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Heavy: An American Memoir

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Provocative and genre-bending essayist and novelist Kiese Laymon sets out to lose 150 pounds in a year, talks with his mother and grandmother about their relationships to "weight" in America-and chronicles what a lifetime of secrets, lies, and deception do to a black body, a black family, and a nation teetering on the brink of moral collapse.

Kiese Laymon is a fearless writer. In his essays, personal stories combine with piercing intellect to reflect both on the state of American society and on his experiences with abuse, which conjure conflicted feelings of shame, joy, confusion, and humiliation. Laymon invites us to consider the consequences of growing up in a nation wholly obsessed with progress yet wholly disinterested in the messy work of reckoning with where we've been.

In Heavy , Laymon writes eloquently and honestly about growing up a hard-headed black son to a complicated and brilliant black mother in Jackson, Mississippi. From his early experiences of sexual violence, to his suspension from college, to his trek to New York as a young college professor, Laymon charts his complex relationship with his mother, grandmother, anorexia, obesity, sex, writing, and ultimately gambling. By attempting to name secrets and lies he and his mother spent a lifetime avoiding, Laymon asks himself, his mother, his nation, and us to confront the terrifying possibility that few in this nation actually know how to responsibly love, and even fewer want to live under the weight of actually becoming free.

A personal narrative that illuminates national failures, Heavy is defiant yet vulnerable, an insightful, often comical exploration of weight, identity, art, friendship, and family that begins with a confusing childhood-and continues through twenty-five years of haunting implosions and long reverberations.

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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 9406bf31-8cd5-df36-646b-13bb8f6bb42b
Grouping Title heavy an american memoir
Grouping Author laymon kiese
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-06-19 23:13:25PM
Last Indexed 2019-06-19 15:06:08PM

Solr Details

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author Laymon, Kiese,
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detailed_location_catalog East - Adult Biography, Edmondson Pike - Adult Biography, Green Hills - Adult Audiobook, Green Hills - Adult Biography, Main Library - Adult Audiobook, Main Library - Adult Biography, Richland Park - Adult Audiobook, Southeast - Adult Biography
display_description "Laymon writes eloquently and honestly about the physical manifestations of violence, grief, trauma, and abuse on his own body. He writes of his own eating disorder and gambling addiction as well as similar issues that run throughout his family. Through self-exploration, storytelling, and honest conversation with family and friends, Heavy seeks to bring what has been hidden into the light and to reckon with all of its myriad sources, from the most intimate--a mother-child relationship--to the most universal--a society that has undervalued and abused black bodies for centuries"--
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owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
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primary_isbn 9781501125669
publishDate 2018
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subject_facet African Americans -- Biography, Audiobooks, Autobiographies, Compulsive gamblers -- United States -- Biography, Eating disorders -- Patients -- United States -- Biography, Laymon, Kiese, Laymon, Kiese -- Family, Mother and child -- United States
title_display Heavy : an American memoir
title_full Heavy : an American memoir / Kiese Laymon, Heavy : an American memoir / by Kiese Laymon, Heavy An American Memoir
title_short Heavy :
title_sub An American Memoir
topic_facet African Americans, Biography & Autobiography, Compulsive gamblers, Eating disorders, Family, Laymon, Kiese, Mother and child, Multi-Cultural, Nonfiction, Patients, Sociology