Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

New York Times review:

“There have been a number of books written about the 2008 financial crisis, but few more elegant and astute than this one. Tooze shows how the upheaval radiated outward, shaping not only the new economic order but also the political free-for-all that scrambled traditional allegiances, both here and abroad.”

Featured in New York Times Critics’ Top Books of 2018.

NPR review:

“If there’s a 2018 book that I believe everyone in America should read, it’s Kiese Laymon’s memoir, Heavy. It’s a gorgeously written howl of truth, directly addressed to the brilliant and sometimes violent mother who raised Laymon in Jackson, Miss.”

Featured in NPR’s Best Books of 2018.

Aggregated customer review rating:

4.9 out of 5.0

Ranked 9th in Books

Ranked 1st in Biographies

Ranked 2nd in Non-fiction

$ 13

Heavy: An American Memoir is a 2018 memoir authored by gender-bending novelist and essayist Kiese Laymon who tells the readers what the heaviness of a lifetime of deception lies, and secrets, does to a nation, a black family, and black body.

In his personal stories and essays, Kiese combines the state of American society, and the abuse he went through that gave rise to mixed emotions of confusion, shame, humiliation, and, ironically, joy. Kiese forces readers to take into account the effects of growing up in a country that puts a priority on progress and development yet entirely overlooks the aspects that have created a huge divide among its people.

In the provocative and powerful memoir, Kiese articulates his experiences honestly and eloquently about growing up to a brilliant but complicated black mother in Jackson. He writes on his early experiences with sexual abuse, his academic suspension, his travel to New York as a young professor as well as his complex relationship with his grandmother, mother, writing, obesity, sex, anorexia, and gambling.

The memoir is an insightful, vulnerable, and sardonic exploration of identity, family, friendship, weight, and art that starts with a puzzling childhood and moves through twenty-five years of long reverberations and haunting implosions.

The memoir was shortlisted for the Kirkus Prize Finalist and Andrew Carnegie Medal. It was named a Best Book of 2018 by The Washington Post (Nonfiction), Library Journal (Biography/Memoirs), The Undefeated, The New York Times, Southern Living (Southern), Broadly, NPR, Publishers Weekly, and Entertainment Weekly.

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