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
In the News
Piecemeal and lyrical.
A tapestry of words emotions feelings of an everyday, middle class, white woman.
And a reminder you never know what another person is going through.
-- Jennifer, Review on Amazon
Engulfed in this book for 24 hours straight, I found myself both reading in my mind wandering, which I believe was one of the authors intentions. I related on a level not so much with the context of the books (im not religious for example) but rather the experiences she shared that I was able to see through my own eyes in a different light. This book is truly a journey through the authors mind, with no path or destinations in place. And, considering the level of depth the author goes into regarding her personal struggles, the ability to just freely wander from point to point, with no particular storyline, speaks volume to her growth as an individual, and staying true to who she is with every word she chooses to write.
4/5 because some parts I got lost. But thats OK. I dont think the author would want the “ideal 5 out of 5 stars!”. And she would want the reader to get lost- in their own mind and in hers, as she does. Well done.
-- Ashley, Goodreads