Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay [in Library Journal]
For such a vulnerable, raw memoir, no one but the author could voice the breathtaking revelations, brutal truths, and profound knowledge contained here. “Every body has a story and a history,” Roxane Gay (Bad Feminist, Difficult Women) begins.
Gay stands 6’3″; at her heaviest, she weighed 577 pounds. The daughter of Haitian immigrants who was raised upper-middle-class, Gay was smart, privileged, loved, and thin, like the rest of her family. Until she wasn’t: “What you need to know is that my life is split in two … there is the before and after. Before I gained weight. After I gained weight. Before I was raped. After I was raped.” Weight protected her, until her corpulence became a “cage” from which Gay attempts to write herself free: “This is a book about learning … to allow myself to be seen and understood.”
Verdict: Gay calls this work “the most difficult writing experience of [her] life”; audiences are likely to find Hunger a difficult – yet rewarding – experience, as well.