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Heavy: An American Memoir

de Kiese Laymon

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1,0393920,035 (4.45)35
"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"--… (mais)
Adicionado recentemente porJoeB1934, hiGRaPelImeN, ElliVega, biblioteca privada, jenkies720, Amy0129, RGordon93, 2665Lover, ElizaCosta, theveggies
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As Kiese Laymon's story approaches its end, there's a moment - for maybe half a page - that lulls the reader into a belief in a neat resolution, a final victory, or a happily ever after.

It comes right before the point where the body breaks down and something that I would have seen as success from the outsider, the weight loss, the health, reveals itself as an addiction that slides the speaker past what is healthy into the act of trying to disappear.

The parallels with what failing to reckon with histories of abuse, personal, societal, and the inflicting of terror make this a difficult book to finish. The writing is smooth and direct but the reality that has to be heard on every page and the lies we tell ourselves make reading a few pages at a time valuable. And no matter what I thought I knew of racism and injustice, there's the view of terror practiced on the body and mind that history and news can't show.

I realize early on this story wasn't written for me but it's a realization that made shutting up and listening even more important. The personal gives glimpses that bust through what I thought was wisdom growing up. The connection to the myth of American history busts through the idea that any issue from the past is ever really over. The author's mother mentions with the election of President Obama, the backlash to come, which in itself is true - but also chilling in the realization how often every move forward will be met with this backlash.

Heavy should fill readers with admiration for the author's gift and a rebuke to our own need to cling to illusions about the past and present. And the realization that that success is something that has to be fought for again and again.
( )
  DAGray08 | Jan 1, 2024 |
Just…overwhelming. Brought me to actual tears. Intense, painful, mournful….I can’t even get to angry because it makes me so sad. This fucked up world. People can’t not hurt each other when they most need to love each other. The sickness of racism cast a shadow so deep I can’t see how we get ourselves out of it.
  BookyMaven | Dec 6, 2023 |
I have been a fan of Mr. Laymon since the OG 'Long Division', so of course I had to read this memoir. ESPECIALLY after he recently won the MacArthur Genius Grant. I was very happy to see that! His mom and grandmama ensured that words were something he put a lot of work into. So of course this is good stuff. I wanted to listen to the audiobook as I read along in print, as Kiese reads it himself. I think it is essential to hear this in his own voice and he does a great job on the audiobook. He puts his whole heavy heart in this book. Thank you for sharing this with the world, Mr. Laymon. ( )
  booklove2 | Jun 29, 2023 |
I need to process this more but I can say I think anyone who has an opportunity to read this book should. Important, powerful, and beautifully written. Gorgeous prose. ( )
  amcheri | Jan 5, 2023 |
Note: I received a signed copy of this book from the publisher at ALA Annual 2019.
  fernandie | Sep 15, 2022 |
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"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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