My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Book Review: Hunger by Roxane Gay


Synopsis (From Goodreads):
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 own 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.

I have only recently become aware of Roxane Gay from reading other bloggers gush about her, and from following her on Twitter.  The praise is well deserved.  I have read many memoirs in my life, but none have been as brutally honest, and moving, as Hunger

What I Liked:
Honesty Without Self-Pity:
As the author describes her evolution from happy-go-lucky child to scarred young woman, we can see exactly why she has an insatiable need for safety and comfort.  She achieves this with food.  In her narrative, she never whines or makes excuses.  She knows what she does is destructive.  But I can completely empathize with what has happened to her, and how she deals with it.  Anyone who reads this and thinks Ms. Gay's issue with food is about will-power or self-control is an ignoramus.

Rarely have I read a more true account of how an individual is treated as an overweight person in America.  From snickers, stares, and unwanted advice, to out and out hostility, people are awful to those who are fat!  There is almost always an assumption that the fat person is lazy, or doesn't consume a healthy diet.  Plus, some men seem genuinely offended that the fat person hasn't gone out of their way to be sexually appealing to them.  Even doctors approach to "helping" patients who are fat shows how weight is considered the worst of offenses. 

The author also shows how very overweight people have unique mobility issues that many don't realize.  While not equating her size with a disability, she certainly can understand how inaccessible many places are for anyone with challenges.

Issues of Sexual Assault:
The author also does discuss, at length, the sexual assault she survived as a child.  What happened to her, and how she felt about herself as a result, is at the heart of this book.  It was dealt with frankly, and contains all the surrounding emotions of guilt and what-ifs that a survivor feels.  This was a necessary portion of the memoir, but if you have a trigger for sexual assault, I would skip this book.

The author, who is bisexual, discusses her sexuality and how all of her relationships with men and women have been affected by her rape, and its aftermath.  I appreciated how honest and open she was about showing all aspects of her life.






Release Date:  June 13th, 2017

Genre:  Memoir

Publisher:  HarperCollins

Length:  320 pages

Source:  Public Library

Format:  E-Book

Recommendation:  This book is well worth reading for it's unique perspective and the powerful voice of the author.

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2019 Reading Challenge
MsArdychan has read 10 books toward her goal of 120 books.


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