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Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body
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HarperCollins 2017
Lexile measure:
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Description

From the New York Times bestselling author of Bad Feminist: a searingly honest memoir of food, weight, self-image, and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself.

"I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. . . . I was trapped in my body, one that I barely recognized or understood, but at least I was safe."

In her phenomenally popular essays and long-running Tumblr blog, Roxane Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and body, 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 explores her past—including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life—and brings readers along on her journey to understand and ultimately save herself.

With the bracing candor, vulnerability, and power that have made her one of the most admired writers of her generation, Roxane explores what it means to learn to take care of yourself: how to feed your hungers for delicious and satisfying food, a smaller and safer body, and a body that can love and be loved—in a time when the bigger you are, the smaller your world becomes.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
06/13/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780062362605
ASIN:
B013PKAFOC
Lexile measure:
980

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APA Citation (style guide)

Roxane Gay. (2017). Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. HarperCollins.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Roxane Gay. 2017. Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. HarperCollins.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Roxane Gay, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. HarperCollins, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Roxane Gay. Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. HarperCollins, 2017.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.

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        Roxane Gay is the author of the New York Times bestselling essay collection Bad Feminist; the novel An Untamed State, a finalist for the Dayton Peace Prize; the New York Times bestselling memoir Hunger; and the short story collections Difficult Women and Ayiti. A contributing opinion writer to the New York Times, for which she also writes the "Work Friend" column, she has written for Time, McSweeney's, the Virginia Quarterly Review, Harper's Bazaar, Tin House, and Oxford American, among many other publications. Her work has also been selected for numerous Best anthologies, including Best American Nonrequired Reading 2018 and Best American Mystery Stories 2014. She is also the author of World of Wakanda for Marvel. In 2018 she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and holds the Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture and Feminist Studies at Rutgers University's Institute for Women's Leadership.

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fullDescription

From the New York Times bestselling author of Bad Feminist: a searingly honest memoir of food, weight, self-image, and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself.

"I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. . . . I was trapped in my body, one that I barely recognized or understood, but at least I was safe."

In her phenomenally popular essays and long-running Tumblr blog, Roxane Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and body, 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 explores her past—including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life—and brings readers along on her journey to understand and ultimately save herself.

With the bracing candor, vulnerability, and power that have made her one of the most admired writers of her generation, Roxane explores what it means to learn to take care of yourself: how to feed your hungers for delicious and satisfying food, a smaller and safer body, and a body that can love and be loved—in a time when the bigger you are, the smaller your world becomes.

gradeLevels
      • value: Grade 5
      • value: Grade 6
      • value: Grade 7
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Atlantic
      • content:

        "A gripping book, with vivid details that linger long after its pages stop. . . . Hunger is arresting and candid. At its best, it affords women, in particular, something so many other accounts deny them—the right to take up space they are entitled to, and to define what that means." — Atlantic

        "A work of staggering honesty . . . . Poignantly told." — New Republic

        "The book's short, sharp chapters come alive in vivid personal anecdotes. . . . And on nearly every page, Gay's raw, powerful prose plants a flag, facing down decades of shame and self-loathing by reclaiming the body she never should have had to lose." — Entertainment Weekly

        "Bracingly vivid. . . . Remarkable. . . . Undestroyed, unruly, unfettered, Ms. Gay, live your life. We are all better for having you do so in the same ferociously honest fashion that you have written this book." — Los Angeles Times

        "Searing, smart, readable. . . . "Hunger," like Ta-Nehisi Coates' "Between the World and Me," interrogates the fortunes of black bodies in public spaces. . . . Nothing seems gratuitous; a lot seems brave. There is an incantatory element of repetition to "Hunger": The very short chapters scallop over the reader like waves." — Newsday

        "Luminous. . . . intellectually rigorous and deeply moving." — The New York Times Book Review

        "Her spare prose, written with a raw grace, heightens the emotional resonance of her story, making each observation sharper, each revelation more riveting. . . . It is a thing of raw beauty." — USA Today

        "Powerful. . . . fierce. . . . Gay has a vivid, telegraphic writing style, which serves her well. Repetitive and recursive, it propels the reader forward with unstoppable force." — Lisa Ko, author of The Leavers

        "This is the book to read this summer . . . she's such a compelling mind . . . . Anyone who has a body should read this book." — Isaac Fitzgerald on the TODAY Show

        "Unforgettable. . . . Breathtaking. . . . We all need to hear what Gay has to say in these pages. . . . Gay says hers is not a success story because it's not the weight-loss story our culture demands, but her breaking of her own silence, her movement from shame and self-loathing toward honoring and forgiving and caring for herself, is in itself a profound victory." — San Francisco Chronicle

        "Hunger is Gay at her most lacerating and probing. . . . Anyone familiar with Gay's books or tweets knows she also wields a dagger-sharp wit." — Boston Globe

        "Wrenching, deeply moving. . . a memoir that's so brave, so raw, it feels as if [Gay]'s entrusting you with her soul." — Seattle Times

        "It is a deeply honest witness, often heartbreaking, and always breathtaking. . . . Gay is one of our most vital essayists and critics." — Minneapolis Star Tribune

        "Searing." — Miami Herald

        "This raw and graceful memoir digs deeply into what it means to be comfortable in one's body. Gay denies that hers is a story of "triumph," but readers will be hard pressed to find a better word." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

        "A heart-rending debut memoir from the outspoken feminist and essayist. . . . An intense, unsparingly honest portrait of childhood crisis and its enduring aftermath." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

        "Displays bravery, resilience, and naked honesty from the first to last...

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        May 13, 2013
        When Austin (Peregrino) was inducted into the College of Fellows at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, Calif., he described himself as a survivor “from a strange and mythic land called Hollywood.” Austin organizes his life into three parts. In act one, Austin name-drops along his Hollywood road—with an analysis of Judaism in show biz, partially instigated by his Jewish wife. His movie and television days brought him into contact with stars, including Charlie Chaplin, whom he particularly admired. Austin was later blacklisted, having been a member of the Young Communist League during his college days. Despite his later success, Austin wanted something even beyond his career and marriage. Act two tells of his religious conversion and service as a Roman Catholic lay minister, working as a prison chaplain, “touching glass” to say hello to convicts. Act three expresses wisdom: widowed and nearly blind, Austin thinks on the convergence of
        Judaism and Christianity—not assimilation, not synthesis, not conversion, “but an integrated understanding of the past.” His seasoned thoughts about convergence matter the most.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from May 15, 2017
        A heart-rending debut memoir from the outspoken feminist and essayist.Gay (Bad Feminist, 2014, etc.) pulls no punches in declaring that her story is devoid of "any powerful insight into what it takes to overcome an unruly body and unruly appetites." Rather than a success story, it depicts the author, at 42, still in the throes of a lifelong struggle with the fallout from a harrowing violation in her youth. The author exposes the personal demons haunting her life--namely weight and trauma--which she deems "the ugliest, weakest, barest parts of me." Much of her inner turmoil sprang from a devastating gang rape at age 12. "I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe," she writes. Gay painfully recalls the "lost years" of her reckless 20s as a time when food, the anonymity of the internet, and creative writing became escapes and balms for loneliness. The author refers to her body as a "cage" in which she has become trapped, but her obesity also presents itself as a personal challenge to overcome the paralyzing psychological damage caused by rape. Broken into clipped, emotionally resonant chapters, Gay details a personal life spent grappling with the comfort of food, body hyperconsciousness, shame, and self-loathing. Throughout, the author is rightfully opinionated, sharply criticizing the media's stereotypical portrayal of obesity and Oprah Winfrey's contradictory dieting messages. She is just as engaging when discussing her bisexuality and her adoration for Ina Garten, who taught her "that a woman can be plump and pleasant and absolutely in love with food." Gay clearly understands the dynamics of dieting and exercise and the frustrations of eating disorders, but she also is keenly in touch with the fact that there are many who feel she is fine just as she is. The author continues her healing return from brokenness and offers hope for others struggling with weight, sexual trauma, or bodily shame. An intense, unsparingly honest portrait of childhood crisis and its enduring aftermath.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from May 15, 2017
        More than once, Gay, author of essays (Bad Feminist, 2014), short stories (Difficult Women, 2017), and crime fiction (An Untamed State, 2014), refers to writing this memoir as the hardest thing she's ever done. Readers will believe her; it's hard to imagine this electrifying book being more personal, candid, or confessional. At 12, Gay survived a devastating sexual assault, a point on her time line that would forever have a before and an after. She focused the trauma inward, and, as a frequent refrain goes, she doesn't know, or she does, how her body came to be unruly, undisciplined, and the kind of body whose story is ignored or dismissed or derided. The story of her body is, understandably, linked to the story of her life; she tells both, and plumbs discussions about both victims of sexual violence and people whose bodies don't adhere to the ideal of thinness. In 88 short, lucid chapters, Gay powerfully takes readers through realities that pain her, vex her, guide her, and inform her work. The result is a generous and empathic consideration of what it's like to be someone else: in itself something of a miracle.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Buzz has long been building for Gay's memoir, with which she'll go on an extensive author tour.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        February 1, 2017

        Gay, who deals fearlessly with our hardest truths in both essays (the New York Times best-selling Bad Feminist) and fiction (An Untamed State, an LJ Best Book), here addresses issues of eating and self-image, then broadens her meditation on body as she examines violence against women, starting with a terrible incident in her youth. With a 100,000-copy first printing; originally scheduled for May 2016, and the publication month may change.

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from June 1, 2017

        Gay (Difficult Women; Bad Feminist) states at least twice in this searing book that she's not as brave as people think she is. Yet, this memoir of her body--still reeling and hiding from the sexual abuse she suffered decades earlier as the result of a gang rape at age 12--displays bravery, resilience, and naked honesty from the first to last page. The essays range from describing the events that contributed to her current body weight to the sexual attack and her ensuing secrecy about it to short entries on the various indignities and difficulties involved in being a person of size in the world. We each have a body, she says, and we can all benefit from a close examination of our relationship with it. VERDICT Buy plenty of copies of this stunning work because it will be on every end-of-year best list; essential reading after Gay's debut novel, An Untamed State, as it explains the emotions behind that brutal story. [See Prepub Alert, 1/4/17.]--Henrietta Verma, National Information Standards Organization, Baltimore

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        December 1, 2015

        "I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere." So Gay, who deals with our hardest truths in both nonfiction (Bad Feminist) and fiction (An Untamed State), addresses issues such as eating and self-image, then broadens her meditation on body as she examines violence against women. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        June 1, 2017

        Gay (Difficult Women; Bad Feminist) states at least twice in this searing book that she's not as brave as people think she is. Yet, this memoir of her body--still reeling and hiding from the sexual abuse she suffered decades earlier as the result of a gang rape at age 12--displays bravery, resilience, and naked honesty from the first to last page. The essays range from describing the events that contributed to her current body weight to the sexual attack and her ensuing secrecy about it to short entries on the various indignities and difficulties involved in being a person of size in the world. We each have a body, she says, and we can all benefit from a close examination of our relationship with it. VERDICT Buy plenty of copies of this stunning work because it will be on every end-of-year best list; essential reading after Gay's debut novel, An Untamed State, as it explains the emotions behind that brutal story. [See Prepub Alert, 1/4/17.]--Henrietta Verma, National Information Standards Organization, Baltimore

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from May 15, 2017
        Novelist and cultural critic Gay (Bad Feminist) writes of being morbidly obese in this absorbing and authentic memoir of her life as “a woman of size.” Born in l974 in Omaha, Neb., to Haitian immigrant parents, Gay initially lived a comfortable life in a loving family. After a group of boys raped her when she was 12 years old, Gay’s world began to unravel, and she turned to overeating as a way of making her violated body into a safe “fortress.” Ashamed to tell her Catholic parents what had occurred, she harbored her secret for more than 25 years. In the course of this memoir, Gay shares how her weight and size shade many topics, including relationships, fashion, food, family, the medical profession, and travel (the bigger her body became, the author notes, the smaller her world became). She suffered profound shame and self-loathing, and boldly confronts society’s cruelty toward and denigration of larger individuals (particularly women), its fear of “unruly bodies,” and the myth that equates happiness with thinness. This raw and graceful memoir digs deeply into what it means to be comfortable in one’s body. Gay denies that hers is a story of “triumph,” but readers will be hard pressed to find a better word. Agent: Maria Massie, LMQLit.

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From the New York Times bestselling author of Bad Feminist: a searingly honest memoir of food, weight, self-image, and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself.

"I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. . . . I was trapped in my body, one that I barely recognized or understood, but at least I was safe."

In her phenomenally popular essays and long-running Tumblr blog, Roxane Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and body, 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...

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