Hunger is a deeply moving memoir by Roxane Gay focusing on her personal relationship to food, weight and body image and how this has been heavily influenced by experiences within the world and how the world treats her as a fat woman of colour.
Roxane Gay is by far one of my favourite authors, having previously read her essay collection Bad Feminist and her short story collection Difficult Women, both of which proved to be fascinating reads and Hunger by no means breaks her streak.
The way in which Gay navigates writing about deeply personal experiences from her past and more recent treatment she faces is beautifully done and the way in which she handles the intersections of being queer, black and fat within the book ought to be applauded. This gives us a memoir which subtly questions how society treats fat people whilst confronting any internal, and potentially unknown, judgements you as the reader may have.
Furthermore, Gay’s exploration of the complex relationship that almost always exists between an individual’s mental or emotional health and their weight is demonstrated in the most personal way possible through the author recounting personal trauma and how it has impacted her relationship with her body over the course of her life.
The brutal reality of what it is to not only be a fat person, but a fat queer woman of colour in the USA could not be better conveyed than in Roxane Gay’s Hunger.