The Broken Plate Recommends

Heavy: an American Memoir by Hailey Beaty

The Broken Plate is a literary magazine that seeks to uplift and talk about voices that often go unrepresented.. We want to draw attention to these voices and the people behind them as well as the lives that have shaped them. In Heavy: an American Memoir, Kiese Laymon talks about his life and his experiences. We start from when he was a young boy and follow him through high school and college and into his career. He talks about what he learned at school both from his teachers and from his peers, past girlfriends, his struggle with weight, dieting, and working out, as well as all the issues he went through with his family. He reflects on the decisions he has made throughout his life and how he has become the man he is today.

This book is an incredible read and as Kiese Laymon talks about his own troubles, we can see the problems his friends and family are going through as well. This book gave me lots of insight into Kiese’s life as a black man, something that I could never truly understand myself, and helped me see his struggles and understand that many other people probably go through very similar things. While reading this, you can also see the different voices and languages he uses around people; he shows us what he is like with family, friends, and colleagues. We got to see so many different versions of him throughout his life, and with each version came a different voice.

At the Broken Plate we search for stories like this, ones that tell people about unique experiences and offer insight and knowledge on how other people experience life and deal with the problems that inevitably arise. Kiese uses his many voices to tell about his experiences throughout life and document how he has evolved and conquered whatever was thrown at him. There is a vulnerability in this book that makes readers connect with Kiese as he tells his story, and this is the type of vulnerability we want to highlight, not only to get these often repressed stories into the world, but also to let those who can relate know that there are people out there who have made it and that they can too.