Heavy: An American Memoir

Kiese Laymon

Heavy: An American Memoir
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Heavy: An American Memoir

Kiese Laymon

What does the weight of 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?

In Heavy, Laymon writes 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 career as a young college professor, Laymon charts his complex relationship with his mother, grandmother, abuse, 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 know how to responsibly love, and even fewer want to live under the weight of actually becoming free.

 A defiant yet vulnerable memoir that Laymon started writing when he was eleven, Heavy is an insightful exploration of weight, identity, art, friendship and family.

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