Thorndike Press

Heavy: An American Memoir

  • Kiese Laymon
  • Offered By:
  • ISBN-10: 1432861425
  • ISBN-13: 9781432861421
  • DDC: B
  • Shipping Weight: 1.15 lbs ( .52 kgs)
  • 352 Pages | Hardcover
  • Published/Released February 2019

This product is part of:

Biographies and Memoirs - Large Print Standing Order Plan

A Mix of bestselling and well-reviewed biographies and memoirs — including: historical biographies, celebrity biographies and memoirs, and inspiring narrative memoirs relating fascinating and compelling experiences of intriguing people.

About

Overview

An Andrew Carnegie Medal Winner
A Kirkus Prize Finalist
Named a Best Book of 2018 by the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, NPR, Broadly, Buzzfeed (Nonfiction), The Undefeated, Library Journal (Biography/Memoirs), The Washington Post (Nonfiction), Southern Living (Southern), Entertainment Weekly, and The New York Times Critics

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 time in New York as a college professor, Laymon charts his complex relationship with his mother, grandmother, anorexia, obesity, sex, writing, and ultimately gambling. Heavy is a “gorgeous, gutting . . . generous” (The New York Times) memoir that combines personal stories with piercing intellect to reflect both on the strife of American society and on Laymon’s experiences with abuse. By attempting to name secrets and lies he and his mother spent a lifetime avoiding, he asks 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.

Reviews

Customer Reviews

“Stylish and complex . . . Laymon convincingly conveys that difficult times can be overcome with humor and self-love, as he makes readers confront their own fears and insecurities.”

— Publishers Weekly (starred)

“A challenging memoir about black-white relations, income inequality, mother-son dynamics, Mississippi byways, lack of personal self-control, education from kindergarten through graduate school, and so much more. At times, the author examines his complicated romantic and sexual relationships, and he also delves insightfully into politics, literature, feminism, and injustice, among other topics. A dynamic memoir that is unsettling in all the best ways.”

— Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“Spectacular . . . So artfully crafted, miraculously personal, and continuously disarming, this is, at its essence, powerful writing about the power of writing.”

— Booklist (starred)

“With echoes of Roxane Gay and John Edgar Wideman, Laymon defiantly exposes the ‘aches and changes’ of growing up black in this raw, cathartic memoir reckoning with his turbulent Mississippi childhood, adolescent obesity, and the white gaze.”

— O Magazine