Book Review: BODY TALK: 37 VOICES EXPLORE OUR RADICAL ANATOMY Edited by Kelly Jensen

BODY TALK shares a variety of people’s unique stories with their bodies.

Every body is different.

Sometimes, we see our bodies as our friends, and sometimes it feels as though they betray us. But we learn to live with its beauty and with its challenges because it’s the only one we’ve got.

Kelly Jensen and three dozen other voices share their individual stories with their bodies in Body Talk. The authors who contributed to the anthology range from writers to actors to models, and beyond. The chapters come in the form of essays, lists, and artwork and cover a wide array of topics like scoliosis, cancer, transexuality, and saliva.

Body Talk caught my eye because I’ve always been curious to hear people’s stories through their own words–or through their own forms of expression. I was, unsurprisingly, enriched by each author’s tale. I appreciated them for sharing details about a subject–the human body–that is somehow seen as taboo (which is ridiculous because humans are corporeal beings). Not only were the variety of perspectives enjoyable to read, they were truly educational. I learned about diseases and conditions I didn’t know (much) about before. I was given a brief, but authentic, look into cultures and identities I have no personal experience with. By the time I finished reading, I had even more respect for those who are different than I am–for who they are, for what they’ve gone through.

I anticipated Body Talk to be all about “body positivity.” While the novel certainly encourages readers to see themselves in a fond light, it’s also realistic. Loving one’s body is often not a 24/7/365 luxury. I really responded to that idea. Some days, it’s downright difficult to love yourself in the way you’re expected to, and many of the authors acknowledge those feelings. A few stories are even what I would classify as “dark,” which may be something to consider if you’re thinking about picking up the book. Personally, I was grateful for those pieces, because the authors were not afraid to cut to the bone. Heck, I’d go as far as saying I considered them especially brave.

RATING: 4.5 OUT OF 5 STARS

Body Talk: 37 Voices Explore Our Radical Anatomy is available to order now via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Bookshop.

Body Talk cover

It’s time to bare it all about bodies!

We all experience the world in a body, but we don’t usually take the time to explore what it really means to have and live within one. Just as every person has a unique personality, every person has a unique body, and every body tells its own story.

In Body Talk, thirty-seven writers, models, actors, musicians, and artists share essays, lists, comics, and illustrations—about everything from size and shape to scoliosis, from eating disorders to cancer, from sexuality and gender identity to the use of makeup as armor. Together, they contribute a broad variety of perspectives on what it’s like to live in their particular bodies—and how their bodies have helped to inform who they are and how they move through the world.

Come on in, turn the pages, and join the celebration of our diverse, miraculous, beautiful bodies! 

90%
90%
An informative, enjoyable read
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20-something. TV addict. Reader. Writer.

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