University of Nebraska Press, Paperback, 9780803239852, 248pp.
Publication Date: March 1, 2013
A memoir from the award-winning author of My Lesbian Husband, Barrie Jean Borich's Body Geographic turns personal history into an inspired reflection on the points where place and person intersect, where running away meets running toward, and where dislocation means finding oneself.
One coordinate of Borich's story is Chicago, the prototypical Great Lakes port city built by immigrants like her great-grandfather Big Petar, and the other is her own port of immigration, Minneapolis, the combined skylines of these two cities tattooed on Borich's own back. Between Chicago and Minneapolis Borich maps her own Midwest, a true heartland in which she measures the distance between the dreams and realities of her own life, her family's, and her fellow travelers' in the endless American migration. Covering rough terrain--from the hardships of her immigrant ancestors to the travails of her often-drunk young self, longing to be madly awake in the world, from the changing demographics of midwestern cities to the personal transformations of coming out and living as a lesbian--Body Geographic is cartography of high literary order, plotting routes, real and imagined, and putting an alternate landscape on the map.
"[Body Geographic is] a stunningly original memoir that explores a woman's connection to the real and imagined Midwestern landscapes that have defined her life."—Kirkus starred review
“Body Geographic is as astonishingly original as it is profoundly humane. Barrie Jean Borich writes of the body, the psyche, the land, and real life with a reach so grand and a mastery so definitive it clutches the heart. This is a beautiful, bold, blow-your-mind book.”—Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild
“Body Geographic is dizzying in its inward sweep, daring in its outflung absorption. Barrie Jean Borich tunnels through time, space, sex, and language to give us a new map projection of the North American continent, a distortion that not only clarifies and illuminates but dissolves for good the boundary between personal and public history.”—Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home and Are You My Mother?
“Borich maps place and body, time and space, personal history and the history of the American Midwest, in prose that makes me want to follow her daring journey wherever it leads. A glorious new take on the memoir form.”—Dinty W. Moore, author of Between Panic and Desire
-Dinty W. Moore