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  • Published: 11 February 2021
  • ISBN: 9781473591844
  • Imprint: Transworld Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 240

Black is the Body

Stories From My Grandmother's Time, My Mother's Time, and Mine




Described by Anne Patchett as 'life-changing', with fans such as Elizabeth Gilbert and tipped by Oprah Magazine as 'formidable and destined to be studied... the emergence of an extraordinary voice on race', Emily Bernard weaves a powerfully penetrating story of one woman's life, while addressingracism and cultural change in a fearlessly honest way.

A New Statesman essential non-fiction read of 2021
'Everybody should read [this]' Stylist

"Blackness is an art, not a science. It is a paradox: intangible and visceral; a situation and a story. It is the thread that connects these essays, but its significance as an experience emerges randomly, unpredictably. . . . Race is the story of my life, and therefore black is the body of this book."

In twelve intensely personal, interconnected essays, Emily Bernard sets out to tell stories from her life that enable her to talk about truth, race, family and relationships, and much more.

She observes the complexities and paradoxes, the haunting memories and ambushing realities of growing up black in the South with a family name inherited from a white man, of getting a PhD from Yale, of marrying a white man from the North, of adopting two babies from Ethiopia, of teaching at a white college and living in America's New England today.

Ultimately, she shows us that it is in our shared experience of humanity that we find connection, happiness and hope.

  • Published: 11 February 2021
  • ISBN: 9781473591844
  • Imprint: Transworld Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 240

Praise for Black is the Body

Contemplative and compassionate ... Bernard's voice is personable yet incisive in exploring the lived reality of race ... [Her] wisdom and compassion radiate throughout this collection.

Publishers Weekly

Conceived while the author was hospitalized after being stabbed by a white man, these 13 formidable, destined-to-be-studied essays mark the emergence of an extraordinary voice on race in America.

Oprah Magazine

Emily Bernard is a master storyteller. She writes with an honesty and vulnerability that is uncommon. These stories are about what it means to be human-to love, to hurt, to heal. They will make you think, re-think, feel, and grow.

Nana-Ama Danquah, author of Willow Weep for Me: A Black Woman's Journey through Depression

My very favorite book that I have read so far this year...It's really life changing. If you get no other book this year, get Black Is the Body by Emily Bernard.

Ann Patchett

Of the 12 essays here, there's not one that even comes close to being forgettable. Bernard's language is fresh, poetically compact, and often witty ... Bernard proves herself to be a revelatory storyteller of race in America who can hold her own with some of those great writers she teaches.

Maureen Corrigan

I was enthralled by her words, drawn into the tapestries woven by her language that manifest glimpses of her life experiences

Bad Form

Everybody should read it ... Bernard explores heavy, knotty topics ... with extraordinary warmth and nuance

Stylist

Black Is the Body is one of the most beautiful, elegant memoirs I've ever read. It's about race, it's about womanhood, it's about friendship, it's about a life of the mind, and also a life of the body. But more than anything, it's about love. I can't praise Emily Bernard enough for what she has created in these pages

Elizabeth Gilbert

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