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Heavy: An American Memoir

Heavy: An American Memoir

Written by Kiese Laymon

Narrated by Kiese Laymon


Heavy: An American Memoir

Written by Kiese Laymon

Narrated by Kiese Laymon

ratings:
5/5 (468 ratings)
Length:
6 hours
Released:
Oct 16, 2018
ISBN:
9781508265818
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as ebookEbook

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Description

In this powerful and provocative memoir, genre-bending essayist and novelist Kiese Laymon explores what the weight of a lifetime of secrets, lies, and deception does to a black body, a black family, and a nation teetering on the brink of moral collapse.

Kiese Laymon is a fearless writer. In his essays, personal stories combine with piercing intellect to reflect both on the state of American society and on his experiences with abuse, which conjure conflicted feelings of shame, joy, confusion and humiliation. Laymon invites us to consider the consequences of growing up in a nation wholly obsessed with progress yet wholly disinterested in the messy work of reckoning with where we've been.

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 his trek to New York as a young college professor, Laymon charts his complex relationship with his mother, grandmother, anorexia, obesity, sex, writing, and ultimately gambling. By attempting to name secrets and lies he and his mother spent a lifetime avoiding, Laymon asks himself, his mother, his nation, and 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.

A personal narrative that illuminates national failures, Heavy is defiant yet vulnerable, an insightful, often comical exploration of weight, identity, art, friendship, and family that begins with a confusing childhood-and continues through twenty-five years of haunting implosions and long reverberations.

Released:
Oct 16, 2018
ISBN:
9781508265818
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as ebookEbook

About the author

Kiese Laymon is a Black southern writer from Jackson, Mississippi. He is the author of the genre-bending novel Long Division, the essay collection How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others, and the bestselling Heavy: An American Memoir, which won the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction and the 2018 Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose. It was also chosen as one of the 50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years by The New York Times. The audiobook, read by the author, was named the Audible 2018 Audiobook of the Year. He is the founder of the Catherine Coleman Literary Arts and Justice Initiative, a program aimed at getting Mississippi kids and their parents more comfortable with reading, writing, revising, and sharing.



Reviews

What people think about Heavy

4.8
468 ratings / 37 Reviews
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Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    Really unique voice and I really enjoyed the narration! Give this a listen
  • (5/5)
    This book, it’s raw honesty made it so relatable. It helped me to reach inside of myself and take an honest look at things that I did not accept in my life. It helped me to write my truth more clearly.
  • (5/5)
    Very powerful memoir. Upsetting and hopeful at the same time.
  • (4/5)
    Very interesting style of writing. His explanation of feelings emotions & thoughts at various points of his life are vivid! Gripping is a good description of this book!
  • (5/5)
    Literally “heavy”! This memoir pulled and tugged at my heart. The telling of this young mans journey, was very well written. I appreciated the detailed description of his trials and experiences he went through as a young man and how it effected him growing up. The trauma that he experienced fully effected his future actions it was all just told so beautifully. I felt like I was transformed into his stories and sitting right next to him experiencing what he was feeling his pain and hurt. Thank you for bringing us along in your journey This is definitely a recommended read!
  • (4/5)
    Very interesting ordinary life. Filled will successful and educated persons living pay check to pay check. Good grandmama words of wisdom and plenty of disfunction. It left we wondering where is everyone now.