Animal Bodies: On Death, Desire, and Other Difficulties


Product Details

$19.95  $18.55
University of Nebraska Press
Publish Date
8.4 X 8.5 X 0.5 inches | 0.6 pounds
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About the Author

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:


"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 Forché, author of What You Have Heard Is True

"No one travels the depths of place and experience more phenomenally than Suzanne Roberts. In these essays that explore being, beauty, desire, death, and our collective animal journeys on the planet, Animal Bodies gathers our questions about life and brings them to the only place where meaning might emerge: adaptation. This book is a triumph that transcends human and gives us a chance to re-story ourselves into the larger world."--Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Chronology of Water
"Animal Bodies is a marvel, a heartbreaking road map of living, loving, and grieving. Roberts bravely recalls the deaths of her alcoholic father, her dear friend, and her mother, a complex force in her life. Here, we read about rape, escape, affairs, and repair. There is wilderness and then, somehow, the clearing--both in her world travels and the dying around her. Thinking about death clarifies life, and Roberts knows the thin line between grief and joy, the importance of living fully and fighting for freedom without apology. This is hard-earned wisdom and liberation. I can't stop thinking about it."--Lee Herrick, author of Scar and Flower and Gardening Secrets of the Dead

"I have been thinking about one particular Suzanne Roberts essay, 'Breaking the Codes, ' since I first read it. Sometimes I open a closet door and my stomach drops, remembering one painful scene in her essay. Sometimes I see a group of teenagers and I wonder, and worry, about all of them. Roberts's writing rearranges me in some fundamental and necessary ways. A book like this, a book by her, is a book I desperately need."--Camille T. Dungy, author of Guidebook to Relative Strangers and Soil: The History of a Black Mother's Garden

"Here, we travel with Roberts to beaches in Florida, to hospital rooms for chemotherapy, to Nashville honky-tonks, and to the Amazon rainforest. She carries to each of the locations her acute insight and her courageous and uncompromising desire to witness and record the world."--Didi Jackson, author of Moon Jar

"These essays soar like falcons and dive octopus-deep; they carry the power and agility of tigers, the intelligent play of cetaceans. These essays are alive with lyricism and humor, thrumming with pain and pleasure and the complex spaces we inhabit between. Suzanne Roberts is a wonder and a force."--Gayle Brandeis, author of The Art of Misdiagnosis and Many Restless Concerns