One Book One Island (August)

Updated: Sep 2, 2020

Over the month of August, we will be reading Heavy by Kiese Laymon. By reading the same book, we hope to stimulate conversations in our community.

In Heavy, Kiese Laymon writes eloquently and honestly about growing up a hard-headed black son to a complicated and brilliant black mother in Jackson, Mississippi. From his early experiences of sexual violence, to his suspension from college, to time in New York as a college professor, Laymon charts his complex relationship with his mother, grandmother, anorexia, obesity, sex, writing, and ultimately gambling. Heavy is a “gorgeous, gutting…generous” (The New York Times) memoir that combines personal stories with piercing intellect to reflect both on the strife of American society and on Laymon’s experiences with abuse. By attempting to name secrets and lies he and his mother spent a lifetime avoiding, he asks us to confront the terrifying possibility that few in this nation actually know how to responsibly love, and even fewer want to live under the weight of actually becoming free.

“A book for people who appreciated Roxane Gay’s memoir Hunger” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel), Heavy is defiant yet vulnerable, an insightful, often comical exploration of weight, identity, art, friendship, and family through years of haunting implosions and long reverberations. “You won’t be able to put [this memoir] down…It is packed with reminders of how black dreams get skewed and deferred, yet are also pregnant with the possibility that a kind of redemption may lie in intimate grappling with black realities” (The Atlantic).


Available for purchase at The Beach Plum and Bake-To-Donate: Saturdays at the FICC outdoor market. Books were purchased through a partnership with Black-owned Burgundy Books in Old Saybrook, CT. Audio and Ebooks also available on various platforms through publisher Simon and Schuster.

Discuss RAIN LOCATION: Under the Fishers Island School Tent

Wednesday Sept 2nd 5:30pm

We will come together as a community to discuss. Wherever you are in the book, please join us. As always, masks and social distancing required.

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