Review: The (Other) F Word by Angie Manfredi (ed.)
The (Other) F Word edited by Angie Manfredi
Published by Abrams Books
Add on StoryGraph
I received a copy on Netgalley from the publisher.
The definitive collection of art, poetry, and prose, celebrating fat acceptance
Chubby. Curvy. Fluffy. Plus-size. Thick. Fat. The time has come for fat people to tell their own stories. The (Other) F Word combines the voices of Renée Watson, Julie Murphy, Jes Baker, Samantha Irby, Bruce Sturgell, and more in a relatable and gift-worthy guide about body image and fat acceptance. This dazzling collection of art, poetry, essays, and fashion tips is meant for people of all sizes who desire to be seen and heard in a culture consumed by a narrow definition of beauty. By combining the talents of renowned fat YA and middle-grade authors, as well as fat influencers and creators, The (Other) F Word offers teen readers and activists of all ages a tool for navigating our world with confidence and courage.
The (Other) F Word is an incredible collection of work edited by Angie Manfredi, and filled with an amazing range of illustrations, poetry, and essays from so many different contributors (more that I’ve ever seen in an anthology before). While it is celebratory and encouraging, it acknowledges the real and painful experiences fat people have moving through the world. I got my copy as an egalley, so it didn’t include the final layout, but looking at how gorgeous the finished product online I think I'm going to have to get myself a copy.
I really appreciated the commitment to showing such a diverse range of fat experiences and really, really showing the ways various aspects of identity intersect in your experiences as a fat person. There are so many common factors while showing all the ways these are also unique experiences.
It was such a joy to read, even when it made me cry. There are so many parts that I highlighted, and wrote down. I started a list of which contributions resonated the most but it got too long. A couple I want to mention are: Evette Dionne (who is an excellent follow on twitter) and her fascinating exploration of the history of the fat acceptance movement in America. David Bowles, whose poem Things I Would Tell Eleven -year-old Me made me cry on the bus and Isabel Quintero’s vulnerable and inspiring thoughts in Fat and Thriving
In a world that teaches us ‘fat people don’t deserve dignity’(Bruce Sturgell) the contributions in The (Other) F Word resoundly rejects this message.
I would really recommend reading this if you want a very clear and broad picture of what these experiences are. Some of which I really strongly related to, others which were very far out of my own experience. But overall I felt really enriched by reading this.
NB: I read this in February and my review has been sitting in my drafts for months (I've been unwell and just haven't been reading or writing at all) but it was finished so I've posted as is, but wanted to add I have now ordered myself a paperback copy and I'm super excited Angie Manfredi has tweeted she is looking for contributors for a middle grade anthology!
Angie Manfredi is a librarian and writer who owns every season of Law and Order on DVD and sends over 150 handwritten Valentines every year. She has spent the last 11 years working directly with children and teens of all ages in a public library and now works in library consulting on all things youth services. Angie is fat and not sorry about it. She is a passionate advocate for literacy, diversity, and decolonizing the discourse surrounding children’s literature.
You can follow her online via her website or Twitter.
Rachelle Abellar • Lily Anderson • Jes Baker • Shelby Bergen • David Bowles • Mason Deaver • Ady Del Valle • Evette Dionne • Corissa Enneking • Alex Gino • Jonathan P. Higgins • Sarah Hollowell • Samantha Irby • P.S. Kaguya • Jiji Knight • S. Qiouyi Lu • Hillary Monahan • Miguel M. Morales • Julie Murphy • Isabel Quintero • Adrianne Russell • Jana Schmieding • Amy Spalding • Laina Spencer • Mel Stringer • Bruce Sturgell • Virgie Tovar • Jess Walton • Renée Watson • Saucyé West