Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative

Melissa Febos
Published in 2022
by Catapult

“These essays are attempts to describe the ways that writing is integrated into the fundamental movements of my life: political, corporeal, spiritual, psychological, and social,” writes Melissa Febos in the author’s note of Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative, a collection of four essays on the emotional and physical work of writing about one’s own life. Febos mixes anecdotes from her own experiences—in academia as a writing professor and with addiction and sex work—with a thorough exploration of how to write about the body, the difficulties in writing about intimate relationships, and what it means for a writer’s personal essays to be dismissed as “navel-gazing.” While exemplifying the power of personal narratives, Febos offers candid advice, lessons, dangers, and possibilities for all writers seeking the courage to tell their own stories. “Write your life,” writes Febos. “Let this book be a totem of permission, encouragement, proof, whatever you need it to be.” 


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Author: fmarquez

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  • March 29, 2022