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Heavy

An American Memoir
Narrated by: Kiese Laymon
Length: 6 hrs and 17 mins
5 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

Non-member price: $22.78

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Publisher's 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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Brilliant.

This chronicled account of how mental health, socioeconomic impact, and abuse can shape and influence the way the Black American child internalizes and can fall into the cyclical trap of illness/addiction, poverty and systematic oppression through the caveat of repeated devaluation from their predisposition to fail, demonstrates and takes the reader through what could be reduced to a skin tightening ‘epilogical’ reference of the protagonists struggles. Very well written and titled.

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Powerful and beautiful

Poetic, lyrical and emotionally raw - this is a beautifully written life story, and even more beautifully narrated by the man whose story it is.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 14-02-2019

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...

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  • B N Moore
  • 12-01-2020

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

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  • SuzanneLDobson
  • 27-06-2020

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.