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 ...

DownloadRead Online
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

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    Jan 21, 2019
    I've struggled with this book - reading it, reviewing it - for a host of reasons. There has been a lot of discussion in Instagram about white people reading black memoirs and adding to the audience of suffering. I haven't participated in the discussion but I have been following it to a...
  • jo
    Feb 10, 2019
    i read this in three days and i am a slow reader. i am a bit shell-shocked. i feel i've been thrown into the spin cycle of the washing machine i don't have and kept there for 72 hours. i also feel tremendously humbled. i cannot say anything about this book because i'm not black and i'm...
  • britt_brooke
    Feb 02, 2019
    This often poetic memoir reads as an open letter to Laymon?s mother. She always taught him not to excuse mediocrity. That as a black man he had to try harder, work harder. That he had to articulate his words. Yet, in her strict teachings, she overstepped boundaries. This is about the...
  • 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...
  • Darlene
    Feb 04, 2019
    I have been attempting to write a review for this memoir, 'Heavy: An American Memoir' by Kiese Laymon for about a week. I can't explain why I've been having such a difficult time finding the words to describe this book and my feelings about it, especially since I consider it one of the...
  • 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...
  • Wendy Ortiz
    Nov 17, 2018
    One of my favorite books read this year. ...
  • 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. ...
  • Dianne
    Mar 20, 2019
    ?Heavy? is a??well, a very heavy memoir. Kiese Laymon recounts his life growing up in a dysfunctional home as the heavyset black son of an exacting and troubled single mother in a Jackson, Mississippi. His mother is highly educated and demands excellence from her only son. S...
  • 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...
  • Diane S ☔
    Jan 22, 2019
    "I wanted to write a lie I wanted that lie to be titillating. I wrote that lie. It was titillating. You would have loved it. I discovered nothing. You would have loved it. I started over and wrote what we hoped I'd forget." So begins this letter, memoir that Laymon writes for...
  • 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...
  • Aleatha
    Nov 01, 2018
    I've been waiting on this book all year and it didn't disappoint. ...
  • Lisa
    Feb 16, 2019
    [4+] Kiese Laymon writes about his experiences with such immediacy that I felt as if I knew him when he was 9, 10, 16, 18, 21, 30 etc. There is no distance, he is living it on the pages. He shares the heaviness of his complicated relationship with his mother, his body, the white world ...
  • 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...
  • Kate ☀️ Olson
    Sep 16, 2018
    This memoir via audio felt like I, as the listener, was absorbing punch after punch after punishing blow. No relenting. Laymon addresses his words to his mother, and speaks TO her. That means in my ears, I heard him addressing ME. I was the one who beat him as a child. I was the one wh...
  • Gabriella
    Feb 16, 2019
    WHAT IN THE WORLD. I am truly not (yet? ever?) ready to say anything smart about this one. Heavy is the sort of memoir that you don't feel "done" with, even after reaching the last page, and it strips away the notion that you will find words anywhere close to as precise as the author's...
  • 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...
  • Kimberly Dawn
    Apr 03, 2019
    Love truth even if it hurts you. - African proverb Kiese Laymon will always carry with him some HEAVY burdens. The brilliant, brutally honest account of the pain Kiese suffered by growing up black in Mississippi, and still suffers, being black in America. His personal story ...
  • 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...
  • Chelsea A
    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...
  • Deb Jones
    Apr 09, 2019
    I'm always interested in learning about other people's perspectives and life experiences. Heavy answered those needs for me in a very real way. Author Kiese Laymon seems to have laid bare his childhood, adolescence and early adulthood in ways that I'm not sure I'd be forthcoming enough...
  • Meike
    Dec 06, 2018
    Now Winner of the Carnegie Medal for Nonfiction - well-deserved!! 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 overwhelming ...
  • 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...