A Memoir of (my) BodyBook - 2017
New York Times bestseller
National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
Lambda Literary Award winner
A best book of 2017: Time NPR People Elle The Washington Post The Los Angeles Times The Chicago Tribune Newsday St. Louis Post-Dispatch PopSugar BookRiot Library Journal Booklist Kirkus Reviews Shelf Awareness
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.
From Library Staff
SFPL_ReadersAdvisory Jul 29, 2020
A searingly frank memoir of food, weight, self-image and learning how to feed one's hunger in healthy ways, drawing on the popular essays of her long-running Tumblr blog to illuminate the challenges of navigating the boundaries between self-comfort and self-care.
SFPL_AACL Dec 17, 2017
"An intense, unsparingly honest portrait of childhood crisis and its enduring aftermath." Kirkus
From the critics
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I am not a hugger. I never have been and I never will be. I hug my friends, and do so happily, but I am sparing with such affections. A hug means something to me; it is an act of profound intimacy, so I try not to get too promiscuous with it.
I had (and have?) this void, this cavern of loneliness inside me that I have spent my whole life trying to fill. I was willing to do most anything if that boy would ease my loneliness. I wanted to feel like he and I belonged to each other, but each time we were together and then after, I felt quite the opposite. And still, I was drawn to him.
"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."
"I was a body, one requiring repair, and there are many of us in this world, living such utterly human bodies.”
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.
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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