A Memoir of (my) Body

Book - 2017
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"New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and bodies, using her own emotional and psychological struggles as a means of exploring our shared anxieties over pleasure, consumption, appearance, and health. As a woman who describes her own body as 'wildly undisciplined, ' Roxane understands the tension between desire and denial, between self-comfort and self-care. In Hunger, she casts an insightful and critical eye on her childhood, teens, and twenties--including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life--and brings readers into the present and the realities, pains, and joys of her daily life. With the bracing candor, vulnerability, and authority that have made her one of the most admired voices of her generation, Roxane explores what it means to be overweight in a time when the bigger you are, the less you are seen. Hunger is a deeply personal memoir from one of our finest writers, and tells a story that hasn't yet been told but needs to be"--Publisher's description.
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2017]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780062362599
Branch Call Number: BIOGRAPHY 306.4613 GAY 2017
Characteristics: 306 pages ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Memoir of (my) body


From Library Staff

Intense, powerful, heart-wrenching. Everyone of all shapes and sizes should read this book.

From the critics

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Dec 06, 2018

Roxane Gay shares an intimate look into the way she feels about her body, her experiences of her body, and other people's expectations, suppositions, and protestations of her body. This is a book that makes you fall in love with the author. She has turned me into a fan; I can't wait to read everything else she's written. And I wish we were friends.

OPL_EllyR Oct 18, 2018

Throughout Hunger, Gay's voice maintains a hard balance between insistent and vulnerable. Her self-reflections are raw and relatively unfiltered in a way that autobiographies often aim for, but Gay truly masters. The short chapters and accessible language may disappoint some, but I found that they made for more to-the-point content and for more intensified intimacy, as a reader.

Jun 19, 2018

"The older I get, the more I understand that life is generally the pursuit of desires. We want and oh how we want. We hunger." Powerful, intimate memoir by Roxane Gay, who wrote the collection of essays "Bad Feminist" and the novel "An Untamed State."

DBRL_ANNEG May 31, 2018

Roxane Gay's memoir is raw and I really admired how open she was in exploring the life that lead her to morbid obesity. The book openly discusses the childhood trauma that put her on the path to lifelong weight gain. Her perception of being fat in this world--how she views herself versus how others view her, the comfort of food, taking up space in a world that's built for smaller folks, the challenges of building an maintaining relationships are all explored quite openly and unapologetically. I know Gay recently had surgery that will help her get down to a healthy weight; I would be curious to see a follow-up to this book based on her experiences in a smaller body.

Apr 19, 2018

This is a simultaneously fascinating and relatable account of the struggle for self love and acceptance. Although I have not have experienced the same twists and turns of life as the author, Gay create a narrative that outlines the emotional experience of being human and hungering for love and validation.

Apr 01, 2018

I like how this author writes her books. They are chatty and human and cheerful, despite her obvious hurt and pain.
I can't imagine what it would take to write a book like this one. To put it all out there, to admit to everything that happened, everything that ensued, everything she did. It is brave and I hope cathartic.

Because it was such a personal story I feel like I should have been more engaged. That I should have been more drawn in. But I wasn't.

Having read another of her books I pretty much knew the first 100 pages. Not quite as detailed but still most of the story. So I found this portion somewhat redundant. The middle 100 pages were definitely the best, where she describes the humiliations and living as very large woman. Now I could understand some of this, her descriptions of chairs with arms and the bruises you get, I can feel her pain.

So, I applaud her for telling the story and writing the book and putting it all out there. But it wasn't for me.

Mar 28, 2018

In all fairness, I don't normally get on with this type of memoir. However I have recently read a novel by this author called The Untamed State and I was blown away by the intensity of it so was curious to know something of the author. Roxane Gay takes honesty to a whole new level in this book. She writes deeply from the heart about her relationship to her body and how it affects her day to day life. Based on the many wonderful reviews, she has obviously touched many people and I am glad for that, both for the author and for those who got so much out of her story. However for me it was way too personal. It felt invasive and I also found it to be repetitive. I still really admire Roxane's writing and plan to read more of her fiction but I didn't get on with this one.

Mar 02, 2018

I started reading this book, I think someone in my on line recommended books mentioned it. I found I could not relate to her experiences at all. I have empathy for what she experienced as a child, but, beyond that, nothing. Perhaps you have to have weight issues to understand, I'm not sure? I found it repetitive in the style of writing and definitely not well written considering her credentials. In fact, I stopped reading it before the end. It was a waste of my time, I learned nothing from it.

Feb 26, 2018

There are (so many) moments in this brutally uncompromising account of author Roxanne Gay's life that are so appalling, and awful, that several times I closed the book and put it away for a day or so. I had to. It just got too painful to continue.
As I write this I'm thinking of Gay's memory of participating in a public reading with other authors, where she had to struggle to take her place on the stage (a raised platform that had no stair) and then was forced to squeeze herself into a chair that, like so many chairs Gay encounters, was much too small for her girth, praying it wouldn't break beneath her.
Then there was the chapter on her travel ordeals. Her account of the unforgivable meanness she encountered on one especially harrowing airplane ride actually evoked in my mind images of jeering villagers with pitchforks cornering a Frankenstein monster. I could see Roxanne turning toward the window, trying to hide her silent weeping; it broke my heart.

Maybe the most chilling passage comes near the end of the book where *SPOILER ALERT* Dr. Gay relates her efforts in tracking down the boy, now a successful, married man, who had betrayed and raped her. I read the pages sort of holding my breath, understanding her impulse yet fearful her curiosity (and rage) would lead to disaster, the outcome only exacerbating her pain. I still worry for her.

And I wonder about him. Is redemption even possible for "Christopher"? Does he want redemption? Does he know who Roxanne Gay is now and has he read her damning memoir? When his phone rings does he know what the silence on the other end of the line means?

Feb 22, 2018

At first, I was thinking this woman needed to get help and didn't know if I would continue to read, but I did and now I truly do understand what Roxane Gay is saying. Do not judge, do not think you know better because you don't. I had judged her before getting to know her. She has had a hard and crazy journey and she is letting all those around her know she is important to herself. She has made decisions, some good and some bad, but she owns up to it.

If I ever get the chance, I would love to shake Roxane Gay's hand and say thank you. You are a woman who has found a voice in writing and I am honored to have read your book. Thank you for being you.

Nancy Stern

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Sep 23, 2017

"I’ve been that girl, too big for the clothes in the store, just trying to find something, anything, that fits, while also dealing with the commentary of someone else who means well but can’t help but make pointed, insensitive comments. To be that girl in a clothing store is to be the loneliest girl in the world."

Sep 23, 2017

"I was a body, one requiring repair, and there are many of us in this world, living such utterly human bodies.”

Aug 12, 2017

It is startling to realize that even Oprah, a woman in her early sixties, a billionaire and one of the most famous women in the world, isn't happy with herself, her body. That is how pervasive damaging cultural messages about unruly bodies are -- that even as we age, no matter what material successes we achieve, we cannot be satisfied or happy unless we are also thin.

Aug 12, 2017

This is what girls are taught -- that we should be slender and small. We should not take up space. We should be seen and not heard, and if we are seen, we should be pleasing to men, acceptable to society. And most women know this, that we are supposed to disappear, but it's something that needs to be said, loudly, over and over again, so that we can resist surrendering to what is expected of us.


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Sep 17, 2018

lfaclark thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

Sep 23, 2017

taylorwoods thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

Jul 10, 2017

dani_lacey thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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