Body Language: Writers on Identity, Physicality, and Making Space for Ourselves

Catapult. Jul. 2022. 336p. ed. by Nicole Chung & Matt Ortile. ISBN 9781646221318. pap. $16.95. LIT
This book of essays all about how society sees bodies of all kinds comes from the archives of Catapult magazine. Former Catapult editor Chung and current executive editor Ortile selected works by 30 authors about their bodies and how they interact with the bodies of others. Destiny O. Birdsong’s “Karen Medicine” discusses the lack of understanding of Black female bodies in today’s medical world as she seeks to find a better treatment and diagnosis for her autoimmune disorder. “Counting to Ten Without Numbers” is all about how Sarah McEachern copes with a particular form of learning disability, dyscalculia, which makes numbers meaningless to her. Readers will also learn about writers’ experiences of transitioning, eating disorders, and medical challenges. Each of the essays speaks eloquently about the particular experience of its author, but readers may also recognize something of themselves in the stories.
VERDICT Many readers will be able to identify with at least one of the essays in this wide-ranging collection. Recommended for public libraries and readers who are looking for body positivity resources.
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