Whether for entertainment, under the guise of medicine, or to propel consumerism, heinous acts are perpetrated daily on women’s bodies. In Body Horror: Capitalism, Fear, Misogyny, Jokes, award-winning journalist Anne Elizabeth Moore catalogs the global toll of capitalism on our physical autonomy. Weaving together unflinching research and surprising humor, these essays range from investigative—probing the Cambodian garment industry, the history of menstrual products, or the gender biases of patent law—to uncomfortably intimate. Informed by her own navigation of several autoimmune diagnoses, Moore examines what it takes to seek care and community in the increasingly complicated, problematic, and disinterested US healthcare system.
A Lambda Literary Award finalist and a Chicago Review of Books Nonfiction Award shortlist title, Body Horror is “sharp, shocking, and darkly funny. . . . Brainy and historically informed, this collection is less a rallying cry or a bitter diatribe than a series of irreverent and ruthlessly accurate jabs at a culture that is slowly devouring us” (Publishers Weekly, starred review). Featuring an updated introduction and new essays, as well as illustrations by Xander Marro, this new edition of Body Horror is a fascinating, insightful portrait of the gore that encapsulates contemporary American politics.
“Moore is a modern exemplar of the best tradition of muckraking journalism.” —AllOtsego
“An exploration of misogyny unlike any I’ve ever read, this reissued and updated volume brings us again into the excellence of Anne Elizabeth Moore’s research and ability as a historian. She writes with wit, wry humor, and the instincts of a detective-novelist-cum-muckraking-journalist. In Body Horror, Moore brings us stories that will never leave us alone again.” —Riva Lehrer, artist and author of Golem Girl: A Memoir
“I laughed, I cried, I puked, I cheered. This visceral collection is one of the best things I’ve ever read—an essential, humane book.” —Daniel Kraus, coauthor of The Living Dead
“Body Horror is a strangely comforting book to read for its decidedly feminist, anti-capitalist, and anti-consumerist content. It is indeed a tiny bit horrific but written with a good dose of humor, and shows that, no, you are not alone in this cruel world.” —Julie Doucet, cartoonist and author of Time Zone J
“With lacerating wit and furious precision, Anne Elizabeth Moore connects the dots between labor, medicine, misogyny, and cultural production to reveal the scars and sores wrought by Western capitalism. In the six years since Body Horror was originally published, Moore’s already-prescient writing now reflects the urgency, both personal and political, of upending the tidy narratives of a body politic that hurt more than they help. It’s a necessary evisceration of institutions and imperatives that asks us to do something almost unthinkable: imagine better for ourselves and our communities.” —Andi Zeisler, author of We Were Feminists Once: From Riot Grrrl to CoverGirl®, the Buying and Selling of a Political Movement
“Sharp, shocking, and darkly funny, the essays in [Body Horror] ... expose the twisted logic at the core of Western capitalism and our stunted understanding of both its violence and the illnesses it breeds [...] Brainy and historically informed, this collection is less a rallying cry or a bitter diatribe than a series of irreverent and ruthlessly accurate jabs at a culture that is slowly devouring us.”
―Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Probing her own experiences with disease and health care, Anne Elizabeth Moore offers scalpel-sharp insight into the ways women's bodies are subject to unspeakable horrors under capitalism.” ―Chicago Tribune
“As the subtitle promises, this essay collection by award-winning journalist and Fulbright scholar Anne Elizabeth Moore tackles heavy, complicated issues with biting humor and aplomb, dissecting the ways patriarchal capitalistic trauma plays out on women’s bodies and health, both mental and physical. From her keen observations on the 2010 Cambodian garment worker strike and its resulting massacre to her vulnerable, often hilarious insights on the maze of current American healthcare and her own varied ailments, Moore writes with spark and verve." ―Lydia Melby, Texas Book Festival
“Anne Elizabeth Moore is the feminist killjoy I want at every party—armed and ready to calmly, often humorously, eviscerate any casual misogyny in the room. Compiling her years of experience as a journalist, this collection showcases Moore's staggering body of knowledge. At the core of several of these essays is Moore’s own body and its betrayals in the form of autoimmune disorders and her newly accepted label of disability. Admirably, Moore never lingers too long on her own experience, but instead uses it to reach to different corners of the globe and different eras in American history to diagnose the malignancy of misogyny on bodies beyond her own. Anne Elizabeth Moore is masterful at illustrating how the ills of capitalism have become so insidious that they are now coming from inside—our houses, our heads, our very cells.” —Sarah Hollenbeck, Women & Children First Bookstore
“At turns chummy, cerebral, and incendiary, Body Horror holds no punches. This motley crew of essays form an astute and uproarious exploration of the insidious misogyny and ableism bred into contemporary culture. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you might even rage-vomit. A winner.” —Katharine Solheim, Pilsen Community Books
- Best Book of 2017, Chicago Public Library
- Chicago Review of Books Nonfiction Award
- Lambda Literary Awards Finalist, LGBTQ Nonfiction