The Body and the Traumatic Real

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review


The symbol (word) first manifests itself as the killing of the thing…—Jacques Lacan1 This month our books and reviewers challenge us to examine the mental worlds and lived experience of women whose bodies are brutalized, pushed to extremes of overeating and undereating, of wishing to shout yet being unable to say a word. Nathalie Szilagyi reviews writer and feminist Roxane Gay's Hunger, a memoir detailing the author's struggles with self-acceptance and her body in the aftermath of severe trauma. In her review, Szilgayi asks us to imagine how we can help people facing situations like that of Gay, in ways more affirming and effective. Meanwhile, Michael Goldenberg, Kimberly Myers, and Jennifer Aengst examine three graphic memoirs and novels (Ink in Water, Lighter Than My Shadow, Speak: The Graphic Novel). They encourage us to look beyond our patients’ speech balloons, affects, and exteriors, imagining the thought bubbles that loom overhead.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)703
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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