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Animal Bodies

On Death, Desire, and Other Difficulties

Suzanne Roberts

Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Imprint: University of Nebraska Press
Published: 03/2022
Pages: 252
Subject: Biography and Autobiography
eBook ISBN: 9781496231871


How do we reckon with our losses? In Animal Bodies Suzanne Roberts explores the link between death and desire and what it means to accept our own animal natures, the parts we most often hide, deny, or consider only with shame our taboo desires and our grief. In landscapes as diverse as Salamanca's cobbled streets, the Mekong River's floating markets, Fire Island's windswept beaches, Nashville's honky-tonks, and the Sierra Nevada's snowy slopes, Roberts interrogates her memory and tries to make sense of her own private losses (deaths of people and relationships), as well as more public losses, including a mass shooting in her hometown and environmental devastation in the Amazon rainforest. With lyricism, insight, honesty, and dark humor, these essays illuminate the sometimes terrible beauty of what it means to be human, deepening the conversation on death and grief, sexuality, and the shame that comes from surviving the world in a female body with all of its complexities.


Suzanne Roberts is the author of Bad Tourist: Misadventures in Love and Travel (Nebraska, 2020), Almost Somewhere: Twenty-Eight Days on the John Muir Trail (Bison Books, 2012), and four collections of poetry. Visit her website:


"Personal and heartwrenching, the essays of Animal Bodies concern control and surrender."?Dontan? Mcpherson-Joseph,?Foreword Reviews

"In Animal Bodies, Suzanne Roberts offers surprising insight, both intimate and universal, into death, desire, and how we all move through this difficult world. Her essays are ruthless, beautiful, graceful, and endlessly fascinating. A wonderful book."?Dinty W. Moore, author of Between Panic and Desire ?

"Suzanne Roberts's essays are eloquent and vibrantly imaginative. They are lyrical in the best sense: the language is rhythmic, pulsing on the page, but never poeticized, flowery, or vague. Roberts's wisdom and humor are evident throughout. I so welcome a collection of her essays, all in one place."?Carolyn Forch?, author of What You Have Heard Is True ?