Black is the Body

Emily Bernard

Black is the Body
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Black is the Body

Emily Bernard

Described by Anne Patchett as ‘life-changing’, with fans such as Elizabeth Gilbert and tipped by Oprah Magazine as ‘formidable and destined to be studied… the emergence of an extraordinary voice on race’, Emily Bernard weaves a powerfully penetrating story of one woman’s life, while addressing racism and cultural change in a fearlessly honest way.

A New Statesman essential non-fiction read of 2021

“Blackness is an art, not a science. It is a paradox: intangible and visceral; a situation and a story. It is the thread that connects these essays, but its significance as an experience emerges randomly, unpredictably… . Race is the story of my life, and therefore black is the body of this book.”

In twelve intensely personal, interconnected essays, Emily Bernard sets out to tell stories from her life that enable her to talk about truth, race, family and relationships, and much more.

She observes the complexities and paradoxes, the haunting memories and ambushing realities of growing up black in the South with a family name inherited from a white man, of getting a PhD from Yale, of marrying a white man from the North, of adopting two babies from Ethiopia, of teaching at a white college and living in America’s New England today.

Ultimately, she shows us that it is in our shared experience of humanity that we find connection, happiness and hope.

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