Download Heavy: An American Memoir Audiobook

Heavy: An American Memoir Audiobook, by Kiese Laymon Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Kiese Laymon Narrator: Kiese Laymon Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2018 ISBN: 9781508265818
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Provocative and genre-bending essayist and novelist Kiese Laymon sets out to lose 150 pounds in a year, talks with his mother and grandmother about their relationships to “weight” in America—and chronicles what a lifetime of secrets, lies, and deception do 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Heavy is astonishing. Difficult. Intense. Layered. Wow. Just wow.”

    Roxane Gay, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Kiese Laymon is our most important, urgent, fiercest voice. To read Kiese Laymon is to be in awe.”

    Junot Díaz, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A challenging memoir about black-white relations, income inequality, mother-son dynamics, Mississippi byways, lack of personal self-control, education from kindergarten through graduate school, and so much more…A dynamic memoir that is unsettling in all the best ways.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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About the Author

Born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, Kiese Laymon, Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing and English at the University of Mississippi, is the author of the novel Long Division and the essay collection How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America. He is also the author of the memoir Heavy.