Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay


New York Times bestselling author 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.


This is not a book that will offer motivation. I don't have any powerful insight into what it takes to overcome an unruly body and unruly appetites. Mine is not a success story. Mine is, simply, a true story.

This is the first book by Roxane Gay I read and I had no idea what I'd get myself into (as usually I avoided and consciously forgot every piece of information about Hunger once I was set on reading it) and thus I couldn't help but being surprised. First of all, and yes I know this is stupid, I didn't expect this book to be this well written. Usually, nonficiton books will be enjoyable to read and flow nicely but this was the first time I read a nonfiction book which feels like it was written as a fiction book because its prose is so beautiful? (Do I even make sense?) Secondly, I did not expect how all-encompasingly honest this book would be (again, I sound stupid because why wouldn't it be but just let me own my confusion).

Before I got on the plane, my best friend offered me a bag of potato chips to eat, but I denied myself that. I told her, "People like me don't get to eat food like that in public," and it was one of the truest things I've ever said.

Sadly, on a personal level this book fell increasingly short for me the more I read. I was all wrapped up in the story in the beginning and I couldn't stop reading but then Gay starts repeating herself (or almost repeating herself) a couple of times and the book started leaving me behind. Some chapters felt like she just used slightly different words to describe the exact same sentiment she had described in earlier chapters. I can see how this won't bother other people/how other people can like this but it just wasn't for me.

That being said, on an objective and slightly removed level I really liked this book. It was not only fantastically written but also incredibly honest and interesting. It was able to portray a great variety of subjects related to (over-)weight in an interestingly manner in a way that allows the reader to sympathize and understand the world through different eyes.

If you haven't guessed it by now: This is one of those books I recommend everyone read. Not only to discover a new perspective to a world we, usually, view through the slim lens of the thin (and able-bodied) perspective but also to, simply, experience Hunger as what it is: an incredibly well-written and compelling book.

This is the memoir of my body. My body was broken. I was broken. I did not know how to put myself back together. I was splintered. A part of me was dead. A part of me was mute and would stay that way for many years.


As I said before while this wasn't the perfect book for me I appreciate what it does and, thus, I'll give it 4/5 stars even though it might have been more of an 3/5 stars read from an exclusively personal feelings perspective. 


Name: Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body
Author: Roxane Gay
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 306
Where?: Amazon


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