Weightless: Making Space for My Resilient Body and Soul (Hardcover)
December 2022 Indie Next List
“Dionne’s essays cover fat-shaming, plus-size characters, love and sex, the pain of weight loss due to illness, and weight-discrimination legislation. Based both on research and her own experiences, there’s much here to think about.”
— Susan Posch, The Book Shoppe (IA), Boone, IA
A poignant and ruthlessly honest journey through cultural expectations of size, race, and gender—and toward a brighter future—from National Book Award nominee Evette Dionne
My body has not betrayed me; it has continued rebounding against all odds. It is a body that others map their expectations on, but it has never let me down.
In this insightful, funny, and whip-smart book, acclaimed writer Evette Dionne explores the minefields fat Black woman are forced to navigate in the course of everyday life. From her early experiences of harassment to adolescent self-discovery in internet chatrooms to diagnosis with heart failure at age twenty-nine, Dionne tracks her relationships with friendship, sex, motherhood, agoraphobia, health, pop culture, and self-image.
Along the way, she lifts back the curtain to reveal the subtle, insidious forms of surveillance and control levied at fat women: At the doctor’s office, where any health ailment is treated with a directive to lose weight. On dating sites, where larger bodies are rejected or fetishized. On TV, where fat characters are asexual comedic relief. But Dionne’s unflinching account of our deeply held prejudices is matched by her fierce belief in the power of self-love.
An unmissable portrait of a woman on a journey toward understanding our society and herself, Weightless holds up a mirror to the world we live in and asks us to imagine the future we deserve.
About the Author
Evette Dionne is a journalist, an editor, and a pop-culture critic. She is the National Book Award–nominated author of Lifting as We Climb: Black Women’s Battle for the Ballot Box, a middle- grade nonfiction book about Black women suffragists. Her work has appeared in Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Time, the New York Times, the Guardian, and Teen Vogue, among other publications. A graduate of Bennett College, Dionne is based in Denver, where she works as the executive editor of YES! Media.
“Vulnerable, richly detailed…. Incisive and gratifying…. [Dionne’s] book is to be taken as an ‘excavation’ by someone who is, by her own admission, a work in progress. This, too, is a gift of “Weightless”: the chance to witness what it looks like to do the hard, continuing work of self-inquiry in pursuit of a better world.” — New York Times Book Review
“The brilliant Evette Dionne's newest masterpiece discusses life as a fat Black woman and the way that shapes experiences…. Dionne is a spectacular writer, and this book is a necessary addition to shelves.” — Buzzfeed
"It’s clear that Evette Dionne’s pen carries power…. The masterful Dionne is back with an exciting memoir, Weightless, that will surely resonate as she navigates such topics as self-image, societal expectations of women’s bodies, family, and more…. Dionne’s reflections and analyses read like a caring friend who helps one realize that they deserve to love every facet of their being.” — Shondaland
“Dionne’s careful recounting of her own story in Weightless adds particular expertise and nuance to the topic of fat identity….Reading the story of her lifelong work around self-acceptance and body peace is an emotional yet energizing experience.” — Vogue
“Dionne lifts the veil on the subtle and insidious ways in which society seeks to control and oppress fat women, particularly Black women and young girls. But Dionne's debut memoir is also a reminder to choose joy.” — USA Today
"Journalist and award-winning author Evette Dionne examines America’s relationship with fatness, deftly exploring how fatphobia—particularly as it pertains to Black women and girls—invades everything from our schools to our health care system…. [Dionne] shares her vision for a more dignified fat future." — Essence
“Vibrant, intimate, and intelligent, this book lays down the unapologetic demand that women of size finally be allowed ‘to be fat in plain sight.’ A provocatively necessary collection.” — Kirkus Review
“Dionne examines fatphobia in America in these sharp essays…. Crackling with conviction, this is an urgent call for change.” — Publishers Weekly
"Dionne takes readers on a personal and political journey." — Yes! Magazine
“Evette Dionne braids the personal with the political in Weightless, breaking down society’s beliefs about fat people and advocating for new standards that allow them to thrive…. A testament to resilience and an offering of realistic optimism…. Her assertion of liberation for fat people brings us one important step closer to achieving it.” — BookPage
“Weightless is the book that I'm going to tell people to read if they want a deeper understanding of what it's like to live in a fat, Black body. Evette has written a quintessential text for the book club, the academy, and political sciences section. She has approached this book with the same expansiveness and intersectionality that fatness embodies. It's important, honest, and good as hell.” — Sesali Bowen, author of Bad Fat Black Girl
“Weightless is a triumphant, unique, and necessary work. Evette’s talent is a gift to the world, which she uses in this book to tackle fatphobia in ways that are brilliantly relatable, passionately intersectional, and unapologetically Black. A must read.” — Frederick Joseph, New York Times bestselling author of Patriarchy Blues
“Weightless pulls you in and refuses to let you go. It’s a captivating journey of acceptance that anyone can find a part of themselves in. Evette Dionne’s writing is clear, sharp, and knowledgeable yet there remains a tenderness that welcomes readers to sit with the uncomfortable but honest truths within. Weightless challenges readers to think about the ways we navigate beauty— who we criticize, who we praise, and why. Not only does Weightless move you to examine your heart, literally and metaphorically, but it will also make you grateful to have read such well-crafted generosity of spirit.”
— Nichole Perkins, author of Sometimes I Trip on How Happy We Could Be