A Memoir of (my) Body

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Roxane Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and bodies, 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 casts an insightful and critical eye on her childhood, teens, and twenties—including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life—and brings readers into the present and the realities, pains, and joys of her daily life. With the bracing candor, vulnerability, and authority that have made her one of the most admired voices of her generation, Roxane explores what it means to be overweight in a time when the bigger you are, the less you are seen. Hunger is a deeply personal memoir from one of our finest writers, and tells a story that hasn’t yet been told but needs to be.
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2017]
Characteristics: 306 pages ; 22 cm
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780062362599
Call Number: 306.4613 GAY


From Library Staff

Lists: Library Reads, Denver Post, Elle, Time -- What they say: "This is Gay at her most intimate and vulnerable --and at the height of her prowess as a writer." Denver Post

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
STPL_Emily Sep 06, 2019

One of the best memoirs I have read to date. I can hardly think of another author who is willing to get more raw and gritty than Roxane Gay. The writing is excellent and the story is one that needs to be told.

STPL_JessH Sep 06, 2019

This is the single bravest book I have ever read. I love RGay's fiction and was absolutely stunned by this bold, difficult, honest, account of a life. I bought it and read it when it first came out in 2017. I still recall some passages vividly. I am not sure I respect any other author as much as I respect Roxane Gay. This is required reading as far as I am concerned!

Jul 16, 2019

This book was rough. It was amazing and if you are even the barest bit interested in memoirs you will certainly enjoy it. That being said trigger warning on trigger warning on trigger warning. Take your time with it.

Roxane Gay is detailed and personal in this memoir. This book addresses just about every issue that is facing North American culture in that manner to bring the reality forward. I loved it even though it was a difficult read.

Apr 10, 2019

For the people who down rated this because it was too personal, I really don't understand what you expected a memoir to be. It's supposed to be uncomfortable, it's supposed to make you squirm and break your heart. It's supposed to be intimate, and personal, in the hopes that even if you don't personally relate, you can at least understand a perspective different from yours.

Yes, the book is a bit repetitive, but it's poetic. It reads exactly like living in the aftermath of trauma, as a victim, feels. It is beautiful, haunting, engaging, funny, sad. It made me look at my body and truly appreciate its abilities and strength for the first time in a very, very long time. We spend so much time, especially as women, hating our bodies and punishing them (and our minds), that connecting so intimately with another woman's hatred of her body was radical, revolutionary, and inspiring.

For people who have experienced trauma and body image issues, this book was a welcome read, like opening up all the wounds we're all desperately trying to hide, putting some salve on them, and remembering the best way to heal is to stop picking at them and learn to live around our hurts.

Feb 26, 2019

Some deep wounds here. And not just because of being overweight. The book opens with a seminar attended by the author and her father on bariatric surgery. I do believe it can help some but it's sad to see it sold in a "sales seminar" fashion with hardly any screening. What unfolds after that in the book is a very sad and touching story that I imagine is lived by many.

Dec 06, 2018

Roxane Gay shares an intimate look into the way she feels about her body, her experiences of her body, and other people's expectations, suppositions, and protestations of her body. This is a book that makes you fall in love with the author. She has turned me into a fan; I can't wait to read everything else she's written. And I wish we were friends.

OPL_EllyR Oct 18, 2018

Throughout Hunger, Gay's voice maintains a hard balance between insistent and vulnerable. Her self-reflections are raw and relatively unfiltered in a way that autobiographies often aim for, but Gay truly masters. The short chapters and accessible language may disappoint some, but I found that they made for more to-the-point content and for more intensified intimacy, as a reader.

Jun 19, 2018

"The older I get, the more I understand that life is generally the pursuit of desires. We want and oh how we want. We hunger." Powerful, intimate memoir by Roxane Gay, who wrote the collection of essays "Bad Feminist" and the novel "An Untamed State."

DBRL_ANNEG May 31, 2018

Roxane Gay's memoir is raw and I really admired how open she was in exploring the life that lead her to morbid obesity. The book openly discusses the childhood trauma that put her on the path to lifelong weight gain. Her perception of being fat in this world--how she views herself versus how others view her, the comfort of food, taking up space in a world that's built for smaller folks, the challenges of building an maintaining relationships are all explored quite openly and unapologetically. I know Gay recently had surgery that will help her get down to a healthy weight; I would be curious to see a follow-up to this book based on her experiences in a smaller body.

Apr 19, 2018

This is a simultaneously fascinating and relatable account of the struggle for self love and acceptance. Although I have not have experienced the same twists and turns of life as the author, Gay create a narrative that outlines the emotional experience of being human and hungering for love and validation.

View All Comments


Add a Quote
Sep 23, 2017

"I’ve been that girl, too big for the clothes in the store, just trying to find something, anything, that fits, while also dealing with the commentary of someone else who means well but can’t help but make pointed, insensitive comments. To be that girl in a clothing store is to be the loneliest girl in the world."

Sep 23, 2017

"I was a body, one requiring repair, and there are many of us in this world, living such utterly human bodies.”

Aug 12, 2017

It is startling to realize that even Oprah, a woman in her early sixties, a billionaire and one of the most famous women in the world, isn't happy with herself, her body. That is how pervasive damaging cultural messages about unruly bodies are -- that even as we age, no matter what material successes we achieve, we cannot be satisfied or happy unless we are also thin.

Aug 12, 2017

This is what girls are taught -- that we should be slender and small. We should not take up space. We should be seen and not heard, and if we are seen, we should be pleasing to men, acceptable to society. And most women know this, that we are supposed to disappear, but it's something that needs to be said, loudly, over and over again, so that we can resist surrendering to what is expected of us.


Add Age Suitability
Sep 17, 2018

lfaclark thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

Sep 23, 2017

taylorwoods thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

Jul 10, 2017

dani_lacey thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at JCPL

To Top