Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body
'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.
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. Booklist, starred review It turns out that when a wrenching past is confronted with wisdom and bravery, the outcome can be compassion and enlightenment - both for the reader who has lived through this kind of unimaginable pain, and for the reader who knows nothing of it. Roxane Gay shows us how to be decent to ourselves, and decent to one another. HUNGER is an amazing achievement in more ways than I can count. Ann Patchett A heart-rending debut memoir from the outspoken feminist and essayist ... An intense, unsparingly honest portrait of childhood crisis and its enduring aftermath. Kirkus, starred review
Roxane Gay is the author of the novel An Untamed State and the story collection Ayiti. Her work has also appeared in Glamour, Best American Short Stories, and the New York Times Book Review.