Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative

Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative

by Melissa Febos
Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative

Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative

by Melissa Febos

Paperback

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Overview

AN INSTANT NATIONAL BESTSELLER

Memoir meets craft master class in this “daring, honest, psychologically insightful” exploration of how we think and write about intimate experiences—“a must read for anybody shoving a pen across paper or staring into a screen or a past" (Mary Karr)


In this bold and exhilarating mix of memoir and master class, Melissa Febos tackles the emotional, psychological, and physical work of writing intimately while offering an utterly fresh examination of the storyteller’s life and the questions which run through it.
 
How might we go about capturing on the page the relationships that have formed us? How do we write about our bodies, their desires and traumas? What does it mean for an author’s way of writing, or living, to be dismissed as “navel-gazing”—or else hailed as “so brave, so raw”? And to whom, in the end, do our most intimate stories belong?
 
Drawing on her own path from aspiring writer to acclaimed author and writing professor—via addiction and recovery, sex work and academia—Melissa Febos has created a captivating guide to the writing life, and a brilliantly unusual exploration of subjectivity, privacy, and the power of divulgence. Candid and inspiring, Body Work will empower readers and writers alike, offering ideas—and occasional notes of caution—to anyone who has ever hoped to see themselves in a story.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781646220854
Publisher: Catapult
Publication date: 03/15/2022
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 84,375
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Melissa Febos is the author of the memoir Whip Smart; Abandon Me, a LAMBDA Literary Award finalist and Publishing Triangle Award finalist; Girlhood, a national bestseller and National Book Critics Circle finalist; and the forthcoming Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative. A recipient of the Jeanne Córdova Nonfiction Award from LAMBDA Literary and of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, MacDowell, Bread Loaf, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, The BAU Institute, Vermont Studio Center, The Barbara Deming Foundation, and others; her essays have appeared in The Paris Review, The Believer, McSweeney’s Quarterly, Granta, The Yale Review, Tin House, The Sun, New York Review of Books, and The New York Times Magazine. She is an associate professor at the University of Iowa, where she teaches in the Nonfiction Writing Program.

Table of Contents

Author's Note xv

1 In Praise of Navel-Gazing 3

2 Mind Fuck: Writing Better Sex 29

3 A Big Shitty Party: Six Parables of Writing About Other People 79

4 The Return: The Art of Confession 105

Acknowledgments 155

Notes 157

Sources Consulted and Further Reading 165

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