Preorder: Biography of a Body by Lizz Schumer
BIOGRAPHY OF A BODY is a lyrical meander through the development of a messy, flawed, imperfect human and what it means to live in a society that both pulls a person into itself and fiercely pushes back. In personal essays and snippets of verse that shift back and forth through time and place, it fidgets with the puzzle pieces of a life that are at once starkly unique and glaringly obvious. The narrator probes the influence of religion on a person’s psychological development, how the legacy of traditional femininity works their way under her skin, and the many pitfalls of living in a body that doesn’t always conform to expectations, both from within and the world pressing on it. Follow the narrator as she grapples with an eating disorder that threatens to consume her body and soul, undergoes a sexual awakening that reverberates through her social structure and understanding of herself, tries to find her place in a world where the rules are always changing, and fumbles to understand how much of her personhood is a compilation of outside influences she can barely pinpoint, and how much is wholly her own. This is less a narrative than a trail of breadcrumbs through an experience, where strange things whisper from the shadows and draw the reader into the dappled darkness. Readers will find themselves wandering along with her, grasping onto vivid insights and suggestions of feelings that will stay with them until long after the last page is turned.
Publication Date: January 19, 2021