Body Language edited by Nicole Chung and Matt Ortile
A kaleidoscopic anthology of essays published by Catapult magazine about the stories our bodies tell, and how we move within—and against—expectations of race, gender, health, and ability.
On sale July 12, 2022 • ISBN: 9781646221318
Bodies are serious, irreverent, sexy, fragile, strong, political, and inseparable from our experiences and identities as human beings. Pushing the dialogue and challenging monolithic myths, this collection of essays tackles topics like weight, ability, desire, fertility, illness, and the embodied experience of race in deep, challenging ways.
Selected from the archives of Catapult magazine, the essays in Body Language affirm and challenge the personal and political conversations around human bodies from the perspectives of thirty writers diverse in race, age, gender, size, sexuality, health, ability, geography, and class—a brilliant group probing and speaking their own truths about their bodies and identities, refusing to submit to others’ expectations about how their bodies should look, function, and behave.
Covering a wide range of experiences—from art modeling as a Black woman to nostalgia for a brutalizing high school sport, from the frightening upheaval of cancer diagnoses to the small beauties of funeral sex—this collection is intelligent, sensitive, and unflinchingly candid. Through the power of personal narratives, as told by writers at all stages of their careers, Body Language reflects how, as we evolve as people, so do the ways we celebrate and inhabit our bodies.
Featuring essays by A.E. Osworth, Andrea Ruggirello, Aricka Foreman, Austin Gilkeson, Bassey Ikpi, Bryan Washington, Callum Angus, Destiny O. Birdsong, Eloghosa Osunde, Forsyth Harmon, Gabrielle Bellot, Haley Houseman, Hannah Walhout, Jenny Tinghui Zhang, Jess Zimmerman, Kaila Philo, Karissa Chen, Kayla Whaley, Maggie Tokuda-Hall, Marcos Gonsalez, Marisa Crane, Melissa Hung, Natalie Lima, Nina Riggs, Rachel Charlene Lewis, Ross Showalter, s.e. smith, Sarah McEachern, Taylor Harris, and Toni Jensen.
Praise for Body Language
"Body Language is a wide-ranging, heart-rending, hope-generating collection of stories. From disordered eating to athleticism to disability, it was impossible to turn away from these intimate and astute offerings. There is nothing more ordinary than living in a body, but so much about it can remain unspoken. This book, then, is a revelation, treasured company that I'll keep with me always." —Melissa Febos, author of Girlhood
"Body Language imagines into the quakes of the body—its pains, shifts, memories, wounds. The collection of voices here is expansive and explosive, insightful and powerful, touching everywhere from funeral sex to breath, football to transitioning, the embodied danger of gender and identity to dancing. A joy to read." —Ingrid Rojas Contreras, author of Fruit of the Drunken Tree
NICOLE CHUNG is the author of All You Can Ever Know, a contributing writer and editor at The Atlantic, and Catapult’s former digital editorial director.
MATT ORTILE is the author of The Groom Will Keep His Name and Catapult's digital managing editor.