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Heavy : : an American Memoir

Laymon, Kiese. Book - 2018 305.896 La, Adult Book / Nonfiction / Biography / Literary / Laymon, Kiese 3 On Shelf No requests on this item Community Rating: 4.7 out of 5

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Call Number: 305.896 La, Adult Book / Nonfiction / Biography / Literary / Laymon, Kiese
On Shelf At: Downtown Library, Pittsfield Branch

Location Call Number Branch Item Status
Downtown 2nd Floor 305.896 La Downtown Library On Shelf
Downtown 2nd Floor 305.896 La Downtown Library On Shelf
Downtown 2nd Floor 305.896 La Downtown Library Due 04-30-2021
Downtown 2nd Floor 305.896 La Downtown Library Due 05-05-2021
Downtown 2nd Floor 305.896 La Downtown Library Due 05-07-2021
Downtown 2nd Floor 305.896 La Downtown Library Due 05-08-2021
Pittsfield Adult Books Adult Book / Nonfiction / Biography / Literary / Laymon, Kiese Pittsfield Branch On Shelf
Malletts Adult Books Adult Book / Nonfiction / Biography / Literary / Laymon, Kiese Malletts Creek Branch Due 04-17-2021
Traverwood Adult Books Adult Book / Nonfiction / Biography / Literary / Laymon, Kiese Traverwood Branch Due 05-03-2021
Westgate Adult Books Adult Book / Nonfiction / Biography / Literary / Laymon, Kiese Westgate Branch Due 04-26-2021
Westgate Adult Books Adult Book / Nonfiction / Biography / Literary / Laymon, Kiese Westgate Branch Due 04-28-2021

Prologue: been -- Boy man -- Black abundance -- Home worked -- Addict Americans -- Epilogue: bend.
"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"-- Provided by publisher.

REVIEWS & SUMMARIES

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COMMUNITY REVIEWS

heavy submitted by gogo on June 22, 2019, 7:07pm heavy, and american memoir

Hard book to read (emotionally) but really important to understand submitted by sueij on June 20, 2020, 3:51pm 4/5 stars. It wouldn’t be right to say that I enjoyed this book, because I didn’t, but I’m glad I read it, and I think most other people should read it, too. Let me explain.

_Heavy_ is Laymon’s soul-searching memoir of growing up abused, Black, and with various eating disorders. He lays out his life with no sugar-coating, and it is a hard, hard book. This is one of those books that we read to understand lives different than ours… one of the reasons that “experts” say that reading builds empathy. I made a commitment this year to read more books by diverse authors, and this book is a fine example of why. I cannot know, from my position as a White woman with a thinnish body, what it is like to move through this world as a Black boy and man in a large body. Laymon allows us into his experience. My world is deeper and hopefully my understanding of others’ journeys more sensitive because of his willingness to share.

Having said that, Laymon wrote the book in second person, addressing the entire book to “you” (it’s written, we eventually understand, to his mother). I’ve only read one other book like this, and I dislike it immensely. I find it distracting and unnecessary. Write the intro/forward and last chapter/epilogue/afterword to her if you need to, but throughout the book made for bizarre reading. He half referenced shared things that readers aren’t a part of. (Did she sexually abuse him or not? In a book that begins, “I wanted to write a lie” with the presumption being that he isn’t going to lie, leaving strong hints but no clarity about incest feels like a lie. He’s welcome not to tell us, but constant half-statements in a book premised on not lying doesn’t sit well with me as a reader.)

These two quibbles are small compared to the vast benefits of taking on life-perspectives different than our own. Laymon allows us to do that with skill and grace. It’s a hard, hard book to read due to the content, but well worth the investment of your time and energy.

A must read for everyone submitted by asumerton on July 13, 2020, 4:05pm This is not an easy memoir to read, despite the fact that it is so beautifully written it's almost poetry. Laymon is raw and real and completely honest about things, to the point that it hurts to read. He's so specific with his language and the stories he chooses to tell. One of the best books I've ever read. I learned a lot.

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PUBLISHED
New York, NY : Scribner, [2018]
Year Published: 2018
Description: xiv, 241 pages ; 22 cm
Language: English
Format: Book

ISBN/STANDARD NUMBER
9781501125652

SUBJECTS
Laymon, Kiese.
Laymon, Kiese -- Family.
African Americans -- Biography.
Compulsive gamblers -- Biography.
Eating disorders -- Patients -- Biography.
Mother and child.