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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.


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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Why I love it

'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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Member ratings (2,164)

  • Nikki R.

    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.

  • Barbara C.

    Salinas, CA

    This memoir so raw and so vulnerable. Can’t imagine the bravery it took to write her story. While Ms. Gay is inarguably very accomplished , she shares a level of humanity with us , that I will never

  • Tori H.

    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.

  • Maria C.

    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

  • Rachael M.

    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