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This Is My Body: A Memoir of Religious and Romantic Obsession

Author and musician Cameron Dezen Hammon’s memoir of faith and faltering weaves her zealous conversion to evangelicalism with the search for a more progressive and fluid theology, and the endurance of marriage with an unexpected obsession that threatens to upend her carefully constructed life. From speaking in tongues to street preaching, from biblically sanctioned discrimination to sexual assault, she invites readers inside this tender and harrowing quest for meaning. Part inspiring spiritual memoir, part incisive cultural critique, her story of finding and losing faith is ultimately one of rebuilding a truer, braver self.

$17.95

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Synopsis

In this memoir of faith and faltering, author and musician Cameron Dezen Hammon, a Jew-ish New Yorker, finds herself searching for love, meaning―a sign. She’s led to Coney Island, where during a lightning storm, she is baptized in the murky waters of the Atlantic by a group of ragtag converts. After years of trying to make a name for herself as an artist, she follows her boyfriend and new God to Houston, Texas, the heart of American evangelical subculture. Her job at a suburban megachurch there has her performing on stage before crowds, awash in lights and smoke, yet grappling with outdated gender expectations―look pretty but not too pretty, young but not too young―and ultimately her identity as both a believer and feminist.

This Is My Body weaves her zealous conversion with the search for a more progressive and fluid theology, the endurance of marriage with an unexpected obsession that threatens to upend her carefully constructed life. From speaking in tongues to street preaching, from biblically sanctioned discrimination to sexual assault, she invites readers inside this tender and harrowing journey. Part inspiring spiritual memoir, part incisive cultural critique, her story of finding and losing faith is ultimately one of rebuilding a truer, braver self.

Details
ISBN: 9781940596327
Price: $17.95
Publication Date: October 22, 2019
Size: 5.5 x 8.5
Pages: 224
Format: Trade paper with French flaps
Memoir

Advance Praise

“Navigating the contradictions of faith and feminism, of doubt and desire, of the sometimes unbridgeable distance between what we believe and what we know, Hammon discovers that sometimes the crises that shake our most deeply held religious convictions are those that lead us toward what we truly believe. This Is My Body signals the arrival of an exceptional new voice.”

Lacy M. Johnson

author of The Reckonings: Essays

1/4

Advance Praise

“Cameron Dezen Hammon has taken on two of the greatest mysteries of life―romantic love and religious conviction―and woven them into a gripping narrative of discovery. She invites us backstage into a world some of us may not know well at all―a creative life in a church community. Her story of conversion and the many days that follow it is especially compelling in its willingness to be so honest―flaws and failures frankly explored.”

Naomi Shihab Nye

author Voices in the Air: Poems for Listeners

2/4

Advance Praise

“This fearless examination of Cameron Dezen Hammon’s dark night of the soul begins with a startling moment, where death and sex and god and doubt swirl around each other. Then, word by word―slowly, beautifully, thrillingly―she circles that moment, until a hard-won mercy emerges.”

Nick Flynn

author of The Reenactments

3/4

Advance Praise

“Fundamentalism has a way of reducing all of life’s complexities into a rigid set of binaries―pure or impure, sinner or saint, saved or damned. In This Is My Body, writer and musician Cameron Dezen Hammon chronicles her initial love affair with the evangelical faith, her gradual discomfort with its patriarchal structures, and her brave pursuit of a more nuanced spirituality. Unflinchingly honest and searingly lyrical, this is a song of a book.”

Jessica Wilbanks

author of When I Spoke in Tongues

4/4

About the Author

Musician Cameron Dezen Hammon’s writing appears in The Kiss anthology from W. W. Norton, Ecotone, the Literary Review, the Houston Chronicle, NYLON, and elsewhere; and her essay “Infirmary Music” was named a notable in The Best American Essays 2017. She earned an MFA in creative writing from Seattle Pacific University and is a writer-in-residence for Writers in the Schools in Houston, where she lives with her family. This Is My Body is her debut book.

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