The BookBrowse Review

Published June 22, 2022

ISSN: 1930-0018

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In This Edition of
The BookBrowse Review

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Editor's Introduction
Reviews
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Literary Fiction


Historical Fiction


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Essays


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Biography/Memoir


History, Current Affairs and Religion


Science, Health and the Environment


Travel & Adventure


Young Adults

Literary Fiction

  • Big Girl by Mecca Jamilah Sullivan (rated 4/5)

Thrillers


Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Speculative, Alt. History


Extras
  • Blog:
    6 Novels for Book Clubs That Reflect on Reproductive Rights
  • Wordplay:
    T O Thing W H T F I F I
  • Book Giveaway:
    Win a signed copy of Where the Crawdads Sing
Book Jacket

Body Language
Writers on Identity, Physicality, and Making Space for Ourselves
by Nicole Chung, Matt Ortile
12 Jul 2022
336 pages
Publisher: Catapult
Genre: Essays
Peperback Original
Critics:
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A kaleidoscopic anthology of essays published by Catapult magazine about the stories our bodies tell, and how we move within - and against - expectations of race, gender, health, and ability.

Bodies are serious, irreverent, sexy, fragile, strong, political, and inseparable from our experiences and identities as human beings. Pushing the dialogue and confronting monolithic myths, this collection of essays tackles topics like weight, disability, desire, fertility, illness, and the embodied experience of race in deep, challenging ways.

Selected from the archives of Catapult magazine, the essays in Body Language affirm and challenge the personal and political conversations around human bodies from the perspectives of thirty writers diverse in race, age, gender, size, sexuality, health, ability, geography, and class—a brilliant group probing and speaking their own truths about their bodies and identities, refusing to submit to others' expectations about how their bodies should look, function, and behave.

Covering a wide range of experiences—from art modeling as a Black woman to nostalgia for a brutalizing high school sport, from the frightening upheaval of cancer diagnoses to the small beauties of funeral sex—this collection is intelligent, sensitive, and unflinchingly candid. Through the power of personal narratives, as told by writers at all stages of their careers, Body Language reflects the many ways in which we understand and inhabit our bodies.

Featuring essays by A.E. Osworth, Andrea Ruggirello, Aricka Foreman, Austin Gilkeson, Bassey Ikpi, Bryan Washington, Callum Angus, Destiny O. Birdsong, Eloghosa Osunde, Forsyth Harmon, Gabrielle Bellot, Haley Houseman, Hannah Walhout, Jenny Tinghui Zhang, Jess Zimmerman, Kaila Philo, Karissa Chen, Kayla Whaley, Maggie Tokuda-Hall, Marcos Gonsalez, Marisa Crane, Melissa Hung, Natalie Lima, Nina Riggs, Rachel Charlene Lewis, Ross Showalter, s.e. smith, Sarah McEachern, Taylor Harris, and Toni Jensen.

"Originally published in Catapult magazine, these lyrical and incisive essays cover a wide range of topics related to the human body, including birth, death, race, gender, size, disability, and fertility...Marked by the diversity of its contributor's perspectives and the vibrancy of their prose, this anthology shines." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"These smart, affecting, and vulnerable essays, chronicling a vast range of experiences, inspire and illuminate." - Booklist (starred review)

"Many readers will be able to identify with at least one of the essays in this wide-ranging collection. Recommended for public libraries and readers who are looking for body positivity resources." - Library Journal

"A stunning collection illuminating the wisdom, love, and power we can access by knowing and caring for our bodies." - Nadia Owusu, author of Aftershocks

"Body Language is a wide-ranging, heart-rending, hope-generating collection of stories. From disordered eating to athleticism to disability, it was impossible to turn away from these intimate and astute offerings. There is nothing more ordinary than living in a body, but so much about it can remain unspoken. This book, then, is a revelation, treasured company that I'll keep with me always." - Melissa Febos, author of Girlhood

"Body Language imagines into the quakes of the body—its pains, shifts, memories, wounds. The collection of voices here is expansive and explosive, insightful and powerful, touching everywhere from funeral sex to breath, football to transitioning, the embodied danger of gender and identity to dancing. A joy to read." - Ingrid Rojas Contreras, author of Fruit of the Drunken Tree

Nicole Chung is the author of All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir, a contributing writer at the Atlantic, and the former editor-in-chief of Catapult magazine.

Matt Ortile is the author of The Groom Will Keep His Name and the executive editor of Catapult magazine.

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