That is a sliver of what my brain did while reading this phenomenal memoir. Hunger. Used mostly as a verb throughout the text, with a morsel amount of usage as a noun. The table is set. Shall we?
I am shell-shocked at how delightful reading this was. I experienced the work as comical, sassy, intriguing and intensely traumatizing. How is it that Roxane’s life story, written with such depth & intensity left me grasping for respite?! And as the last page turned I yearned for more. I was literally hungry to read more about Roxane’s life. She’s like my dad’s Pen Patat. She’s like black cod with miso from Nobu. Like Nonna D’s oatmeal lace ice cream. Like a chopped cheese from the bodega on 130th & Lenox. Like watching my guests eat my take on my mom’s homemade mashed potatoes with root vegetables & salmon. SAT-IS-FYING! I’m close to speechless at the ferocity in which she allows the reader to know her at the most unsatisfying junctures in her journey called life. Bingeing, purging, swallowing her trauma. Lonely, isolated, concealed with zeal. The bravery is astounding on the grand stage, page after page. The extent of self loathing that pounced itself around chapter here, paragraph there. At one point four chapters straight she pounded away at each pound of weight; accumulated tactfully day, month, year in & out. There’s no doubt that the torment & suffering was pronounced.
Ms. Gay.... a fellow 1st generation Haitian-American; though our sexual proclivities are not entirely the same her identification as a queer woman sealed the deal in purchasing her memoir opposed to testing it out from my local library or borrowing from a friend. I am going to continue to invest in her. I will continue to recommend her work as a fellow Bad Feminist. Via youtube videos of various talks she has engaged in, I have learned that she has quite a unique online presence via twitter. Yet & still no social media for me but I must admit I’ve looked her up a few times via my little sister’s handles lol. She’s corky with a dash of sarcasm that borders self deprecating in a relatable way, while still leaving a lot to be imagined & experienced. Hunger matched her personality and not all memoirs are true in that form.
What a spectrum of intensity. Chapter 72 was remarkable. Read the book if you haven’t already, there may be another chapter that captures your attention. The critical other, be it inside or out, within or without - allures my curiosity.
Yuen-Sing thank you for sharing this goodness with me!
Skah Shah (a well known Haitian band) stayed on rotation during house parties hosted by my parents during my childhood & was heavily played in our home during my adolescent years. Their music resonates now as I stew in Roxane’s vulnerable creation, Hunger. My identification with her Haitian roots brings up so many raw reverberating feelings and so I choose to share nostalgic music that is both beautiful, depressing & expansive in all of its glory!