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Hunger by Roxane Gay


by Roxane Gay

Quick take

Here is a woman saying things that have needed to be said for ages, but she’s the first one to say it.

Why I love it

Book of the Month

'œI hate myself. Or society tells me I am supposed to hate myself, so I guess this, at least, is something I’m doing right.' In her explosive new memoir, Book of the Month guest judge Roxane Gay confronts with insight and with anger, the trials of being an overweight woman. Despite being one of the most compelling and celebrated voices of our time, Gay must cope with the ways her body doesn’t fit in the modern world. There is no sugar-coating in Hunger, but the tone is what makes it special: here is a woman saying things that have needed to be said for ages, but she’s the first one to say it.

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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 'œwildly 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.

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Member thoughts

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All (1374)
Love (756)
Like (499)
Dislike (119)
1408 ratings
  • 54% Love
  • 35% Like
  • 8% Dislike
  • New York, NY

    As a perpetually plus woman, this was a raw and, at times, hard to read memoir. Gay’s authenticity as she lays herself bare page after page is powerful, and this is a prolific, eye-opening must-read.

  • North Hollywood, CA

    Roxane Gay just freaking gets it. As a fat girl, it’s refreshing to hear someone else spit the honest truth about living as a fat girl. None of that beautiful-just-as-you-are generic bull. Real talk.

  • Hobe sound, FL

    I told myself I was going to start reading more Memoirs and I'm glad I started with this book . I usually rate books by how they make me feel. This book made me feel all kinds of emotions. A must read

  • Ephrata, PA

    This is a brave book by a talented woman, who was able to search her soul and share vulnerable pieces. I feel honored she shared so much with a world she knows can be cruel; maybe she made it less so.

  • North Bergen, NJ

    While deeply personal, Gay's perspective on issues of weight and space in society speak to issues far beyond just her. This book shows you so much pain, but even more strength. This book is important.

  • Woodbury, MN

    I was bullied all my life about my weight. I have punished myself for years because of other people and their issues. At certain points while reading this book I felt like I was reading my own story.

  • New York, NY

    I don't know a single woman who doesn't struggle with how she views her body, but the author goes even further, exploring society's - especially men's - sense of ownership over our bodies. Perfection.

  • North Little Rock , AR

    This book was moving, deep, personal, and intimate. It moved with a quick base and yet answered my questions. It does wrap up but ends in a hopeful yet honest place. I wish I could read it again fresh

  • San Jose, CA

    What a raw, phenomenal book. I devoured it in 2 days. The author lays her soul absolutely bare in this brave memoir. Some sections strongly resonated with me. So thought provoking... so glad I read it

  • Boston, MA

    Roxane Gay creates a complicated narrative surrounding weight, femininity, and the space we take up. It was a wonderful read that encouraged self-reflection for the reader just as much as the author.

  • Tacoma, WA

    A wonderfully courageous book, touching, and made me think about so much. Lifelong trauma of surviving sexual assault, struggling with an eating disorder, and navigating the world as a big person. WOW

  • Ontario, CA

    Roxane Gay flays herself open in this memoir and shares her experiences with body image, fatphobia, and being fat in the public eye. It's a powerful and incredible piece of work that we don't deserve.

  • Myrtle Beach , SC

    I absolutely love Roxane Gay. This book isnt a glamourized feat of triumph, its a real story from a real woman, who dealt with something awful. Any girl whos ever felt less than, should give it a go.

  • Washington, DC

    This memoir was EVERYTHING. Thank you for choosing it. So glad to read it. Her brutal honesty; her elegant and heartwrenching prose - Gay speaks for so many American woman while speaking for herself.

  • Sacramento, CA

    As Gay wrestles with her experience in her body, readers are left to examine their own biases and internalization of toxic norms around body image. Gay is one of our more powerful, authentic writers.

  • Bellevue, WA

    This book left me in awe of Roxane Gay's prowess as a writer and storyteller. By examining some of the most painful moments in her life, she writes a beautiful meditation on what it means to hunger.

  • New York, NY

    What resonated with me about this book was the raw and totally vulnerable accounts of her life and why she is the weight she is. I loved that it wasn't a self help book. She was apologetically her.

  • Austin, TX

    Hunger spoke to me. It was so well-written I couldn't put it down. So gut wrenchingly honest, it spoke some of my private thoughts. Roxane Gay reigns as my favorite author (and tweeter). Read it!

  • Bryn Mawr, PA

    Wow. This book proves that Roxane Gay is, undoubtedly, one of the best writers of our time. Her frank and honest discussion of trauma is refreshing; this book is heartbreaking, but so, so important.

  • San Francisco, CA

    This book does tremendously to showcase all of the conflict within us even when you know what the right thing is supposed to be (that you can relate to not having gone through the same as Dr Gray).

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