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Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body

by Roxane Gay

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2,1891207,127 (4.21)105
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.… (more)
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» See also 105 mentions

English (118)  Italian (1)  All languages (119)
Showing 1-5 of 118 (next | show all)
Had been wanting to read this book for a long time, and although I've heard Roxane talk about it in interviews and podcasts, and am used to her writing through her substak newstetter, newspaper columns and essays, but her writing in this book is achingly vulnerable. ( )
  Acia | Feb 15, 2024 |
Poignant, painful, perfect. ( )
  bschweiger | Feb 4, 2024 |
I listened to this very well read/produced audiobook.

Gay's story is a nearly unbearable tale of being gang-raped as a child and what happened to her in the aftermath, mainly her becoming super morbidly obese. It is relentless in its close examination of the choices she has made, the things she had no control over, longing and loathing.

Gay is a brilliant writer, and this book is an important addition to the literature of "the body." ( )
  fmclellan | Jan 23, 2024 |
I have been reading Roxane Gay since she started writing her work advice column for the New York Times; I have been wanting to read her books for about that long but Hunger is the first I have read. It is a devastating account of her life and the pain she has endured. It is also extraordinarily well written and discrete while being brutally honest. ( )
  nmele | Jan 14, 2024 |
If you are a person of size, you will see yourself in this book. You will see the frustration of living in a body that doesn't do what you want, but is trying its best. You will have empathy and compassion for Roxane, and maybe yourself. If you are not fat, this book offers insight into how it feels to live in a world that finds you awful. It is a hard story to read because it is so sad, but it's also hopeful and so very worth it. In some moments I cried, some moments I just wanted to slap people for being so cruel to Roxane. It also made me think of the things I went through in high school people can be so cruel. I want every single person to read this book. They will either learn something about society or themself. ( )
  b00kdarling87 | Jan 7, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 118 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Dedication
for you, my sunshine, showing me what I no longer need and finding the way to my warm
First words
Every body has a story and a history.
Quotations
This is the reality of living in my body: I am trapped in a cage. The frustrating thing about cages is that you're trapped but you can see exactly what you want. You can reach out from the cage, but only so far.
My body is a cage. My body is a cage of my own making. I am still trying to figure out my way out of it. I have been trying to figure a way out of it for more than twenty years.
When I was twelve years old, I was raped.
So many years past being raped, I tell myself what happened is "in the past." This is only partly true. In too many ways, the past is still with me. The past is written on my body. I carry it every single day. The past sometimes feels like it might kill me. It is a very heavy burden.
Hating myself became as natural as breathing.
I ate and ate and ate at school. At home for breaks, I made a show of dieting (and continued eating everything I really wanted to eat, in secret). This double life of eating would become something that stayed with me well into adulthood. It lingers even now.
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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.

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