SOME BODY TO LOVE
Published 14th January 2021
What happens when life doesn’t go to plan? From the author of Running Like a Girl and Leap In comes a remarkable memoir about gender, body-image and the re-configuring of her own family
‘Today I sat on a bench facing the sea, the one where I waited for L to be born, and sobbed my heart out. I don’t know if I’ll ever recover.’
This note was written on 9 November 2017. As the seagulls squawked overhead and the sun dipped into the sea, Alexandra Heminsley’s world was turning completely inside out.
Alex’s then-husband was going to transition. The news had been delivered while their baby slept quietly in the next room.
But this vertiginous moment represented only the latest in a series of events that had left Alex feeling more and more dissociated from her own body, turning her into a seemingly unreliable narrator of her own reality.
Some Body to Love is Alex’s profoundly open-hearted memoir about losing her husband but keeping a friend whilst bringing a baby into the world. Its exploration of what it means to have a human body, to feel connected or severed from it, and how we might learn to accept our own, makes it a vital, level-headed contribution to the incendiary debates on body-image and gender.
‘A brave, thoughtful and timely book – calming and inspiring on our different relationships with our bodies, and vitally compassionate on trans rights’ Naomi Alderman
‘Insightful and wise, generous and kind’ David Nicholls
‘A treatise on empathy and grace in extraordinary circumstances’ Jojo Moyes
‘A book about how a personal crisis caused someone to open up rather than shut down . . . really admirable and carefully done . . . on bodies, families, gender identity, bravery’ Amy Liptrot
‘Wise, kind, funny, sad and beautifully written. Everyone who occupies a human body should read it’ Erin Kelly
‘The most moving and real account of a person’s relationship with their body I have ever read . . . A book with a wild, deep, joyous, tender love of people at its heart’ Emma Jane Unsworth
‘A much needed clarion call for greater empathy, compassion and respect for humanity’ Daisy Buchanan
‘Alexandra Heminsley understands what it is to be a woman in a world that judges us, our bodies, and the experience of these bodies, in every way and at all times . . . Charting her journey to her own body through loss, heartache and trauma, alongside love, friendship and hope, she suggests that each of us might find our own way to embody our deepest truths, and that we might do so with generosity to others on their own journey’ Stella Duffy
‘It took my breath away . . . It’s such a beautiful book, so full of compassion and kindness even in its furious honesty . . . You are going to love it’ Bryony Gordon
‘A raw, heartbreaking, uplifting memoir about reinvention, being a woman and love in all its forms. An important book, beautifully written’ Kate Davies, author of In at the Deep End
‘This memoir is going to change a lot of people’s lives, and I think it’s going to change the conversation’ Damian Barr, Big Scottish Book Club
‘A gorgeous open-hearted read but also a vital, instructive one’ Caroline Sanderson, Bookseller
‘Fabulous. Sensitively and cleverly written’ Judy Murray