Gross Anatomy: Dispatches from the Front (and Back)

320p. illus. Putnam. Aug. 2018. Tr $27. ISBN 9780399574832.
Though some of the content in this compendium of essays about the most cringe-worthy aspects of living in a female "meat suit" pushes the boundaries, many will find it illuminating and liberating. Young women often have burning questions about why they grow hair here and there, sweat, farting, camel toes, butts, breasts, sex, and PMS and periods, and these 15 confessional essays shed light on many of those hidden parts of one's emotional and physical self. The author's voice is comfortingly confidential, as if unburdening herself to fellow millennials about subjects that often go unaddressed in public discourse. Altman spoke to experts in a variety of fields to clear up confusion about myriad topics. The book winds through mysteries of culture and anatomy via topless bicycle rides in New York City, visits to doctors who perform labiaplasty, and a triumphant stay at a nudist colony.
VERDICT Teens who pick this title up will come away with a healthier attitude toward their bodies. An empowering addition for collections willing to offer adolescent patrons materials that are forthright about sexuality and anatomy.

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