Roxane Gay has achieved a lot in her life–she has a PhD and is a New York Times bestselling author–but in her mind she’s still “the girl in the woods”, the vulnerable twelve year old who was gang-raped by her “boyfriend” and his pals. As the result of this trauma, she over-ate to turn herself into a “fortress” so that she could not be hurt again. Even now, although she’s down from her all-time high weight, she writes that her size poses many practical problems, such as finding chairs that are sturdy enough for her to sit on. Even worse are her awkward encounters with well-meaning people who pull things out of her grocery cart or offer unsolicited diet and exercise tips. On top of that, she is prone to bad relationships, self-defeating behavior, and self-loathing.
Hunger is Gay’s memoir of the difficult times in her life. At times it reads like an extended therapy session. By the end it seems as though she has reached an uneasy truce with her body and her life, but there is no tidy resolution of her issues with food and relationships. Recommended for the many people, especially women, who will be able to relate to Gay’s conflicted relationship with her body. Find it in our catalog here.