Author bell hooks is the Distinguished Professor in Residence in Appalachian Studies at Berea College. Born Gloria Jean Watkins in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, she has chosen the lower case pen name bell hooks, based on the names of her mother and grandmother, to emphasize the importance of the substance of her writing as opposed to who she is. She is the author of over 30 books, many of which have focused on issues of social class, race and gender. Her latest books are titled "Uncut Funk: A Contemplative Dialogue" and "Writing Beyond Race"
A cultural critic, an intellectual and a feminist writer, bell hooks is best known for classic books including "Ain't I a Woman," "Bone Black," "All About Love," "Rock My Soul," "Belonging," "We Real Cool," "Where We Stand," "Teaching to Transgress," "Teaching Community," "Outlaw Culture" "and Reel to Real." She resides in her home state of Kentucky.