„Hunger“ von Roxane Gay kritisiert Schönheitsmaßstäbe

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[Rezension] “Hunger” von Roxane Gay

Nachdem ich im Mai bereits Bad Feminist gelesen habe, bei dem es sich um eine Essay-Sammlung zu feministischen Themen handelt, war ich schon sehr gespannt auf Roxane Gays autobiografisches Buch Hunger, in dem sie die Geschichte ihres Körpers erzählt.

[Rezension] “Hunger” von Roxane Gay

HUNGER

Die Geschichte meines KörpersÜbersetzung:Spielmann, Anne

Sie schreibt die Geschichte ihres Hungers. Sie schreibt die Geschichte ihres Körpers. Es ist keine Geschichte des Triumphs. Es ist die eines Lebens, das in zwei Hälften geteilt ist. Es gibt das Vorher und das Nachher. Bevor sie zunahm und danach. Bevor sie vergewaltigt wurde und danach. Roxane Gay, eine der brillantesten, klügsten und aufregendsten weiblichen Stimmen der USA, erzählt eine Geschichte, die so noch nie geschrieben wurde: schonungslos offen, verstörend ehrlich und entwaffnend zart spricht sie über ihren »wilden und undisziplinierten« Körper, über Schmerz und Angst, über…mehr

HUNGER

Hunger von Roxane Gay [Rezension]

von Roxane Gayerschienen am 2019 im btb Verlagumfasst 320 Seiten *vorsorglich kennzeichne ich hier die Links, die zur Verlagsseite und zur Autorenseite führen als Werbung* Herzlichen Dank an das Bloggerportal von Randomhouse für das Rezensionsexemplar!

(Triggerwarnung: Vergewaltigung, Missbrauch, Essstörung)

Hunger von Roxane Gay [Rezension]

Hunger by Roxane Gay review – one body’s lessons for everybody

This memoir of suffering and survival subtly questions not just how we judge ‘fat’, but how we dare to judge at all

“Something terrible happened,” she writes. “That something terrible broke me.” Aged 12, she was gang-raped by “a boy I thought I loved, and a group of his friends”. They were in an abandoned hunting cabin in the woods in Omaha, Nebraska, where no one but the boys could hear her screams. She drags her account on to the page – faltering, incomplete, unsensational. “They were boys who were not yet men but knew, already, how to do the damage of men.” One reads about the unthinkable abuse she suffered – the boy holding her wrists and spitting in her face after raping her is a particularly upsetting detail – and feels as shaken as if one were directly witnessing what she describes. Yet this is no attention-seeking misery memoir. The book is an attempt to see fat in its complexity, its contrariness – as potentially more than a physical problem to be overcome. And although Gay regrets she is unable to go as far as the campaigners who rejoice in their size, she does want us to rethink what fatness can mean.

For Gay, overeating was, for a while, her solution. She makes it persuasively plain that fatness began as a response to rape. The fatter her body became, the safer she felt. Fatness was home in a game of chase: “a place where no one can get you”. Throughout the book, two selves exist in tandem: Gay as writer and as a woman living her life. As a writer, she can rise above her body and the humiliations of the flesh. Reading the book is to witness the gap between the conscious mind and the unconscious body – in combat for years.

Writing can be escapist and can be an opiate (it has been both for Gay, although neither here). But most important, in the context of this book, writing is weightlessness. Gay’s prose is unencumbered. A New York Times and US columnist, her punchy authority is in contrast to what she describes. There is a tension between her low self-esteem and the self-worth needed to write this courageous, honest book. Her mutinous body is the continuing subtext – going its own way, persisting in its compulsions, fleshing out the story. “Hating myself became as natural as breathing. Those boys treated me like nothing so I became nothing.”

Gay did not tell her parents what had happened until she had grown up. Raised as a Catholic, the daughter of Haitian immigrant parents – her father a civil engineer – she feared their reaction. She felt guilty for once fancying the boy who raped her. Terrible to think of a 12-year-old child willing herself to go on as though nothing had happened. One longs to be able to go back in time, to intervene, to find help for her. Not that she wants our rescuing pity – on the contrary, one of the complications of her life is the resentment she feels about other people’s reactions.

Gay describes strangers lifting fattening items out of her shopping trolley. Air cabin crew wonder aloud if their safety belt extensions will encircle her girth. People at the gym offer well-intentioned words of encouragement. But she is clear: “I am stronger than I am broken.” She rejects the affirmation of strangers. One of the triumphs of the book is that she not only makes one consider the way fatness is judged, she implies a larger question about the impertinence of judging others at all.

Her father’s job meant the family moved around – to Colorado, Virginia, Illinois, New Jersey. Gay was sent to Phillips Exeter Academy, New Hampshire and later went to Yale. Food became her “friend” because it was “constant and I didn’t need to be anything but myself when I ate”. There was much eating in private – an “orgy of food” – secret cure for a secret hurt. In two and a half months, she gained more than 30 pounds. She felt “a rush of solace when I ate”. The internet would later supply comparable solace: “I didn’t have to be the fat, friendless loser… I could pretend to be thin and sexy and confident.”

Without telling anyone, she left Yale after her second year and travelled to Phoenix with a strange, gentle guy she had met online. This was her “lost” year. She earned her living as a phone-sex worker. Her parents were sick with worry and eventually hired a private detective, she believes, to find her. She describes her sexual vacillations. She came out to her parents – a big deal – then went back in, thinking herself straight after all.

Nowadays, she sees hunger, in a metaphorical sense, as a driving force: “The older I get, the more I understand that life is generally the pursuit of desires.” It is good to learn she has a happy relationship with someone she refers to, with sweet ambiguity, as “my person”. But there are no easy resolutions here. She admits to Googling the boy/man who raped her [assumed name, Christopher], now an executive at a major company. She rings him and, when he answers, is unable to speak. They listen to each other’s silence. She writes: “I need to understand, at all times, the distance between him and me.” One cannot help but wonder whether this book might reach him, close that distance, make contrition possible. Unlikely, I suppose. Some weight is impossible to lose.

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay is published by Little, Brown (£13.99). To order a copy for £11.89 go to or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over £10, online orders only. Phone orders min p&p of £1.99

Hunger by Roxane Gay review – one body’s lessons for everybody

Editor’s Pick

and yet it wouldn’t be enough to do justice to what she has gifted the world with this incredibly raw, powerful, and unflinching listen. Prepare to experience a full spectrum of emotions while listening to Gay’s intimate narration of her powerful account. I will continue to listen to everything she creates and be better for it.“—Catherine H., Audible Editor

Summary and book reviews of by Roxane Gay

Summary | ExcerptReviews | Beyond the book | Readalikes | Genres & Themes | Author Bio

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body Hardcover – 13 Jun. 2017

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.

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.

Roxane Gay’s Complicated “Hunger”

Roxane Gay has several personae, but she first garnered Internet fame asa diarist. On Tumblr, during the platform’s embryonic years, Gayrecorded her daily likes and dislikes in posts such as “Things I AmCurrently CharmedBy”(items included “Discussions of ‘spirit animals,’ particularly when thespirit animal is an inanimate object”) and “Me and My Man,” about Bill Clinton. Gay also used the platform to discuss the culture’s punishingrelationship with aspects of her own identity: fatness, bisexuality, andblackness. She wrote about the murder of Jordan Davis and, powerfully,about her rape at the age of twelve. As Gay commuted her intimate,rigorous pontifications from Tumblr to now-defunct Web sites such asxoJane and the Toast, and later to the Times, where she is acolumnist, she fashioned herself as a public intellectual of thepeople—mostly women, black and brown, queer—and of readers who alliedwith (and wanted to be seen to ally with) those people.

In 2012, Gay posted “Feminism(Plural),”a short manifesto that became the introduction of her blockbuster 2014essay collection, “Bad Feminist,” in which she argued that “ProfessionalFeminists” were out of touch with those who most needed the movement.(The things that she claimed made her a “bad feminist” included enjoyingrap music despite its sexist lyrics, faking orgasms, and not knowing howto fix her car. “Like most people, I’m full of contradictions,” shewrote.) Since that book, Gay’s readership has only grown as she haspositioned herself at the vanguard of soft, feminist punditry and muchelse: she is the author of two fiction best-sellers and the first blackwoman to write for Marvel Comics.

It is curious to be reminded, in Gay’s new memoir, “Hunger,” that she wasfirst drawn to online forums by the promise of anonymity. The memoirdeals with her rape, her overeating, and her struggles with her publicand private identities. Before the dawn of avatars, she lived on IRC,“an old-school chat program with thousands of channels populated bythousands of lonely people who were mostly interested in talking dirtyto one another.” The memory contrasts with the tone of the book, inwhich Gay is constantly defining and defending herself against others’expectations. Increasingly, she has become not just a writer but aspokesperson. Gay, who rejects the ideal of “(th)inner woman” while alsowishing that she could herself be smaller, has drawn the ire offat-acceptance advocates, who presumably wish that Gay were a lessequivocal role model. In “Hunger,” she writes candidly of her position,returning to the theme of contradictions: “I have been accused of beingfull of self-loathing and being fat-phobic. There is truth to the formeraccusation and I reject the latter. I do, however, live in a world wherethe open hatred of fat people is vigorously tolerated and encouraged. Iam a product of my environment.”

Some of the liveliest prose in “Hunger” can be found in her previouslypublished takedowns of the “weight-loss industrial complex,” in whichshe points out the depraved strategies of “The Biggest Loser” and oflife-style deputies like Oprah and Kirstie Alley. (“The publicweight-struggle spectacle is a popular fallback for once-famous womenwho yearn to recapture their former glory.”) There are also passagesabout her love of Ina Garten, known as the Barefoot Contessa, and ofbeating men at poker.

Elsewhere, Gay catalogues her daily stresses as a fat woman, recallingthe blunt, confessional voice she has assumed on her blogs since herearly Tumblr days. She recounts how shoppers reach into her cart andreplace her food with their idea of healthier options. Flight attendantsseem to take pleasure in loudly discussing whether her seat-beltextender is up to code. Armchairs are, she writes, “generallyunbearable,” leaving her with lingering bruises. The medical communityencourages obesity panic, yet doctor’s offices lack scales that canaccommodate her weight. People are either bungling or cruel. (Last week,while promoting the book, Gay took toTwitter after an Australian podcast host made public her publisher’s requestthat Gay have a sturdy chair to sit on for her in-person interview.)

The opening section of “Hunger” is written as an accretion of falsebeginnings: “The story of my body is not a story of triumph,” shewrites, and then later, “I don’t know how to talk about rape and sexualviolence when it comes to my own story. It is easier to say, ‘Somethingterrible happened.’ ” Gay writes carefully about the attack, whichoccurred, we learn, when a boy she calls Christopher, whom she adored,brought her to a cabin in the woods where his friends were waiting. Atschool the following day, her attackers broadcast their own version ofwhat happened. She was jeered at, called a slut. She stopped believingin God. (Her parents, wealthy and well-meaning Haitian immigrants,didn’t learn what happened until years later.)

A year or so later, Gay was sent to Phillips Exeter Academy, in NewHampshire, where she gained more than thirty pounds in two and a halfmonths. “I needed to feel like a fortress, impermeable,” she writes. Shespent her parents’ money at a campus greasy spoon. One summer, at thesuggestion of her parents, she went on a liquid diet, lost weight, andreturned to school svelte. Then she gained the weight back, and more. Ather heaviest, she weighed five hundred and seventy-seven pounds. Heracademic excellence and shyness obscured, to most people, the obviousfact that she was depressed.

She completed two years at Yale University before disappearing for tenmonths—what she calls her “lost year,” when she went to San Francisco toconnect with an older man whom she met online. They moved together toScottsdale, Arizona, where she got a job as a phone-sex operator. Hetaught her how to use a gun, and, Gay tells us, “I did the kinds ofthings that the good girl I had long pretended to be would never dreamof doing.” She doesn’t tell us what these things are; the result is achapter that reads like a trailer for a future book.

In fact, Gay rarely writes scenes—preferring to focus on material thatdirectly correlates to the story of her fatness. Of interacting withlovers online, Gay writes, “At first, I did it because it felt safer andI could be sexual without having to actually be sexual.” In her twentiesand thirties, while pursuing a Ph.D. in fits, Gay entered a series ofabusive relationships: “I was a lightning rod for indifference,disdain, and outright aggression, and I tolerated all this because Iknew I didn’t deserve any better, not after how I had been ruined andnot after how I continued to ruin my body.” At the same time, sheexpresses disappointment that she feels the need to write the book weare reading. “The list of bullshit I deal with, by virtue of my body, islong and boring, and I am, frankly, bored with it.” Several times, Gaywrites a version of “I’m a mess.” There is occasionally something proud,almost, in Gay’s lethargic prose, as if to focus on language would bebeside the point.

But there are a few moments when Gay gives us a glimpse of the deeperaccount that “Hunger” might have been—one in which she pursues, ratherthan merely dispatches with, the contradictions that have so painfullydefined her life. In one almost stream-of-consciousness narrative, shedescribes tracking down Christopher as an adult. We learn that she knowswhere he lives, where he works. She has called him and listened, withoutspeaking, on the line. (“His voice hasn’t changed,” she writes.) Plungedinto the act of remembering, Gay’s prose grows frenetic and textured andmarvelously difficult:

I wonder if he knows I have sought out men who would do to me what he did or that they often found me because they knew I was looking.I wonder if he knows how I found them and how I pushed away every goodthing. Does he know that for years I could not stop what he started? Iwonder what he would think if he knew that unless I thought of him Ifelt nothing at all while having sex, I went through the motions, Iwas very convincing, and that when I did think of him the pleasure wasso intense it was breathtaking.

Here, Gay is revealing herself, finally, with shocking truth anddevastating poetry. She quickly moves on to other topics, but thepassage stayed with me for days.

Community Reviews

Whew! Roxane Gay gives it up and lays it all out there baring body and soul to the world in

She writes about the unspeakable horror that broke her young body and mind at age 12 and reveals the struggles of a 400+ weight challenged woman in our the constant battle of trying to lose hundreds of pounds.

She also reveals facts about health issues, personal relationships and difficulty in purchasing clothe

Whew! Roxane Gay gives it up and lays it all out there baring body and soul to the world in

She writes about the unspeakable horror that broke her young body and mind at age 12 and reveals the struggles of a 400+ weight challenged woman in our the constant battle of trying to lose hundreds of pounds.

She also reveals facts about health issues, personal relationships and difficulty in purchasing clothes beyond the sizes offered by even a Lane ’s always those horrific haunted memories of what she endured.

Roxane Gay is a talented writer with a loving, supportive family. She often writes about sexual violence as in first experience reading Gay’s excellent read; and now I understand why she chooses such disturbing subjects.

As for while somewhat redundant in the telling, it is a very brave and emotionally raw offering that „demands to be told and deserves to be heard.“ It is about recognition of those who don’t fit the mold and acceptance of same. It is about coming to terms with her ordeal.

One final note: I do hope to finally come forward and apologize for their despicable actions. Perhaps that would ease Ms. Gay’s struggle.

„Hunger“ von Roxane Gay : Fettsein als Überlebensstrategie

Roxane Gay in einer Live-Sendung im amerikanischen Fernsehen Bild: Getty

Die amerikanische Feministin Roxane Gay erkundet in ihrem schonungslosen Buch „Hunger“ die Festung ihres Körpers. Eine autobiographische Erzählung, die mit ihrer Forderung zum richtigen Zeitpunkt kommt.

Die amerikanische Schriftstellerin Roxane Gay ist 1,91 Meter groß und wog in ihren schwersten Zeiten 261 Kilogramm. Seit beinahe drei Jahrzehnten sitzt die Autorin nun in diesem Körpergefängnis fest, das sie in ihrem Bekenntnisbuch „Hunger“ maximal drastisch beschreibt: „Ich bin fett – ich habe dicke Rollen aus braunem Fleisch an Armen und Schenkeln und Bauch. Ich bin von Dehnungsstreifen zerklüftet und habe tiefe Cellulitetaschen an meinen massiven Oberschenkeln.“

In einer auf optimierte Oberflächen fixierten Gesellschaft, in der der weibliche Körper gleichzeitig extrem schlank und erotisch kurvig zu sein hat, gilt Fettleibigkeit als verachtenswert, ein Ausdruck von Schwäche und fehlender Disziplin. Aus dem Ruder gelaufene, nimmersatte XXL-Körper wie jener von Roxane Gay sind in der Size-Zero-Welt eine Zumutung, als wäre Fettsein eine bewusste Entscheidung, als hätten all die adipösen Menschen Spaß am täglichen Spießrutenlauf, als perlten die angewiderten und mitleidigen Blicke ihrer Umwelt an ihnen ab. Ein dicker, gar fetter Körper ist niemals unsichtbar und für gewöhnlich urteilt jeder über ihn. Abwertende Bezeichnungen existieren reichlich, Roxane Gay kennt sie alle. Doch warum ein Körper eigentlich ist, wie er ist, möchte niemand wissen – dabei erzählt jeder Körper eine Geschichte, und manche Geschichten sind albtraumhaft.

Beschreibung

Sie schreibt die Geschichte ihres Hungers. Sie schreibt die Geschichte ihres Körpers. Es ist keine Geschichte des Triumphs. Es ist die eines Lebens, das in zwei Hälften geteilt ist. Es gibt das Vorher und das Nachher. Bevor sie zunahm und danach. Bevor sie vergewaltigt wurde und danach. Roxane Gay, eine der brillantesten, klügsten und aufregendsten weiblichen Stimmen der USA, erzählt eine Geschichte, die so noch nie geschrieben wurde: schonungslos offen, verstörend ehrlich und entwaffnend zart spricht sie über ihren »wilden und undisziplinierten« Körper, über Schmerz und Angst, über zwanghaftes Verlangen, zerstörende Verleugnung und Scham – „Ich war zerbrochen, und um den Schmerz dieser Zerbrochenheit zu betäuben, aß ich und aß und aß.“

Beschreibung

Sie schreibt die Geschichte ihres Hungers. Sie schreibt die Geschichte ihres Körpers. Es ist keine Geschichte des Triumphs. Es ist die eines Lebens, das in zwei Hälften geteilt ist. Es gibt das Vorher und das Nachher. Bevor sie zunahm und danach. Bevor sie vergewaltigt wurde und danach. Roxane Gay, eine der brillantesten, klügsten und aufregendsten weiblichen Stimmen der USA, erzählt eine Geschichte, die so noch nie geschrieben wurde: schonungslos offen, verstörend ehrlich und entwaffnend zart spricht sie über ihren »wilden und undisziplinierten« Körper, über Schmerz und Angst, über zwanghaftes Verlangen, zerstörende Verleugnung und Scham – „Ich war zerbrochen, und um den Schmerz dieser Zerbrochenheit zu betäuben, aß ich und aß und aß.“

Beschreibung

‚I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. . . . I was trapped in my body, one that I barely recognized or understood, but at least I was safe.‘

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.

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.

‚I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. . . . I was trapped in my body, one that I barely recognized or understood, but at least I was safe.‘

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.

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.

I have reviewed many interesting books for the TLS this year, but the most moving is Roxane Gay’s Hunger . . . Her survivor’s story is both understated and inspiring. TLS, Books of the Year

Beschreibung

‚I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. . . . I was trapped in my body, one that I barely recognized or understood, but at least I was safe.‘

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.

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.

‚I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. . . . I was trapped in my body, one that I barely recognized or understood, but at least I was safe.‘

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.

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.

I have reviewed many interesting books for the TLS this year, but the most moving is Roxane Gay’s Hunger . . . Her survivor’s story is both understated and inspiring. TLS, Books of the Year

Not That Bad

In this valuable and revealing anthology, cultural critic and best-selling author Roxane Gay collects original and previously published pieces that address what it means to live in a world where women have to measure the harassment, violence, and aggression they face, and where they are „routinely second-guessed, blown off, discredited, denigrated, besmirched, belittled, patronized, mocked, shamed, gaslit, insulted, bullied“ for speaking out. Contributions include essays from established and up-and-coming writers, performers, and critics.

In this valuable and revealing anthology, cultural critic and best-selling author Roxane Gay collects original and previously published pieces that address what it means to live in a world where women have to measure the harassment, violence, and aggression they face, and where they are „routinely second-guessed, blown off, discredited, denigrated, besmirched, belittled, patronized, mocked, shamed, gaslit, insulted, bullied“ for speaking out. Contributions include essays from established and up-and-coming writers, performers, and critics.

Not That Bad

In this valuable and revealing anthology, cultural critic and best-selling author Roxane Gay collects original and previously published pieces that address what it means to live in a world where women have to measure the harassment, violence, and aggression they face, and where they are „routinely second-guessed, blown off, discredited, denigrated, besmirched, belittled, patronized, mocked, shamed, gaslit, insulted, bullied“ for speaking out. Contributions include essays from established and up-and-coming writers, performers, and critics.

In this valuable and revealing anthology, cultural critic and best-selling author Roxane Gay collects original and previously published pieces that address what it means to live in a world where women have to measure the harassment, violence, and aggression they face, and where they are „routinely second-guessed, blown off, discredited, denigrated, besmirched, belittled, patronized, mocked, shamed, gaslit, insulted, bullied“ for speaking out. Contributions include essays from established and up-and-coming writers, performers, and critics.

Publisher’s Summary

From the Bad Feminist, a searingly honest memoir of food, weight, self-image, and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself.

In her phenomenally popular essays and long-running Tumblr blog, Roxane Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and body, 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 she explores her past – including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life – and brings listeners along on her journey to understand and ultimately save herself.

With the bracing candor, vulnerability, and power that have made her one of the most admired writers of her generation, Roxane explores what it means to learn to take care of yourself: how to feed your hungers for delicious and satisfying food, a smaller and safer body, and a body that can love and be loved – in a time when the bigger you are, the smaller your world becomes.

Book Summary

„I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. … I was trapped in my body, one that I barely recognized or understood, but at least I was safe.“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. 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.

Every body has a story and a history. Here I offer mine with a memoir of my body and my hunger.

The story of my body is not a story of triumph. This is not a weight-loss memoir. There will be no picture of a thin version of me, my slender body emblazoned across this book’s cover, with me standing in one leg of my former, fatter self’s jeans. 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. I wish, so very much, that I could write a book about triumphant weight loss and how I learned how to live more effectively with my demons. I wish I could write a book about being at peace and loving myself wholly, at any size. Instead, I have written this book, which has been the most difficult writing experience of my life, one far more challenging than I could have ever imagined. When I set out to write Hunger, I was…

Every body has a story and a history. Here I offer mine with a memoir of my body and my hunger.

The story of my body is not a story of triumph. This is not a weight-loss memoir. There will be no picture of a thin version of me, my slender body emblazoned across this book’s cover, with me standing in one leg of my former, fatter self’s jeans. 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. I wish, so very much, that I could write a book about triumphant weight loss and how I learned how to live more effectively with my demons. I wish I could write a book about being at peace and loving myself wholly, at any size. Instead, I have written this book, which has been the most difficult writing experience of my life, one far more challenging than I could have ever imagined. When I set out to write Hunger, I was…

Erhöhen Sie Ihren Einkauf

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.

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.  

Klappentext

„I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I had been because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. . . . I was trapped in my body, one I made but barely recognized or understood but of my own making. I was miserable, but I was safe.“

In this intimate and searing memoir, the New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay addresses the experience of living in a body that she calls „wildly undisciplined.“ She casts an insightful and critical eye over her childhood, teens, and twenties–including the devastating act of violence that was a turning point in her young life–and brings readers intwo 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 it tells a story that hasn’t yet been told but needs to be.

Buchrückseite

“I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I had been because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. . . . I was trapped in my body, one I made but barely recognized or understood but of my own making. I was miserable, but I was safe.” 

In this intimate and searing memoir, the New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay addresses the experience of living in a body that she calls “wildly undisciplined.” She casts an insightful and critical eye over her childhood, teens, and twenties—including the devastating act of violence that was a turning point in her young life—and brings readers intwo 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 it tells a story that hasn’t yet been told but needs to be.  

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Roxane Gay is the author of the essay collection Bad Feminist, which was a New York Times bestseller; the novel An Untamed State, a finalist for the Dayton Peace Prize; the memoir Hunger, which was a New York Times bestseller and received a National Book Critics Circle citation; and the short story collections Difficult Women and Ayiti. A contributing opinion writer to the New York Times, she has also written for Time, McSweeney’s, the Virginia Quarterly Review, the Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The Rumpus, Bookforum, and Salon. Her fiction has also been selected for The Best American Short Stories 2012, The Best American Mystery Stories 2014, and other anthologies. She is the author of World of Wakanda for Marvel. She lives in Lafayette, Indiana, and sometimes Los Angeles.

„Ich war zersplittert. Ein Teil von mir war tot.“

Roxane Gays Körper war einmal schmal und unauffällig, da war sie zwölf Jahre jung. Kein Kinderkörper mehr, aber auch noch kein Erwachsenenkörper – ein verletzlicher Körper auf der Suche nach Zuneigung. Dieser Körper wurde vergewaltigt. Der Junge, von dem Roxane Gay sich sehnlichst wünschte, er würde sie mögen wie sie ihn, zerstörte gemeinsam mit ein paar Freunden ihr Leben in einer Waldhütte. Die Täter missbrauchten, quälten, zerstörten nacheinander Roxane Gays Körper und ihre Seele: „Mein Körper wurde zerbrochen. Ich wurde zerbrochen. Ich wusste nicht, wie ich mich wieder zusammensetzen sollte. Ich war zersplittert. Ein Teil von mir war tot.“

2014 erschien Roxane Gays vielgelobter Essayband „Bad Feminist“, der inzwischen auch auf Deutsch vorliegt. Der Titel spielt auf das Imperfekte der für die richtige Sache kämpfenden Autorin an, die trotz der oft frauenverachtenden Texte Rap liebt, nicht sämtliche feministischen Schlüsseltexte gelesen hat und Frauenmagazine ebenso mag wie die Farbe Pink. Die kulturkritische Perspektive behält die 1974 in Omaha, Nebraska, geborene Roxane Gay auch in „Hunger“ bei, aber sie versteckt ihre traumatische (Körper-)Geschichte nicht dahinter, sondern legt sie in einer Weise offen, die die inflationär gebrauchten Begriffe schonungslos und radikal tatsächlich einmal rechtfertigt.

Scham, eines der mächtigsten Gefühle

Gegenüber ihren aus Haiti eingewanderten Eltern, die sich mit Fleiß und Ehrgeiz ein erfolgreiches Leben in Amerika aufgebaut haben und die Körperzurichtung ihrer Tochter mit großer Sorge beobachten, verschweigt Roxane Gay die Vergewaltigung. Dass sie ihren Schmerz so tief in sich hineinfrisst, bis er sie beherrscht, hat nichts mit fehlender Liebe oder dem Gefühl zu tun, zu Hause unbehaust zu sein. Scham, eines der mächtigsten Gefühle, lässt sie verstummen. Und wie so viele Opfer sexueller Gewalt empfindet die in einer Spirale aus Selbsthass gefangene Roxane Gay Schuld: „Noch heute fühle ich mich schuldig, nicht nur für das, was passierte, sondern auch dafür, wie ich danach damit umging, für mein Schweigen, für mein Essen und dafür, was aus meinem Körper geworden ist.“

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Die Pariser Kathedrale Notre-Dame gilt als ein Meisterwerk der Gotik. Nach dem Brand vom 15. April 2019 soll das Bauwerk bis April 2024 historisch genau rekonstruiert werden.

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© Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung GmbH 2001 – 2021Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

„Hunger“ von Roxane Gay kritisiert rigide Schönheitsmaßstäbe

Die amerikanische Feministin Roxane Gay erkundet in ihrem schonungslosen Buch „Hunger“ die Festung ihres Körpers. Eine autobiographische Erzählung, die mit ihrer Forderung zum richtigen Zeitpunkt kommt.

Ein Fehler ist aufgetreten. Bitte überprüfen Sie Ihre Eingaben.

Klappentext:

Sie schreibt die Geschichte ihres Hungers. Sie schreibt die Geschichte ihres Körpers. Es ist keine Geschichte des Triumphs. Es ist die eines Lebens, das in zwei Hälften geteilt ist. Es gibt das Vorher und das Nachher. Bevor sie zunahm und danach. Bevor sie vergewaltigt wurde und danach. Roxane Gay, eine der brillantesten, klügsten und aufregendsten weiblichen Stimmen der USA, erzählt eine Geschichte, die so noch nie geschrieben wurde: schonungslos offen, verstörend ehrlich und entwaffnend zart spricht sie über ihren »wilden und undisziplinierten« Körper, über Schmerz und Angst, über zwanghaftes Verlangen, zerstörende Verleugnung und Scham – „Ich war zerbrochen, und um den Schmerz dieser Zerbrochenheit zu betäuben, aß ich und aß und aß.“

Ich habe „Hunger“ von Roxane Gay im Urlaub gelesen und habe tatsächlich eine Zeit gebraucht, um dieses Buch zu „verdauen“. Es fällt mir immer noch schwer die richtigen Worte für dieses außergewöhnliche Buch zu finden.

So hat es mir gefallen:

Roxane Gay hat eine faszinierende Art zu schreiben. Man liest das Buch wie eine Art Tagebuch. Sie beschreibt wie sie als zwölfjährige von einer Gruppe Jugendlicher im Wald vergewaltigt wird. Die Scham und die Unfähigkeit darüber zu sprechen, begleiten Sie permanent. Um sich zu “schützen” fängt sie an zu essen, auch mit dem Vorhaben, dass sich ihr Körper verändert und nicht mehr anziehend oder weiblich wirkt. Sie beschreibt, wie sie, trotz der Liebe im Elternhaus, sich nicht äußern kann und mehr und mehr den Halt verliert. Ihre haitianischen Wurzeln und der in der Familie kulturell verankerte Anspruch ein “gutes Mädchen” sein zu müssen, machen es ihr einmal mehr unmöglich über diese schlimme Tat zu reden.

Parallel dazu findet sie das Schreiben für sich als Ausweg und schafft es trotz dieses schweren Traumas einen akademischen Weg bis hin zu Professorin in Yale einzuschlagen.

Das Lesen von “Hunger” verlangt einem viel ab, stellenweise ist es kaum zu ertragen so tief in die Gedanken und Erlebnisse eines Menschen zu blicken. Roxane Gay muss es unendlich viel Kraft und Mut gekostet haben, ihr Innerstes mit der Öffentlichkeit zu teilen.

Schonungslos stellt sie den Blick der Gesellschaft auf übergewichtige Menschen dar, die täglichen Verurteilungen und Problematiken denen übergewichtige Menschen ausgesetzt sind, ohne dass auch nur ansatzweise hinterfragt wird, warum der Mensch in diesem Körper lebt.

Fazit:

“Hunger” ist ein sehr besonderes Buch schonungslos, offen und intensiv. Es ist absolut Lesenswert! Roxane Gay ist eine außergewöhnliche Frau, die glücklicherweise ihre Stimme erhebt und ihr Buch “Bad Feminist” – eine Essay-Sammlung, landet definitv auf meiner Wunschliste!

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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.

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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From the Back Cover

“I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I had been because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. . . . I was trapped in my body, one I made but barely recognized or understood but of my own making. I was miserable, but I was safe.” 

In this intimate and searing memoir, the New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay addresses the experience of living in a body that she calls “wildly undisciplined.” She casts an insightful and critical eye over her childhood, teens, and twenties—including the devastating act of violence that was a turning point in her young life—and brings readers intwo 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 it tells a story that hasn’t yet been told but needs to be.  

About the Author

Roxane Gay is the author of the essay collection Bad Feminist, which was a New York Times bestseller; the novel An Untamed State, a finalist for the Dayton Peace Prize; the memoir Hunger, which was a New York Times bestseller and received a National Book Critics Circle citation; and the short story collections Difficult Women and Ayiti. A contributing opinion writer to the New York Times, she has also written for Time, McSweeney’s, the Virginia Quarterly Review, the Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The Rumpus, Bookforum, and Salon. Her fiction has also been selected for The Best American Short Stories 2012, The Best American Mystery Stories 2014, and other anthologies. She is the author of World of Wakanda for Marvel. She lives in Lafayette, Indiana, and sometimes Los Angeles.

From the Inside Flap

„I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I had been because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. . . . I was trapped in my body, one I made but barely recognized or understood but of my own making. I was miserable, but I was safe.“

In this intimate and searing memoir, the New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay addresses the experience of living in a body that she calls „wildly undisciplined.“ She casts an insightful and critical eye over her childhood, teens, and twenties–including the devastating act of violence that was a turning point in her young life–and brings readers intwo 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 it tells a story that hasn’t yet been told but needs to be.

From the Back Cover

„I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I had been because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. . . . I was trapped in my body, one I made but barely recognized or understood but of my own making. I was miserable, but I was safe.“

In this intimate and searing memoir, the New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay addresses the experience of living in a body that she calls „wildly undisciplined.“ She casts an insightful and critical eye over her childhood, teens, and twenties–including the devastating act of violence that was a turning point in her young life–and brings readers intwo 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 it tells a story that hasn’t yet been told but needs to be.

About the Author

Roxane Gay is the author of the essay collection Bad Feminist, which was a New York Times bestseller; the novel An Untamed State, a finalist for the Dayton Peace Prize; the memoir Hunger, which was a New York Times bestseller and received a National Book Critics Circle citation; and the short story collections Difficult Women and Ayiti. A contributing opinion writer to the New York Times, she has also written for Time, McSweeney’s, the Virginia Quarterly Review, the Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The Rumpus, Bookforum, and Salon. Her fiction has also been selected for The Best American Short Stories 2012, The Best American Mystery Stories 2014, and other anthologies. She is the author of World of Wakanda for Marvel. She lives in Lafayette, Indiana, and sometimes Los Angeles.

Zum Inhalt

In Hunger beschreibt Roxane Gay die Geschichte ihres Körpers. In einer Welt, in der es für Frauen offenbar das größte Ziel ist, dünn zu sein, macht sie die Erfahrung, dass sie immer wieder über ihr Gewicht definiert wird. Denn das entspricht nicht den heutigen Schönheitsidealen. Über 250 Kilo hat sie schon auf die Waage gebracht. Die Leute urteilen schnell, aber kaum jemand kennt den Grund für ihr Übergewicht. Diese Geschichte erzählt sie erzählt von ihrer Vergewaltigung. Etwas, das sie lange niemandem erzählt hat und sich stattdessen in den Trost des Essens geflüchtet hat. Ein Trost, der ihr einen Schutzpanzer verschaffte, einen Körper, der nicht mehr so leicht verletzt werden könnte. Stattdessen kamen andere Verletzungen hinzu. Sie erzählt, mit welchen unmenschlichen Reaktionen, mit welchen Schwierigkeiten und Gefühlen man umgehen muss, wenn man eben nicht das Bild erfüllt, das die Welt von einem erwartet.

Meine Meinung

“Mein Vater glaubt, der Hunger ist im Kopf. Ich weiß, dass es anders ist. Ich weiß, dass Hunger im Kopf ist und im Herz und in der Seele.”

Roxane Gays Geschichte hat mich tief berührt. Body Positivity ist heute in aller Munde und dennoch haben wir immer noch das Idealbild einer schlanken Frau mit Kurven an den richtigen Stellen im Kopf. Man weiß, dass krankhaftes Übergewicht eigentlich immer einen Grund hat, sei es nun eine Stoffwechselstörung, hormonelles Ungleichgewicht, Medikamenteneinnahme oder aber auch eine psychische Erkrankung, aber der einfachste Grund, der einem sofort einfällt, ist der, dass die Person sich einfach nicht unter Kontrolle hat, zu faul ist, etwas für ihren Körper zu tun. Diese weitverbreitete Einstellung kennt auch Roxane Gay, hat sie immer wieder am eigenen Leib erfahren.

“Was sagt es über uns und unsere Kultur aus, wenn der Wunsch nach Gewichtsabnahme als grundlegendes weibliches Attribut gilt?”

Doch statt einfach nur das heutige Schönheitsideal zu kritisieren, erzählt die Autorin ihre ganz persönliche Geschichte. Und diese geht wirklich unter die Haut. Sie erzählt, wie es dazu kam, dass sie immer mehr Gewicht zunahm und wie ihre Körpermaße bis heute ihren gesamten Alltag beeinflussen. Sie berichtet von schwierigen Situationen, über die man als normalgewichtiger Mensch niemals nachdenken würde und schafft somit eine ganz andere Sicht, ein ganz besonderes Verständnis.

Es fing alles damit an, dass sie mit zwölf Jahren von einer Gruppe Jugendlicher vergewaltigt wurde. Daraufhin fing sie an zu essen. Essen bedeutete Trost und ihr immer weiter steigendes Körpergewicht wurde für sie zu einer Art Schutz. Sie fühlte sich dadurch größer und weniger verletzlich. Trotz des Wissens, dass ihr Körpergewicht ungesunde Ausmaße annahm und mehrfachen Diätversuchen, blieb das Übergewicht und das Gefühl von Trost und die Sicherheit, die ihr das Essen verschafften. Sie erzählt von der Scham, davon, sich wertlos zu fühlen, immer wieder ungesunde Beziehungen einzugehen, sich nach Liebe und Anerkennung zu sehnen und wie stattdessen immer wieder neue Verletzungen hinzukamen. Emotionale Verletzungen durch Personen, die ihr nahestehen, aber besonders durch eine Gesellschaft, in der es einfach kein Verständnis, keinen Platz für Menschen mit starkem Übergewicht gibt. Trotz allem verliert sie nicht den Mut und die Entschlossenheit, sich selbst zu lieben. Schon früh findet sie eine Zuflucht im Schreiben, eine Möglichkeit ihre innersten Gefühle in Worte zu fassen und auszudrücken. Sie macht Karriere, ist mittlerweile eine bekannte feministischen Autorin und nutzt ihre Stimme. Dennoch bleiben die Verletzungen.

” Je erfolgreicher ich werde, desto öfter werde ich daran erinnert, dass ich für viele Menschen niemals mehr sein werde als mein Körper.”

Roxane Gay hat einen sehr eindringlichen, fast schon pathetischen Schreibstil, der mir nicht immer gut gefällt, da es auch immer wieder Wiederholungen gibt, die eine Aussage verdeutlichen sollen. Manchmal ist mir das einfach etwas zu viel. Dann wiederum berichtet sie plötzlich ganz nüchtern und ruhig von Erlebnissen und zeigt damit die Alltäglichkeit dieser oftmals verachtenden, abwertenden und herablassenden Reaktionen ihrer Mitmenschen auf ihr Übergewicht. Sie erzählt von Lehrerinnen, die sie watschelnderweise nachmachten, von Stühlen, in die sie bei Lesungen nicht passte und Bühnen ohne Treppe, auf die sie nicht klettern konnte, von Blicken im Fitnessstudio und ungefragten Ernährungstipps im Supermarkt, aber auch von der Darstellung von Frauen in den Medien. Diese Erfahrungsberichte sind es, die mich sehr bewegt und zum Nachdenken angeregt haben. Es geht in diesem Buch nicht darum, starkes Übergewicht zu verherrlichen oder auf Teufel komm raus Body Positivity zu verbreiten. Es ist nicht so leicht, den eigenen Körper zu lieben, wie es in dieser Bewegung gerne dargestellt wird. Man spürt den Kampf der Autorin. Sie ist sich sehr wohl bewusst, dass ihre Lebensweise nicht gesund ist und sie wünscht sich auch, dünner zu sein, aus verschiedensten Gründen. Sie probiert verschiedenste Diäten aus. Und dennoch scheitern ihre Abnehmversuche immer wieder, weil es eben einfach nicht so leicht ist mit ihren Erfahrungen und ab einem gewissen Gewicht. Und auch das schildert sie sehr authentisch. Sie gibt ehrlich zu, dass sie darunter leidet und versucht sich trotz ihrer äußeren Erscheinung zu lieben. Sie erklärt, dass es nicht so leicht ist, etwas daran zu ändern, schafft durch das Teilen ihrer Erfahrungen beim Leser ein tieferes Verständnis dafür und zeigt damit, wie ungerecht und wertend mit Übergewicht umgegangen wird und wie sehr wir uns trotz aller Behauptungen von nicht hinterfragten Äußerlichkeiten beeinflussen lassen. Auch wenn ihr Körper, ihr Hunger, das zentrale Thema dieses Buches sind, schreibt sie darüberhinaus sehr eindrücklich darüber, wie es ist, mit traumatischen Erfahrungen zu leben, damit umzugehen, wie diese einen in allen Lebensbereichen beeinflussen. Sie macht deutlich, dass ihr Körper nicht das eigentliche Problem ist, sondern ihre Erlebnisse, ihre Erfahrungen. Sie möchte es schaffen, damit Leben zu können und sich selbst zu lieben. Insgesamt ist dieses Buch für mich eins: sehr ehrlich.

“Intellektuell setze ich Dünnsein nicht mit Glücklichsein gleich. Ich könnte morgen dünn aufwachen und immer noch das Gewicht mit mir herumschleppen.”

Fazit

Hunger ist die Geschichte einer Frau, die Schreckliches erlebt hat und tief verletzt wurde, die ihren Trost im Essen findet und damit auf weitere Schwierigkeiten und emotionale Verletzungen stößt in einer Gesellschaft, deren Werte immer noch auf Äußerlichkeiten beruhen. Es ist aber auch die Geschichte einer starken Frau, die trotz aller Widrigkeiten ihren Mut nicht verliert, immer weiter versucht, eine positive Beziehung zu ihrem Körper aufzubauen, Karriere macht und ihre Stimme nutzt. In diesem autobiografischen Buch erzählt Roxane Gay auf schonungslos ehrliche Art und Weise ihre ganz persönliche Geschichte und hält einer Gesellschaft, die von sich behauptet, vorurteilsfrei auf Äußerlichkeiten zu reagieren und die inneren Werte hervorzuheben einen Spiegel vor. Es ist ein Appell: Verurteile niemanden, dessen ganze Geschichte du nicht kennst. Jeder Mensch hat eine Geschichte, genauso, wie jeder Körper eine Geschichte hat.

Brutal and raw and honest

4.5 stars. This is a difficult, painful, excruciating read. But it is also a necessary, revealing, and enlightening read. Gay bares herself, turns her pen toward her own vulnerabilities with a raw and brutal honesty, admitting to things she finds humiliating and shameful, sharing how the most brutal event of her life has shaped her and continues to shape her. Her writing, as always, is clean and sharp and evocative. There is less of her humor here, as the subject is not funny. She does not pull punches and does not attempt to lighten the mood when she discusses the indignities her body subjects her to. She never claims her body is not her responsibility, and she never claims to love her body the way it is or that she does not wish to lose weight. But she also does not spend the entire book berating her body or ignoring that some of what she let her body become was caused by trauma in childhood. I fear many women reading this will see themselves in Gay and hear themselves in her narrative, in her hopes and fears. Especially in her relationship with her body. And it is a sad thing that so many have combative relationships with their own flesh, that many women battle their bodies (whether because of trauma inflicted or because of societal norms or in an effort to control some aspect of their lives). This book leaves me feeling a little battered and emotionally bruised, but better for having read it. Gay’s introspective examination, sometimes unflinching and sometimes rightfully flinching, is well worth any reader’s time.

Dark, thought provoking, sometimes frustrating

Would you consider the audio edition of Hunger to be better than the print version?

I never know what to do with this tend to read OR listen to a text, but rarely encounter both the print and audio versions. That said, Gay’s performance probably adds quite a bit to the experience, so I am giving the audio version the edge here.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Hunger?

I was often struck by how difficult it is — practically speaking — for a person of size to simply go through the world. Roxane Gay details her struggles with flying on airplanes, sitting in certain kinds of chairs, and finding clothing she likes. These are things I understood before reading her book, but presented as a daily lived struggle, I found a new sense of empathy and compassion for people of size.

What about Roxane Gay’s performance did you like?

She has a lovely voice. It is well-modulated and soothing. That said, there is very little (perhaps zero?) humor in this book. This is understandable, as the subject matter is dark and personal, but it would have been nice to have a few small moments of levity, if only to introduce another dimension to her speaking voice.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Not particularly. The book feels less shocking or revelatory than it does meditative. I felt compassion, empathy, and sometimes a little frustration — there is the feeling that Gay’s childhood rape was the biggest, most important event in her life, and as such, it eclipses every other good thing that has happened to the author. I understand this, but at times Gay’s persistent emphasis on the ways in which she has been damaged seems to conflict with the many, many gifts she has been given. Yes, she was traumatized, and horribly so. But unlike a great many other people who have been traumatized, she has gone on to accomplish much in her life. She went to Yale, and has a fantastic career, and is a well-known and respected author/feminist. Of course, Gay is writing about her body here, a body that she has punished in every possible way since she was 12 years old, so perhaps my frustration is misplaced?

There are many universal truths in this book. Though I am of average weight, I related to the underlying shame that Roxane Gay feels, as well as the effect trauma has had on her life. This is a book women of all shapes, sizes, and colors will be able to relate to. It is less about being fat (her word) than it is about wanting to hide from a deep sense of shame and unworthiness. Women do that in lots of holds up the mirror here, and there is much to see.

Roxane Gay shares some universal truths

This book made me cry the open mouth, ugly, snot cry, and I know everyone whose life has been shaped around a painful childhood incident, will thank her for being so honest, so unflinching in her backward glance. I wish I could thank her for what she must have had to face and remember in the retelling of her story. I could barely breathe through parts of this. Well done.

Deeply Touching Memoir

I’m glad I listened to this book for many, many reasons. It was my intro to Roxane Gay and I am so glad she was brought to my attention. Her perspectives have caused me to consider things that had not occurred to me. Other times, I felt she was recording my thoughts- familiar struggles many women share. This is not a weight loss how to/ journey. It’s so much more. I highly recommend this stirring personal account. This contemporary, so very honest writer has a new reader in me.

Obesity and Childhood Trauma

In , Roxane Gay associates her ongoing struggle with obesity to the rape she endured at age twelve. Psychological studies indicate that she is not alone. Dr. Vincent Felitti of the Kaiser Permanente Department of Preventative Health in San Diego has been tracking this connection since the 1980s and has found ample evidence that there is a correlation. Felitti stumbled upon this connection by accident while conducting a weight loss trial. Individuals involved with the trial were put on a strict regimen of fasting, some for upwards of a year, and the results were astonishing, participants lost between 50 and nearly 300 pounds. Many had trouble keeping the weight off, however, or they quit the trial early despite its overwhelming …

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The titular hunger is metaphorical and stands in for many things, a hunger to be free from the trauma’s long-lasting effects, the hunger to make better choices, to be normal (whatever that entails), to be happy, to be accepted. While Gay insists that her story is not one of triumph, and that she is not a role model, she doesn’t give herself enough credit. Her candor is refreshing and commendable and other survivors of assault will certainly relate to, and perhaps find comfort in Gay’s struggle. Those who struggle with their weight will also likely relate to Gay’s story. But truly, everyone with a body and a history may easily relate.