A Memoir of (my) Body

Book - 2017
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Roxane Gay addresses the experience of living in a body that she calls 'wildly undisciplined.' She casts an insightful and critical eye over her childhood, teens, and twenties -- including the devastating act of violence that was a turning point at age 12 -- and brings readers into the present and the realities, pains, and joys of her daily life. With candor, vulnerability, and authority, Roxane explores what it means to be overweight in a time when the bigger you are, the less you are seen.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers,, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062362599
Characteristics: 306 pages ; 22 cm


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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, praying it wouldn't break beneath her.
Then there was the chapter on her travel ordeals, especially the unforgivable meanness she encountered on airplanes, just about broke my heart. I could actually picture Roxanne, turning toward the window trying to hide her silent weeping.

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

StaceyM_KCMO Feb 07, 2018

Powerful. Insightful. Haunting. Raw. Brave. All these words describe the beautiful complexity of these essays on what it means to “take up space” in a world that prefers our bodies NOT to do just that. Lovely prose and short impactful essays that will leave you with ...well, food for thought. A must-read for anyone who has ever grappled with body image, as well as those of us who have judged others because of their weight or personal appearance.

Nov 29, 2017

One minute I loved this book. The next minute I hated the book. I’m overweight….my doctor considers me on the edge of morbidly obese. It took those words for me to take action and work on getting my body healthy. But I was never sexually assaulted as a child, so I read with interest how this nightmare impacted Gay’s life. If nothing else it makes me look differently at really overweight people, who may be harboring the same personal history as Gay. It took courage to write this book, courage I don’t have.

Nov 27, 2017

Roxane Gay can write about the most horrendous situations in plain, beautiful prose that keeps you reading. In this collection of short stories (most of which appeared earlier in literary magazines), she introduces you to a range of women from different backgrounds, ethnicities, and ages who face difficult circumstances in their lives. Some manage to cope with their situations while others do not. The most memorable stories for me were Difficult Women, FLORIDA, and Noble Things. Difficult women describes four female stereotypes -- loose, frigid, crazy, and mothers. FLORIDA describes the "upstairs" and "downstairs" lives of people who live in a gated community. Noble Things is about life in America after the second secession of the American South. A wall now divides life among the southern and northern states. Some stories were easier to read than others but all can lead to a lot of thought and discussion.

Oct 11, 2017

What happened to this woman should never happen. To anyone. Whether or not I cared for the book and her writing is irrelevant. I'm hoping that, now that this author is successful in her work, she will use what she's earned to find a competent and compassionate counselor - one in whom she can begin to place her trust. No one can, or should need to, work through the trauma she has experienced alone. The results of needing/endeavoring to do so are all too visible in this memoir.

Oct 04, 2017

A very brave book. I am in awe of, and inspired by, her honesty.

Oct 03, 2017

I enjoyed it much more then I thought I would. Just as she goes over the edge with her life and ideas she captured me again. I learned from her experiences.

Chapel_Hill_KatieJ Sep 27, 2017

Roxane Gay takes a fascinating look at the way bodies are perceived in our culture, and her own experiences that have affected her body, self-worth, and health. After she is raped by a group of boys at boarding school, she turns to food for comfort and to make herself unattractive. There are so many troubling aspects of the book, but it’s an important book to read. She discusses the way she takes up space in the world, and how she is always conscious of it. She talks about how society views women’s bodies, her family’s reactions to her weight, the difference between obesity and morbid obesity, and how she is perceived in the world.

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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 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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