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You probably don't need one more person telling you to read Roxane Gay, but on the off chance you haven't yet, allow me to join the choir of her fans. Rarely have I met an author who is more poised and seemingly confident in person than on the page, but in Gay's case, it's true. In this memoir- a meditation on her life-long struggle to be comfortable in her body after being sexually assaulted as a girl- her voice is honest, self-doubting, and vulnerable. It's often painful to read, but I've never encountered another memoir quite like it. This was one of my very favorite books of 2017.— From Jill's Picks
“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
“Brave, heartbreaking, and unflinching, this is a powerful examination of how trauma scars our bodies, how our bodies betray us in return, and how even the most well-meaning among us participate in shaming those whose differences make us uncomfortable. Reading Hunger is uncomfortable, illuminating, and necessary.”
— Clara Boza, Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe, Asheville, NC
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.
Roxane Gay is the author of the essay collection Bad Feminist, which was a New York Times bestseller; the novel An Untamed State, a finalist for the Dayton Peace Prize; and the short story collections Difficult Women and Ayiti. A contributing opinion writer to the New York Times, she has also written for Time, McSweeney’s, the Virginia Quarterly Review, the Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The Rumpus, Bookforum, and Salon. Her fiction has also been selected for The Best American Short Stories 2012, The Best American Mystery Stories 2014, and other anthologies. She is the author of World of Wakanda for Marvel. She lives in Lafayette, Indiana, and sometimes Los Angeles.