Bite your Friends

Fernanda Eberstadt


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Europa Editions (UK) Ltd
28 March 2024
ISBN: 9781787705029
288 pages

From the publisher

A history of the body as a site of resistance to power, and a subversive memoir.

“Fernanda Eberstadt is blessed with more gifts than any one writer should be [. . .] Her prose is exuberantly, obscenely rich.” —The Washington Post

Eberstadt explores the lives of outrageously brave men and women—saints, philosophers, artists—who have used their own wounded or stigmatized bodies to challenge society.

Bite Your Friends’ heroes include the ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes, who lived “a dog’s life” in the public square; early Christian martyrs Saints Perpetua and Felicitas; and such twentieth-century prophets of bodily freedom as filmmaker-poet Pier Paolo Pasolini and Michel Foucault. The book features interviews with the Russian punk feminist group Pussy Riot, and the political artist Piotr Pavlensky (who nailed his scrotum to the pavement of Red Square to protest Vladimir Putin’s tyranny).

Running through her narrative is Eberstadt’s own story and the story of her mother, a New York writer and 1960s glamour figure, whose illness-scarred body first led Eberstadt to seek the connections between beauty, belief, and the truths taught by bodily and psychic pain.