Named a top book of 2019 by TIME, New York Times Book Review, New York Public Library, Chicago Tribune, and more
Finalist, National Book Award
Winner of the Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize
As featured by The Daily Show, NPR, PBS, CBC, Time, VIBE, Entertainment Weekly, Well-Read Black Girl, and Chris Hayes, “incisive, witty, and provocative essays” (Publishers Weekly) by one of the “most bracing thinkers on race, gender, and capitalism of our time” (Rebecca Traister), now in paperback
“Thick is sure to become a classic.” —The New York Times Book Review
In eight highly praised treatises on beauty, media, money, and more, Tressie McMillan Cottom—award-winning professor and acclaimed author of Lower Ed—is unapologetically “thick”: deemed “thick where I should have been thin, more where I should have been less,” McMillan Cottom refuses to shy away from blending the personal with the political, from bringing her full self and voice to the fore of her analytical work. Thick “transforms narrative moments into analyses of whiteness, black misogyny, and status-signaling as means of survival for black women” (Los Angeles Review of Books) with “writing that is as deft as it is amusing” (Darnell L. Moore).
This “transgressive, provocative, and brilliant” (Roxane Gay) collection cements McMillan Cottom’s position as a public thinker capable of shedding new light on what the “personal essay” can do. She turns her chosen form into a showcase for her critical dexterity, investigating everything from Saturday Night Live, LinkedIn, and BBQ Becky to sexual violence, infant mortality, and Trump rallies.
Collected in an indispensable volume that speaks to the everywoman and the erudite alike, these unforgettable essays never fail to be “painfully honest and gloriously affirming” and hold “a mirror to your soul and to that of America” (Dorothy Roberts).
Tressie McMillan Cottom is an associate professor of sociology at Virginia Commonwealth Universityand the author of Lower Ed. Her work has been featured by The Daily Show, the New York Times, the Washington Post, PBS, NPR, Fresh Air, and The Atlantic, among others. In 2020, McMillan Cottom was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. She lives in Richmond, Virginia.
"Thick is sure to become a classic of black intellectualism, one that ought to be read not only in African-American and gender studies departments across the country, although its lens is irrefutably and irresistibly black and feminist. It should be required reading for anyone interested in making 'trust black women' more than a hollow social media mantra." -- The New York Times Book Review
"Cottom's intersectionality is merely the work of a writer seeing the world clearly and deeply, and connecting the dots in fresh and revealing ways." -- Chicago Tribune
"Thick confirms McMillan Cottom as one of our most fearless public intellectuals and one of the most vital." -- Literary Hub, "The 10 Best Essay Collections of the Decade"
"Thick gets into the messiness of US culture, exposing what Americans want to say but are sometimes too afraid or too unaware to say. . . . In essence, this book is about the compromises we make for the sake of control." -- Christian Century
"Incisive, witty, and provocative essays. . . . The collection showcases McMillan Cottom's wisdom and originality and amply fulfills her aim of telling powerful stories that become a problem for power." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
[P] New Press / October 01, 2019
0.8" H x 8.4" L x 5.4" W (0.65 lbs) 256 pages