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Distributed for Autumn House Press

Limited by Body Habitus

An American Fat Story

Distributed for Autumn House Press

Limited by Body Habitus

An American Fat Story

Jennifer Renee Blevins’s debut memoir, Limited by Body Habitus: An American Fat Story, sheds light on her experiences living with the emotional and psychological struggles of taking up space in a fat-phobic world. Bringing together experiences of personal and national trauma, Blevins adeptly weaves the tale of her father’s gastric bypass surgery and subsequent prolonged health crisis with the environmental catastrophe of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Blevins looks to each of these events as a “leak” of American society’s pitfalls and shortcomings. These intertwined narratives, both disasters that could have been avoided, reveal points of failure in our systems of healthcare and environmental conservation.
Incorporating pieces from her life, such as medical transcripts and quotes from news programs, Blevins composes a mosaic of our modern anxieties. Even through despair, she finds hope in mending broken relationships and shows us how we can flourish as individuals and as a nation despite our struggles. Fierce and haunting, this memoir creates a space of narrative through body, selfhood, family, and country.

192 pages | 6 x 8 1/2

Biography and Letters

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"While many readers will be familiar with her argument that fat people are unfairly pathologized and held liable for their fatness, her father’s medical records (used with his permission) offer new and concrete examples of how discrimination against fat patients occurs at the level of grammar, how those tiny building blocks add up to a wall of disparagement."

Times Literary Supplement

Limited by Body Habitus is a searing and honest memoir that made me reconsider everything I thought I knew about the ‘obesity epidemic’ in the United States. Blevins masterfully brings together cultural criticism, hard numbers, and her own family’s story to reveal the extent to which the obesity epidemic continues to be manufactured and misunderstood. This is no manifesto, however. Blevins takes herself to task, too, and readers are left with a poignant memoir about a father who becomes a best friend, a family that is forever altered by a medical crisis, and a daughter who wonders if, as Blevins writes: ‘our bodies remember what we do to them.’”

Daisy Hernández, author of A Cup of Water Under My Bed

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