Wednesday, July 05, 2017

HUNGER, Roxane Gay

'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.'
New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay

This is an exceptional book although a very painful one. I cannot recall a memoir more painful. Roxane Gay, a professor and the author of several other works, lays out the pivotal event in her life. The event that sent her on an eating binge that still goes on. At 12, she was gang-raped by a group of boys. Her accelerated eating quickly followed this. Her thinking was that if she was large, she would be less vulnerable. And she is large at 6'4 and of varying weights. In HUNGER, she tells us everything about herself: the shame she feels at her weight, the horrible insults hurled at her in person and through social media, the difficulties being fat incurs, all of it. You can find many interviews with Professor Gay on you tube if you'd like to hear her. Or read the book. It took her almost thirty years to tell her story--and she tells it all. Brave woman.

Whose memoir moved you? 


Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I've read a ton of memoirs. A few that come to mind immediately:

Night, Elie Wiesel
Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt
The Liars' Club, Mary Karr
Wait Till Next Year, Doris Kearns Goodwin
Defending Baltimore Against Enemy Attack, Charles Osgood
Drinking: A Love Story, Caroline Knapp
We Were Dreamers, James Lehrer
About Alice, Calvin Trillin
My Family and Other Animals, Gerald Durrell

pattinase (abbott) said...

I would add Joan Didion's two about the death of her husband and daughter.I have read most of these and most were also painful.

George said...

Roxane Gay is a powerful writer. I've read a couple of her books. She spoke at SUNY at Buffalo a few months ago.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Yes, of course the Didion THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING would be on there. I haven't read the one about her daughter yet. Since my computer died I have no access to my online database and have to look through my notebook for titles.

Charles Gramlich said...

I have been hearing good things about this from several quarters. Will have to pick it up.

Margot Kinberg said...

Thanks very much for the recommendation, Patti. I've been hearing that this was a good 'un - nice to know it's really well worth reading.

David Cranmer said...

I liked Angela's Ashes, The Year of Magical Thinking, Night, A Moveable Feast, Tuesday's With Morrie, Hitch-22, and Speak, Memory. So many to choose from beyond those seven.