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Body Work

Unabridged   8 hour(s)
Publication date: 03/15/2022

NPR Best Books of 2022
Most Anticipated Book by Bustle
Most Anticipated Book by Marie Claire

Body Work

The Radical Power of Personal Narrative

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Digital Download ISBN:9781696608084


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).

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Product Description

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.


“Whip-smart . . . Shrewd takes on the intersection of craft and life . . . This is a wonder.” —Publishers Weekly Starred and boxed review

"Crucial . . . Sharp insights from a passionate practitioner and champion of memoir." —Kirkus Starred Review

"A book for both writers and readers who feel like their bodies are telling stories . . . Wide-ranging in its theoretical and historical breadth yet intimate in all ways, Febos’s book offers the tools readers need to identify, access, process, and articulate hard-won stories of trauma and of love that their flesh holds." —Library Journal Starred Review

Author Bio

Melissa Febos is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Whip Smart and the essay collections Abandon Me (a LAMBDA Literary Award finalist) and Girlhood. The recipient of an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, she is an associate professor at the University of Iowa, where she teaches in the Nonfiction Writing Program.