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Black is the Body

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

Emily Bernard



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04 May 2021
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 addressing racism and cultural change in a fearlessly honest way.

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.

What readers are saying- 'Perspective changing essays'
'A page-turner - full of empathy, love, and insight'
'I raced through this'
'I loved it'
'Exquisitely crafted'
'Essential reading'
'I couldn't put it down'
'Beautifully written. A must read for all races'
'I loved everything about this book'
Imprint:   Doubleday
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 216mm,  Width: 135mm,  Spine: 18mm
Weight:   240g
ISBN:   9780857527851
ISBN 10:   0857527851
Pages:   240
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Emily Bernard is the Julian Lindsay Green and Gold Professor of English at the University of Vermont. She holds a B A and a PhD in American Studies from Yale University. Bernard has received fellowships from the Alphonse A. Fletcher Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the MacDowell Colony, the Vermont Arts Council, and the W. E. B. DuBois Institute at Harvard University. Her first book, Remember Me to Harlem- The Letters of Langston Hughes and Carl Van Vechten, which, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Bernard's work has appeared in Harper's, O Magazine, Oxford American, The Yale Review, The New Republic, and the American Scholar.

Reviews for Black is the Body: Stories From My Grandmother's Time, My Mother's Time, and Mine

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 *

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