Heavy: An American Memoir

Heavy: An American Memoir

In this powerful and provocative memoir, genre-bending essayist and novelist Kiese Laymon explores what the weight of a lifetime of secrets, lies, and deception does to a black body, a black family, and a nation teetering on the brink of moral collapse. Kiese Laymon is a fearless writer. In his essays, personal stories combine with piercing intellect to reflect both on the In this powerful and provocative memoir, genre-bending essayist and novelist Kiese Laymon explores what the weight of ...

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Title:Heavy: An American Memoir
Author:Kiese Laymon
Rating:
Genres:Autobiography
ISBN:Heavy: An American Memoir
ISBN
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:256 pages pages

Heavy: An American Memoir Reviews

  • Rachel Smalter Hall
    Oct 02, 2018
    If you like memoirs where the author rips their heart out of their chest and leaves it beating on the floor, great, because we have so much to talk about. Kiese Laymon's new memoir has left me totally speechless, but I'm going to try really hard to make words now so I can tell you how ...
  • Roxane
    Apr 16, 2018
    How do you carry the weight of being a black man in America? In electrifying, deliberate prose, Kiese Laymon tries to answer that question from the first page of Heavy: An American Memoir to the last. He writes about what it means to live in a heavy body, in all senses of that word. He...
  • Monica **can't read fast enough**
    Nov 08, 2018
    Heavy is overwhelmingly honest, heart wrenching and written in a stunningly beautiful way. Kiese Laymon not only looks into the mirror and sees himself wholly, he reflects all of the ugly injustice and brutality of our culture. Both as American and as African Americans. The long held a...
  • kelly
    Nov 05, 2018
    Whew, ya'll...there's something in my eyes... This is a beautiful book. In it, writer Kiese Laymon describes growing up as a Black man in America, in the deep South of Mississippi. He discusses physical and sexual abuse as a child, the racism of his school and college years, his tim...
  • Thomas
    Oct 27, 2018
    A brilliant and harrowing memoir about growing up black in America. In a roughly chronological fashion, Kiese Laymon details his coming of age in Mississippi, his college years, and his job as a professor at Vassar College. As a child, he dealt with physical/sexual abuse, and throughou...
  • Jade
    Oct 04, 2018
    As he states right at the beginning of his memoir, Kiese Laymon could have written a lie. He could have sugarcoated and hidden, forgotten, and omitted. But he didn?t, and I?m so glad he told the real raw truth in Heavy. A word of warning: Heavy is going to rip your heart out more t...
  • Kasa Cotugno
    Aug 01, 2018
    What ever choices or challenges you may be forced to make in life, they are NOTHING compared to what it means to exist as a black man in today's America. The implementation of bodycams spawning outrage while watching the evening news, the helplessness at the tragedy felt at a watching,...
  • Wendy Ortiz
    Nov 17, 2018
    One of my favorite books read this year. ...
  • Ellie
    Dec 02, 2018
    Kiese Laymon is unsparing in his reveal of himself, his struggles and those of America, the damage white America does and continues to do to black people. Heavy refers to many burdens: the burden of Laymon's body which he tries to starve away, the heaviness of the lies we tell ours...
  • Evelyn
    Oct 22, 2018
    I inhaled this book! I might change the rating to five stars, but I need to read it two more times to be sure. ...
  • Sarah
    Dec 09, 2018
    Just brilliant. If I was to write a full review of this it'd be jam-packed with all the superlatives. Just go and read it! ...
  • Rachel
    Oct 17, 2018
    This is one of the hardest reviews I've ever attempted to write. Probably because, as my friend Hannah so aptly put it in her own review, this book was not written for me. But that's what was so admirable about it. Kiese Laymon states clearly in the prologue to his memoir that he has n...
  • Jessica Woodbury
    Jun 27, 2018
    At the very beginning of HEAVY, Laymon writes, "I did not want to write to you. I wanted to write a lie." The "you" is Laymon's mother, and the book is, above all else, about the two of them, written with such openly bared love and fear that it feels like intruding on them to read it. ...
  • Andre
    Aug 23, 2018
    Such an aptly titled memoir because it is indeed heavy, not only speaking about his struggles with weight, but also heavy in the literary and impact sense. It is both heady and the words land with real impact on the reader. Kiese Laymon has given us a brutally honest look into his life...
  • Ava Butzu
    Dec 15, 2018
    I don't think I have ever wanted so desperately to re-read a book as much as I want to re-read "Heavy." The author, Kiese Laymon, subtitled his book "An American Memoir," but it could just as easily have been sub-subtitled "A Writer's Memoir." But Laymon is not just any writer. He is a...
  • Robert
    Nov 21, 2018
    This book is lightning and moonglow, but it is also gravity. The title is not a metaphor. While reading it, I felt like I was carrying the weight of centuries of trauma in my bones. I don?t think I?ve ever read a more honest and brutal assessment of a life lived. And yet, Kiese ...
  • Aleatha
    Nov 01, 2018
    I've been waiting on this book all year and it didn't disappoint. ...
  • YupIReadIt
    Oct 22, 2018
    Heavy. ...
  • Jan
    Oct 23, 2018
    Like Sherman Alexie?s You Don?t Have to Say You Love Me, this memoir uses radical honesty and great skill to transform a complex life with a difficult mother into a heart-wrenching personal story that also illustrates the effects of institutional racism. A challenging and important...
  • Alex
    Jan 13, 2019
    3.5 rounded up ...
  • Robert Blumenthal
    Jan 05, 2019
    This is a searing memoir that I could not help comparing to Between the World and Me by Ta Nehisi Coates. Where that memoir was a letter from the author to his teenage son, this one is a letter to his mother. And where the Coates was more intellectual and very well conceived, this one ...
  • Jamise // Spines & Vines
    Jan 07, 2019
    WOW, what a book! How do you call something so heartbreaking BRILLIANT? The writing is stunning, the vulernability on display is breathtaking and the delivery is masterful. There were times that I forgot I was reading a memoir because it reads like the perfect novel. Kiese Laymon d...
  • Michelle
    Nov 05, 2018
    "I wanted to write a lie. You wanted to read a lie. I wrote this to you instead because I am your child, and you are mine. You are also my mother and I am your son. Please do not be mad at me, Mamma. I am just trying to put you where I bend. I am just trying to put us where we bend." ...
  • Michael
    Nov 08, 2018
    My review, as well as my other thoughts on reading, also can be found on my my blog. Following the author's life from his childhood in Jackson, Mississippi, to his teaching position at Vassar College, Kiese Laymon's memoir considers what it means to grow up Black, male, and heavy in...
  • Tucker
    Nov 08, 2018
    The last time I read a memoir as powerful and unforgettable as ?Heavy? by Kiese Laymon was Roxane Gay?s ?Hunger.? So it seems especially appropriate that she would be the one to write the cover blurb for Laymon?s book. ?Heavy is astonishing. Difficult. Intense. Layered....
  • Hannah
    Dec 31, 2018
    I find this memoir near impossible to review for a number of reasons: the book was near impossible to read for me; the book is brilliant; the book is not written for me. If you only take one thing from my review, let it be this: Kiese Laymon is utterly, utterly brilliant. On...
  • C.M. Arnold
    Dec 07, 2018
    I read this book in a day and a half. I became absorbed in it almost instantly. I don't usually read prologues/prefaces/whatever you want to call them, but something told me to read this one. From him telling the reader what he wanted to write--what he did write and scrapped to write t...
  • Meike
    Dec 06, 2018
    Shortlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal and Kirkus Prize Finalist Kiese Laymon writes about his life growing up as a black man in Mississippi and how racism and violence result in lies and addiction - lies to oneself and all loved ones because the truth is too painfully overwhelmin...
  • Reggie
    Dec 10, 2018
    Heavy is a memoir that reads like the best novels. A work of art that warrants plenty discussion and begs for dissection. A book that is a force for radical honesty, sincerity and reckoning in society. Laymon knows that if society as a whole cannot deal with our personal histories with...
  • Morgan
    Jan 11, 2019
    Finishing this book felt like finally releasing a breath I had been holding in for a very long time. When a Goodreads friend told me that the book felt like a roller-coaster ride, after I finished it, I completely agreed. From the first page, I was enticed by Kiese's beautiful way ...