Through Twitter, I’ve become an admirer of Roxane Gay. I like how she tweets. She has the ability to dismiss nonsense without resort to personal insult.
I’m about halfway through Gay’s latest book, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. As a memoir of someone who has been hundreds of pounds overweight, who navigates the world in a body that often gets in her way and attracts unwanted attention, it’s searing, insightful, devastating, and hopeful. The hopefulness comes from Gay’s humor and generosity, and her clear-eyed willingness to examine any fact, to keep searching for the truth of her life, and to hold seemingly contradictory viewpoints such as loving her body as it is, and also wanting to be smaller, more physically comfortable, healthier, and yes: not cruelly mocked.
Gay is everywhere right now, and she’s as compelling as a speaker as she is as a writer. Here are some places to to hear her.
This American Life, Episode 589: Tell Me I’m Fat. (Gay is in Act Three in this program, recorded last year, before Hunger was published.)
Sooo Many White Guys (with Phoebe Robinson of Two Dope Queens). (Warning: it takes a while to get to the Roxane Gay part, but it’s fun.)
As I listened, I found myself saying amen a lot. I also found myself questioning long-held beliefs and listening to my own inner dissonances.
Edited to add: Thanks to reader suggestions, here is more Roxane Gay. (I told you she’s everywhere.)
If you are a woman with a body, pick up your knitting and have a listen.