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.
Some measures of violence are too cruel and overwhelming to bear, yet somehow Roxane Gay has. At first eating comforted her, then the need to feel safe inside her body left to obesity. Because there is no triumphant picture on the cover of her “after’ in a new, skinny body, Roxane Gay would have you believe this is not an inspirational memoir. But she is a hero to everyone who has borne pain, a voice for anyone who has coped in terrible ways, and an inspiration to people struggling to find their voice. I could not stop reading Hunger once I started, and reading it has changed me forever. Roxane Gay is my hero. ~ Aaron Curtis, Books and Books
This memoir is about trauma and privilege, self-loathing, and a silent fear kept secret for far too long. It's about our obsession with body weight and body image, what happens when we internalize our pain and become self-destructive, and how very, very large people are treated in humiliating ways. The descriptions of addictive behavior and the journey to want to heal make this book more universal than I expected. When you decide that this is the day you're going to change and you get out of bed and fail, that's pretty normal. You'll have another chance tomorrow - just remember to like yourself enough to overcome the fear of healing and try again. Highly recommend.
-Todd Miller (M), Arcadia Books, Spring Green, WI
About the AuthorView
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.