Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Hunger by Roxane Gay

One of the perks of living in a college town is getting to hear great speakers from away. I was so eager to hear Roxane Gay that I lined up on a snowy path nearly a half hour before her talk in March. Roxane Gay is the Gloria Steinem for the Millennial generation and very popular with college students. Alas, the theater filled with her fans so I was unable to hear her speak in person.

Determined to hear her voice, I listened to Hunger: a Memoir of (My) Body on audiobook. Roxane has a beautiful, warm voice, and it broke my heart to listen to her narration. At age twelve, she was gang-raped by her boyfriend and his friends and told no one out of misplaced shame. To protect her body, she gained hundreds of pounds and built emotional barriers. Her memoir also shows how society punishes "unruly bodies" such as hers. Roxane was further marginalized as a bisexual woman of color living in the midwest, but she found support from friends, family, and lovers.

Roxane Gay (photo from her website)

Although Hunger starts with tragedy, it is also an inspiring tale of resilience that teaches empathy. More than any other book I've ever read, Hunger allowed me to experience life inside someone else's skin. I'd recommend this beautifully written memoir to everyone. On audiobook I missed being able to underline her powerful words, but it was more emotionally resonate to listen. I'm looking forward to discussing her work with a savvy friend, who lined up earlier and said Roxane was a marvelous speaker. Thanks, Chryl Laird, for the nudge to read this book!

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@Barrie Summy

8 comments:

pattinase (abbott) said...

Fantastic book as are all of hers.

Powell River Books said...

Reading about the life of someone else can be inspiring, especially when there is something that resonates in your own life. - Margy

Barrie said...

I think I'd like to listen to this book. If it resonated so well as an audio book for you, I feel it would for me, too. Thank you for reviewing. Sorry you didn't get to hear the author speak.

Linda McLaughlin said...

Yes, sorry you didn't get to hear Roxanne speak, but so glad you enjoyed the book. It sounds like a powerful yet true story.

Sarah Laurence said...

Patti, I should read more of her books. I love her articles and op eds too.

Margy, her life experiences were entirely different from mine, but she writes so well that I could empathize with the issues and challenges Roxane and many others face. We do share a commitment to feminism and a desire to be understood without stereotypes.

Barrie, yes, it's not an easy listen, but it's worth it. Thanks for hosting!

Linda, yes indeed.

wheelerph said...

She sounds like one amazing woman.

thecuecard said...

Yeah I have not yet read Roxane but have only heard great things about her. So thanks for the nudge as well. The audio sounds particularly powerful.

troutbirder said...

Nothing like a really well written memoir to get to the heart of soul of things. This one sounds very good...