Book Club Selection Examines Body Issues During Women’s History Month


Courtesy of Eva Blue

Author Roxane Gay explores her personal struggle with self-image in ‘Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body.’

In an effort to highlight women’s issues during Women’s History Month, San Jacinto College members organized a book club to discuss “Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body” by Roxane Gay, a book exploring the author’s struggle with self-image.

Assessments Manager Dr. Michelle Selk, who worked with History and Mexican American Studies Professor Danielle Bible to form the group, said she hoped to open a dialogue with both men and women addressing the book’s highly sensitive topics.

“This book club selection has the potential to impact anyone who has struggled with weight/body image,” she said, “especially if those individuals were the victims of sexual violence as the two issues can be painfully connected.”

Furthermore, Selk noted, suffering from poor body image or being a victim of sexual assault can lead to hopelessness and isolation, but she hoped affected club participants saw that they, or an impacted person they know, are not alone in their struggles.

“Even if these issues haven’t impacted you directly, many of us, sadly, know someone who has been directly impacted,” she said.

 The club’s meetings took place during March, but Selk said attendance was surprisingly low.  

“So many of us have been impacted by these issues, it’d be great to see more people out there,” she said before the group concluded its scheduled meetings.

In addition to the book club, other College-wide events including film showings, contests, and speaker panels commemorated Women’s History Month. But Selk emphasized the importance of highlighting difficult topics along with past achievements and accomplishments. 

“Events like these are necessary to remind people of the issues that directly impact women,” she said, “and to remind people that women’s history deserves recognition and celebration.”


Other writers contributed to this report.