Images by Jennifer Silverberg.
Sadly the release of this book in Australia was overshadowed by the Mia Freedman of Mamma Mia controversy.
This review in the New York Times is an excellent summary and explains that the book explores so much more than Fat.
“Unlike most stories about weight, hers is not a story of triumph over her “unruly” body, easily summed up with a picture of her standing in one leg of her old pants, having prevailed against “the problem.” It’s not a how-to, or even a how. It is, however, the story of a different kind of triumph, a narrative one. Gay wrestles her story from the world’s judgment and misrecognition and sets off on a recursive, spiraling journey to rewrite herself. The story burrows in on itself while expanding exponentially. She grapples with exposure, with the price of silence, with the fact that her story is horrifying yet banal. How to look at her flesh? she asks. Should she regard it “as a crime scene,” or should she see herself “as the victim of the crime” that took place in her body? Is she a victim or a survivor? Everything that happened to her body can be reframed, reclaimed or rejected. It dawns on you that the writing itself is a reclaiming, an act of rehumanization. It reads like a memoir of her victorious, if not frictionless, journey back to herself, back into her body, from the splitting off of trauma. Is the responsibility for her body really hers alone?”
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