So began a process that, over time, became familiar: every other week, then every week, I turned inward, asking myself, Can I tell the truth about one more thing? Can I tell the truth about how afraid I am of using the word disabled? About my weird taste in music? About the time I was sexually harassed? About the way a global pandemic feels right now? About graduating into this world? Over and over again, I curved inward and brought something out into the light.
– Liddy Grantland
Telling the truth about yourself and the world around you is the most terrifying thing and also a salvation. This duality is the beating pulse that runs through Flesh & Bones: Learning to Love this Body, making room for other dualities to explore within its pages: before and after, pain and pleasure, earthly and divine.
Register here to hear Grantland read from her new book Thursday, December 9, 2021.
During her senior year at Duke University in 2019-2020, writer Liddy Grantland published a weekly column in the Duke student newspaper called “Feel Your Feelings.” It was a phrase she often said to friends who were hurting, and a phrase she also learned to say to herself. The column centered around living with chronic pain, and the ways it has shaped Grantland’s identity in the many communities she has inhabited. The columns have now been compiled and updated in this lovely volume.
With an essayist’s critical eye, the self becomes a lens through which to talk about the world at large, covering an expanse of subjects ranging from identity and the body, to the medical system and the church. A volunteer shift at the Ronald McDonald House becomes a way for Grantland to acknowledge her parents’ grief. Moving into a dorm room pushes her toward acceptance of her own limitations.
Grantland brings her whole self to this work, balancing the lightness and the heaviness of being human so deftly that the reader won’t be sure which is which. It is a powerfully validating compilation of essays with an unmistakable voice that stands firm in the midst of complex questions about what it means to be a woman in the world living alongside pain. It blanketed me in hope and challenged me to look at the darkness of the world with clarity and ask, “We know what the world is, but what can it be?” It is essential reading for anyone with a body.
Cost: Free. Registration is required.
Purchase the book: HERE.
Register: HERE. Registrants will receive a Zoom link in the automated ticket confirmation.