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Summary

Kiese Laymon grew up a hard-headed black son to a complicated and brilliant black mother in Jackson, Mississippi. From his early experiences of sexual violence, to his suspension from college, to his career as a young college professor, Laymon charts his complex relationship with his mother, grandmother, abuse, anorexia, obesity, sex, writing and ultimately gambling. 

In Heavy, by attempting to name secrets and lies that he and his mother spent a lifetime avoiding, Laymon asks himself, his mother, his nation and us to confront the terrifying possibility that few know how to love responsibly, and even fewer want to live under the weight of actually becoming free. 

A defiant yet vulnerable memoir that Laymon started writing when he was 11, Heavy is an insightful exploration of weight, identity, art, friendship and family.

©2018 Kiese Laymon (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about Heavy

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This book is ‘Heavy’

I wanted to write a lie, you wanted to read a lie’... Layman’s book is ‘Heavy’!!!! Here is a memoir demonstrating the struggles of a black child / man growing up in America. His inner struggles with his self image, his addictions, his complex relationship with his Mother which seems to underpin the books narrative. At times I felt sad by his explanations of his childhood, adolescence and even as a man with his mother’s emotional ‘control’ she asserted over him. Here is a soul which is obviously very troubled but it is a memoir worth reading

10 people found this helpful

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Incredibly powerful, hard hitting autobiographical account of love and shame

“I wanted to write a lie” and so begins the truth of Kiese’s life. It’s a powerful account of Kiese’s life: of shame, addiction, eating disorder, and family.. On growing up “heavy” and black, of being loved and shamed and made fearful at the same time . It’s also a powerful political polemic on the structural racism that exists.

I loved it, a hugely compelling read, totally transfixing.

4 people found this helpful

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Phenomenal

Phenomenal. This is one of those books that will stay with you. It will seep into your soul.

3 people found this helpful

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not what is normally listen to..

this is an incredible book.
I'm not sure what I was expecting when I bought it, but what I found was incredible and really pulled me in.
I'm not sure how to categorise it, obviously a memoir but it contains so many different elements.
I wish I could be as eloquent as Kiese in writing this review!

give it a listen, you won't be disappointed.

2 people found this helpful

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Monotonous narration

Impossible to listen to. Monotonous narration read at a dreary pace. Couldn't listen to this.

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Amazing

The narration by the author takes it from being a great book to amazing. I'm so happy that Iistened to it. Deep, heartbreaking, honest, wise.

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an honest a account of life

sad and triumphant in over coming all obsticals to achieve and become a brilliant writer

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A wonderful book

This book brings to life the struggles black men (and women) face in America more than anything else I've read, watched or listened to.

I found the unique writing and narration style difficult at first but once my brain caught up, it made Kiese's experiences come alive.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 14-02-19

Beautiful

An articulate, honest story of a brilliant black man navigating his black body,mind and soul in America... Heartfelt... and oh so beautifully written... tackles hard topic of pain caused by those who love us the most but are just as broken...