PREORDER FOR MARCH 15, 2022
“Febos is known for work that unearths, sifts, and plants the seeds of her identity as a former pro-domme, a former addict, a bullied girl, a queer woman, etc. within the larger framework of society. This time, in four short essays, she turns her focus on Writer as identity.
Part craft book and part personal narrative, each essay is rife with the assured brilliance and understated nuance that only comes from doing the deep work—the necessity of which these essays demand.
This is a book for the observers, the people among us who exist outside of themselves a little, just enough to more clearly see both themselves and the people around them.”
Memoir meets craft masterclass in this “daring, honest, psychologically insightful” exploration of how we think and write about intimate experiences—“a must read for anybody shoving a pen across paper or staring into a screen or a past” (Mary Karr)
In this bold and exhilarating mix of memoir and master class, Melissa Febos tackles the emotional, psychological, and physical work of writing intimately while offering an utterly fresh examination of the storyteller’s life and the questions which run through it.
How might we go about capturing on the page the relationships that have formed us? How do we write about our bodies, their desires and traumas? What does it mean for an author’s way of writing, or living, to be dismissed as “navel-gazing”—or else hailed as “so brave, so raw”? And to whom, in the end, do our most intimate stories belong?
Drawing on her own path from aspiring writer to acclaimed author and writing professor—via addiction and recovery, sex work and academia—Melissa Febos has created a captivating guide to the writing life, and a brilliantly unusual exploration of subjectivity, privacy, and the power of divulgence. Candid and inspiring, Body Work will empower readers and writers alike, offering ideas—and occasional notes of caution—to anyone who has ever hoped to see themselves in a story.