NPR Best Book of 2016
“Sharp and prescient… The appeal of Valenti’s memoir lies in her ability to trace objectification through her own life, and to trace what was for a long time her own obliviousness to it…Sex Object is an antidote to the fun and flirty feminism of selfies and self-help.” — New Republic
Author and Guardian US columnist Jessica Valenti has been leading the national conversation on gender and politics for over a decade. Now, in a darkly funny and bracing memoir, Valenti explores the toll that sexism takes from the every day to the existential.
Sex Object explores the painful, funny, embarrassing, and sometimes illegal moments that shaped Valenti’s adolescence and young adulthood in New York City, revealing a much shakier inner life than the confident persona she has cultivated as one of the most recognizable feminists of her generation.
In the tradition of writers like Joan Didion and Mary Karr, this literary memoir is sure to shock those already familiar with Valenti’s work and enthrall those who are just finding it.
JESSICA VALENTI is a columnist for The Guardian US where she writes about gender and politics. In 2004 she founded the award-winning Feministing.com, which Columbia Journalism Review called “head and shoulders above almost any writing on women’s issues in mainstream media.”? Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Nation, and Ms. She is the author of several books, including the national bestseller Full Frontal Feminism. Jessica lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.
“I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. . . . I was trapped in my body, one that I barely recognized or understood, but at least I was safe.”
In her phenomenally popular essays and long-running Tumblr blog, Roxane Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and body, using her own emotional and psychological struggles as a means of exploring our shared anxieties over pleasure, consumption, appearance, and health. As a woman who describes her own body as “wildly undisciplined,” Roxane understands the tension between desire and denial, between self-comfort and self-care. In Hunger, she explores her past—including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life—and brings readers along on her journey to understand and ultimately save herself.
With the bracing candor, vulnerability, and power that have made her one of the most admired writers of her generation, Roxane explores what it means to learn to take care of yourself: how to feed your hungers for delicious and satisfying food, a smaller and safer body, and a body that can love and be loved—in a time when the bigger you are, the smaller your world becomes.
For the last forty years, award-winning songwriter Linda Thompson has quietly led one of the most remarkable lives in show business. The longtime live-in love of Elvis Presley, Linda first emerged into the limelight during the 1970s when the former beauty pageant queen caught the eye of the King. Their chance late-night encounter at a movie theater was the stuff of legend, and it marked the beginning of a whirlwind that would stretch across decades, leading to a marriage with Bruce Jenner, motherhood, and more drama than she ever could have imagined.
Now, for the first time, Linda opens up about it all, telling the full story of her life, loves, and everything in between. From her humble beginnings in Memphis to her nearly five-year relationship with Elvis, she offers an intimate window into their life together, describing how their Southern roots fueled and sustained Graceland’s greatest romance. Going inside their wild stories and tender moments, she paints a portrait of life with the King, as raucous as it is refreshing. But despite the joy they shared, life with Elvis also had darkness, and her account also presents an unsparing look at Elvis’s twin demons—drug abuse and infidelity—forces he battled throughout their time together that would eventually end their relationship just eight months before his untimely death.
It was in the difficult aftermath of Elvis’s death that Linda found what she believed was her true home: the arms of Olympic gold medal—winner Bruce Jenner. Detailing her marriage to Bruce, Linda reveals the seemingly perfect life that they built with their two young sons—Brandon and Brody—before Bruce changed everything with a secret he’d been carrying his entire life, a secret that Linda herself kept for nearly thirty years, a secret that Bruce’s transition to Caitlyn Jenner has finally laid bare for the world. Providing a candid look inside one of the most challenging moments of her life, Linda uncovers the struggles she went through as a woman and a mother, coming to terms with the reality of Bruce’s identity and resolving to embrace him completely no matter what, even as it meant they could no longer be together.And yet, despite her marriage unraveling, her search for love was not over, eventually leading her to the legendary music producer and musician David Foster—a relationship that lasted for nineteen tumultuous years, resulting in a bond that spurred her songwriting career to new heights but also tested her like never before. Filled with compelling and poignant stories and sixteen pages of photographs, A Little Thing Called Life lovingly recounts Linda’s incredible journey through the years, bringing unparalleled insight into three legendary figures.