A finalist for the 2019 National Book Award, these eight piercing explorations on beauty, media, money, and more, Tressie McMillan Cottom—award-winning professor and acclaimed author of Lower Ed—writes about all that is right and much that is wrong with this thing we call society.
Thick is an invitation into the life and mind of a person with ferocious intelligence combined with a wicked sense of humor, stunning erudition and a spirit of not giving a hoot about what others think in the best possible way ... Cottom’s intersectionality is the work of a writer seeing the world clearly and deeply, and connecting the dots in fresh and revealing ways.
Despite these high stakes, Thick is more thematically broad and stylistically free than Lower Ed, which should appeal to readers who like intersectional analysis with a side of pop culture. The playful, familiar tone of the eight essays reminds readers why the author has captured the attention of [several outlets], and her many social media followers. The essays in Thick are economical in their use of words. They can deliver a swift punch in the gut but also be pithy, tongue-in-cheek, and fun ... McMillan Cottom transforms... narrative moments into analyses of whiteness, black misogyny, and status-signaling as means of survival for black women like her mother and herself ... Thick’s essays challenge readers to go further, beyond 'race 101.'
... [McMillan Cottom 's] critically acclaimed second book displaying both her brilliance and keep-it-real demeanor ... Utilizing a dual lens of academic analysis and home-grown life experiences, McMillan Cottom challenges readers to consider the perspectives that hide behind the obvious ... McMillan masterfully utilizes wordplay in the title of each essay and throughout the book to reveal deeper meanings ... McMillan Cottom
challenges not only Black women’s intersections with white beauty but also their interactions with heterosexual Black masculinity and Black male investment in white beauty ... As McMillan unravels the layers of incompetency through a skillful interlocution between herself and herself as a scholar, the complete picture of how dangerous it is to measure one’s competence outside of oneself emerges ... McMillan Cottom really challenges the reader to rethink their perceptions of poverty and an assumed gateway to escape poverty.