Body Work by Melissa Febos
Memoir meets craft masterclass in this “daring, honest, psychologically insightful” exploration of how we think and write about intimate experiences — “a must read for anybody shoving a pen across paper or staring into a screen or a past." (Mary Karr).
On sale March 15, 2022 • ISBN: 9781646220854
In this bold and exhilarating mix of memoir and master class, Melissa Febos tackles the emotional, psychological, and physical work of writing intimately while offering an utterly fresh examination of the storyteller’s life and the questions which run through it.
How might we go about capturing on the page the relationships that have formed us? How do we write about our bodies, their desires and traumas? What does it mean for an author’s way of writing, or living, to be dismissed as “navel-gazing”—or else hailed as “so brave, so raw”? And to whom, in the end, do our most intimate stories belong?
Drawing on her own path from aspiring writer to acclaimed author and writing professor—via addiction and recovery, sex work and academia—Melissa Febos has created a captivating guide to the writing life, and a brilliantly unusual exploration of subjectivity, privacy, and the power of divulgence. Candid and inspiring, Body Work will empower readers and writers alike, offering ideas—and occasional notes of caution—to anyone who has ever hoped to see themselves in a story.
MELISSA FEBOS is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Whip Smart and two essay collections: Abandon Me, a LAMBDA Literary Award finalist and Publishing Triangle Award finalist, and Girlhood, a National Bestseller. The inaugural winner of the Jeanne Córdova Nonfiction Award from LAMBDA Literary and a four-time MacDowell fellow, she is also the recipient of fellowships from Bread Loaf, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, The BAU Institute at The Camargo Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, The Barbara Deming Foundation, and others. Her essays have appeared in The Paris Review, The Believer, McSweeney’s Quarterly, Granta, Tin House, The Sun, The New York Times Magazine, and elsewhere. She is an associate professor at the University of Iowa, where she teaches in the Nonfiction Writing Program.