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Reviews and Recommendations

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Here's a great place to start: Our
Reviews and Recommendations page.

This week's recommendation:

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body
Roxane Gay
Reviewed by Linda

 
This is a book about weight, trauma, shame, and a woman's relationship with her body. It is bold and haunting -- the "most difficult writing experience of my life" -- Gay writes in the memoir's beginning pages. Gay is a prolific author of essays, short stories and a novel, and often provocatively explores issues of race, gender, and sexuality. This memoir is much more personal and raw -- she shares horrific details of a gang rape at the age of 12 and her desire to protect herself from further harm by making her body as large as possible. Gay also explores the cultural norms and expectations imposed on women's bodies and the resulting harassment and microaggressions directed at women who do not measure up to those norms. 

This is not a book about a woman who would like to lose 20 pounds; this is a book about a woman who has been 300 or 400 pounds overweight for all of her adult life. Gay was interviewed recently by Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air and Gross asked Gay where she is now in her relationship with her body. Gay responded, "I would definitely like to tear down this wall I've built around myself, because I don't need it anymore."

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body is not only a candid exploration of trauma and its aftermath, but also a reminder of every person's right to be present and respected in public spaces.

 

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