Title: Hunger, A Memoir Of (My) Body
Author: Roxane Gay
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication date: June 2017
Content Warning: Sexual Assault, Self-Harm, Eating Disorder, Trauma, PTSD
This memoir sat with me, it stayed on my mind and kept me thinking about how I interact with the world and with my body. This is a memoir about trauma. In the early chapters Gay claims this is not a story of triumph over her body. And it is true. This is no weight loss success story, but it is none the less a story of triumph. And that triumph is no less for being a hard won triumph over the damaging and toxic stories that society tells us so often we begin to tell it to ourselves.
While my struggles are not PTSD and weight, the candidness with which Gay discussed her trauma, a rape at the age of 12, and how she was dependent on the comfort of food, the secretiveness she imposed on herself for 20 years, the determination to make herself impervious to harm by making herself large was breathtaking. The way she describes and forgives herself for her self-destructive coping mechanisms is something I think every woman needs to hear. The way she discussed her weight, her family, and her love life a complicated and congealed tangle all tied together by her ravenous hunger, for food, to be loved, to be accepted, to be seen, and how that hunger is inextricably tied to her body spoke to me. At times it brought me to tears.
This is a memoir that not only asks you to look more closely at those around you who struggle with weight when society would have you look past or through them, it asks you to forgive yourself for your own self-destructive tendencies and asks you to be more gentle in your own healing.
I cannot thank the author enough for sharing this story with the world. If you like audiobooks this one is author-read and truly moving.