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Written to the author's mother, this memoir is beautiful, thought-provoking, and compelling.
Intense. Beautiful. Good education for this white presenting, privileged American female.
Passionate, and intense. The dishonesty and denial that inform all of American society with regard to race shaped Kiese Layman from childhood on. The painful legacy of slavery twists personal growth and relationships among family and friends. Laymon’s mother physically and emotionally abused him; given the context of their lives it is not hard to understand her motives – both conscious and unconscious.
Five stars. This was my favorite book of 2018, and my favorite book for the last many years. It is a beautiful memoir and I highly recommend the audiobook version, as Laymon narrates it himself beautifully. A must read for anyone who has had a mother, which is everyone.
How Laymon was able to get some much emotion into this memoir about his family and the impact of being black had on him is a feat. Not being from the south, not having to have my life reflect the honor of an entire race, knowing that what ever I did was going to meet with success, this was a real eyeopener as to why “Black Lives Matter.”
This immediately reminded me of Roxanne Gay's Hunger. It is a difficult read and several scenes have burned into my mind with such fierce sadness that I will never forget them. Generational poverty, racism and addiction are the themes. If you like Hunger or Between the World and Me you'll like Heavy.
"I did not write about us. I wanted to write an American memoir."
Other books of interest: "Hunger," "The Beautiful Struggle," "There Will Be No Miracles Here," "Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching," pretty much any non-fiction by James Baldwin.