? is about digging deeper into the genre of celebrity memoir—literally giving us something more potent—because Union is honest without crossing her own boundaries of privacy, passionate about social issues without being condescending, and owns up to her own mistakes and struggles while maintaining a really radiant and admirable self-love throughout the book.”
In her follow-up to her debut memoir, We’re Going to Need More Wine, actor and writer Gabrielle Union picks up where she left off, delving deep into her journey to conceive daughter Kaavia, her experience as a stepmom, and the rest — ugly, beautiful, and in-between. Break out the liquor, folks, because you’re going to want a stiff drink to go with this dish.
“You Got Anything Stronger? is a boundary-pushing, self-discovery inducing lesson on vulnerability”
Even more open and relatable than her first. This time around the actor and author is opening up about her surrogacy journey, fighting against racial inequality in Hollywood, and her iconic Bring It On character, Isis. Grab a glass of your drink of choice and settle in, because reading Union's essays is every bit as satisfying as a nice, long chat with your best friend.
Funny, tender, and so good.
These essays are brimming with veracity, humor, and daring sincerity that becomes contagious. In depictions of motherhood, Hollywood, and even the most devastating realities, Union keeps a remarkably steady hand; she speaks with the warmth of a late night phone call.