Emily Bernard

Black is the Body
  • Black is the Body

  • A New Statesman essential non-fiction read of 2021

    'Everybody should read [this]' Stylist

    "Blackness is an art, not a science. It is a paradox: intangible and visceral; a situation and a story. It is the thread that connects these essays, but its significance as an experience emerges randomly, unpredictably. . . . Race is the story of my life, and therefore black is the body of this book."


    In twelve intensely personal, interconnected essays, Emily Bernard sets out to tell stories from her life that enable her to talk about truth, race, family and relationships, and much more.

    She observes the complexities and paradoxes, the haunting memories and ambushing realities of growing up black in the South with a family name inherited from a white man, of getting a PhD from Yale, of marrying a white man from the North, of adopting two babies from Ethiopia, of teaching at a white college and living in America's New England today.

    Ultimately, she shows us that it is in our shared experience of humanity that we find connection, happiness and hope.

    What readers are saying:
    'Perspective changing essays' *****
    'A page-turner - full of empathy, love, and insight' *****
    'I raced through this' *****
    'I loved it' *****
    'Exquisitely crafted' *****
    'Essential reading' *****
    'I couldn't put it down' *****
    'Beautifully written. A must read for all races' *****
    'I loved everything about this book' *****

Emily Bernard is the Julian Lindsay Green and Gold Professor of English at the University of Vermont. She holds a B A and a PhD in American Studies from Yale University. Bernard has received fellowships from the Alphonse A. Fletcher Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the MacDowell Colony, the Vermont Arts Council, and the W. E. B. DuBois Institute at Harvard University. Her first book, Remember Me to Harlem: The Letters of Langston Hughes and Carl Van Vechten, which, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Bernard's work has appeared in Harper's, O Magazine, Oxford American, The Yale Review, The New Republic, and the American Scholar.

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