March Book Review Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, by Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay’s Hunger is yet another demonstration of Gay’s ability to bravely and effectively criticize cultural beliefs and perceptions. Hunger explores the formation of self in regards to trauma and the world around us. Gay writes, “Mine is not a success story. Mine is, simply, a true story.” Simply put, Hunger is about living with, handling, and the repercussions we endure because of the many types of violence done to our bodies and minds. Thus, ultimately affecting our actions and souls. It truly is an awakening of critical thinking through poetic writing. Hunger’s essays captivates you to the point where you become cripple to having an emotional outburst. Yes, I cried so much I got a headache! Gay fierceness and strength is highlighted in her unique ability to be intensely vulnerable. Gay displayed such depth that the secrets revealed stripped away the pain and left behind a wave of indescribable empowerment. This bold book truly is not for the faith hearted. It has you questioning everything.

ELLE Magazine’s Marisa Meltzer wrote, “Roxane Gay is many things—critic, social media firebrand, college English professor, self-described “love child” of Beyoncé and Ina Garten, bisexual Haitian American PhD, and romance-novel fan. She is both utterly without shame when it comes to exposing the most raw parts of her psyche and, she says, painfully shy. ”

Here’s just a few quotes: 

“The thing about shame is that there are no depths. I have no idea where the bottom of my shame resides.” 

“I don’t know how I let things get so out of control, but I do.” 

“…here is my heart, what’s left of it. Here I am showing you the ferocity of my hunger.” 

This book is a true example of the complexity between Gay’s tension, honesty, strength, valor, fear, and reality. All of which is still ongoing for Gay. She shares her innermost wants and needs in such a revealing manner, that it seems like I am being intrusive.  This is what I love the most about Gay, there is no disillusion about the struggle of becoming who or what you are within the real world. As long as there’s hope you (we) still have the ability to find true happiness. Hunger is refreshing for its demanding truthfulness and realness bringing a glimmer of light to individuals out in the world who are battling many obstacles.  


Written By Teresa Washington





Photograph: Jennifer Silverberg for the Guardian

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