Synopses & Reviews
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.
“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)
“Hunger is Gay at her most lacerating and probing....Anyone familiar with
Gay’s books or tweets knows she also wields a dagger-sharp wit.” Boston Globe
“Luminous....intellectually rigorous and deeply moving.” The New York Times Book Review
“Bracingly vivid....Remarkable....Undestroyed, unruly, unfettered, Ms. Gay, live your life. We are all better for having you do so in the same ferociously honest fashion that you have written this book.” Los Angeles Times
“Searing, smart, readable....Hunger, like Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me, interrogates the fortunes of black bodies in public spaces....Nothing seems gratuitous; a lot seems brave. There is an incantatory element of repetition to Hunger: The very short chapters scallop over the reader like waves.” Newsday
“The book’s short, sharp chapters come alive in vivid personal anecdotes....And on nearly every page, Gay’s raw, powerful prose plants a flag, facing down decades of shame and self-loathing by reclaiming the body she never should have had to lose.” Entertainment Weekly
About the Author
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.