Thick by Tressie McMillan Cottom


Smart, humorous, and strikingly original thoughts on race, beauty, money, and more—by one of today's most intrepid public intellectualsTressie McMillan Cottom, the writer, professor, and acclaimed author of Lower Ed, now brilliantly shifts gears from running regression analyses on college data to unleashing another identity: a purveyor of wit, wisdom—and of course Black Twitter snark—about all that is right and much that is so very wrong ab...

Details Thick

Release DateJan 8th, 2019
PublisherNew Press
GenreNonfiction, Writing, Essays, Feminism, Race, Autobiography, Memoir, Cultural, African American

Reviews Thick

  • Roxane
    Tressie McMillan Cottom’s essay collection Thick: And Other Essays, is thick in every sense of the word. This book is thick with wit and depth and intelligence as McMillan Cottom tackles black womanhood, contextualizing whiteness, beauty in a capitalist society, class mobility and much more. She engages, in fascinating ways, with the forces that bear down upon her from her subject position in prose that effortlessly blends the personal with the...
  • Thomas
    Without a doubt the best book I have read in 2019 thus far, Thick: And Other Essays is thick with wit, intelligence, and an assured self-awareness. Tressie McMillan Cottom addresses many topics within the realm of black womanhood, including beauty standards and whiteness, ethnic differences within the black community, socioeconomic class and assimilating into capitalism, and more. I loved how she always took her analysis one step further, like in...
  • Ana
    My primary interest in requesting and reading this book was that I felt it might improve my understanding of the black female experience in the U.S., as I am always on the look for the type of works that combine personal narrative and scholarly insight, where the writer will always try to “to refine my analytical concepts without sacrificing my prose.” Not because the data and research added would reinforce and legitimize the personal story, ...
  • Hannah
    Thick is a non-fiction book that straddles the line between academic writing and memoir - something I personally really happen to enjoy. Here McMillan Cottom writes on a variety of topics, often with anecdotal evidence centered into her more academic musings.This book both suffers and improves for me because McMillan Cottom comes from a similar academic tradition as I do. On the one hand it means that I am bound to agree with a lot of her analyse...
  • Anna (never_withouta_book)
    This is one you will want to read. Highly recommended you do.
  • Stacie C
    Thick. If that isn’t an apt title for this collection than I don’t know what is, because this is a thick book. Not thick in the amount of pages, but absolutely full of relevant and necessary information. It isn’t curing cancer or solving climate change. But it is giving a voice and analytical eye to the way we treat, judge, measure, love, hate and depict Black women. I knew after the very first essay in this collection that I was willing to...
  • chantel nouseforaname
    Yooooooo Tressie! Tressie! Tressie! SIS!!! SISSSSS! This whole book rocked my entire world and like just got all up in my feelings and my mind and honestly, it just hit me like a ton of bricks. There's so much important stuff here. I'm going to buy a copy for my sister-in-law; because I think she should read it. My highlights are all up on this post. So many highlighted segments of just straight, pure truths. Highlights include: Know Your Whites:...
  • Allison
    THICK is going to be one of the first best essay collections of 2019. Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom is an academic, sociology and prominent writer. I learned a lot from these essays, ranging from her experience as a Black woman academic, personal essays, opinion writing & gatekeepers, views on "beauty", R. Kelly and the need for more black women writers at prestigious publications. These essays are wide-ranging and often made me wish I was reading ...
  • Krystal
    This collection of essays is quite simply unadulterated brilliance, but I have come to expect no less from Tressie McMillan Cottom! While reading these, I managed to both laugh and cry as this Black woman academic delved into experiences that bore similarities to my own as a woman of colour in Canada. I look forward to engaging with more of this author's writing in the future.
  • Catherine
    "In The Name of Beauty" is the second essay in Tressie McMillan Cottom's book Thick, and it is a tour de force. The piece lays bare the white supremacist roots of the very idea of beauty and who can qualify as beautiful, and strips away the artifice from a thousand bloggers who would insist everyone is beautiful (at least on the inside). It's moving and challenging and discomfiting (for me at least) and I'll be thinking about it for a long time. ...
  • Jaclyn (sixminutesforme)
    “No one can speak to a singular black experience, not even me. Especially not me. Rejecting that belief does not free me, but it goes a long way toward being authentic.”This essay collection was electric, engaging, and incredibly compelling! The balance of anecdotes and personal perspectives coupled with broader social theory and commentary was a perfect combination and made for a highly readable and thought-provoking read.The essays cover a ...
  • Mara
    I really love the content of this personal essay collection, and would definitely recommend it as a book to check for those who love ELOQUENT RAGE by Brittney Cooper or THIS WILL BE MY UNDOING by Morgan Jenkins. That said, something about the authorial voice didn't quite turn all the way over for me. I'm not sure if it was my mood or just my tastes generally, as the writing is objectively quite nice. I just didn't fully connect with it the way I ...
  • Sarah
    New release! Out today! Thank you to New Press for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.This is such a great essay collection to start off the new year. I'm a longtime fan of Tressie McMillan Cottom's work, particularly on higher education, and this collection does not disappoint. There is a very timely essay in here about R. Kelly, uncannily timed for the release of the three-day documentary about R. Kelly's survivors on Lifetime TV...
  • Rita
    I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review from the publisher, via NetGalley. All views are my own.I have a thing for memoirs and essay collections written by black women. And while this was metaphorically one of the thickest (or most dense) memoirs I've read, I adored it. A lot of things went over my head or didn't have as much of an impact because 1) I'm not a black woman, so I have never experienced what Cottom writes about; 2) He...
  • Shannon
    I'm a graduate student at the university where Tressie McMillan Cottom teaches and I'm forever sad that I couldn't squeeze in a class with her. This book is a treasure. It's written in an amazing voice that captures the depth and pain of her experiences with honesty and an incredible amount of wit. That wit makes it funny without the nagging sense that the author is trying to be funny. I highlighted too many amazing passages (both for their insig...
  • Susie Dumond
    This short essay collection gives you a lot to chew on. Dr. McMillan Cottom approaches familiar topics from an incredibly unique and astute perspective. I love the way she sets up each topic and argument. Silly think pieces, Miley Cyrus, and dismissive doctors become so much more under McMillan Cottom's gaze. What a remarkable voice! This collection is not to be missed.Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for my honest re...
  • Camryn
    I LOVED THIS. Tressie is my new favorite.
  • Laura Gadzik
    I received a free e-copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review- all opinions are my own. The first thing I can say about this is that partway through reading I went online and purchased a hard copy of this book for my shelf. This is a collection of essays that start from Tressie McMillan Cottom’s specific experiences as a black female individual navigating the systemic and impossible constraints put on black women in ...
  • Princess
    I cannot overstate how much it means to encounter such a smart, recognizable voice. At the core of each of these essays is a familiar insight (familiar to me as a black, highly-educated immigrant woman who has lived in the U.S. for over 10 years), but with the added benefit of rigorous analysis and thinking. Tressie snatches up the threads of her insights and carefully entwines them with well-considered thoughts on race, class, gender, and sexism...
  • Monica L Edwards
    This book of essays was great! I got it as a goodreads giveaway, happily, and I know that I will have to read this collection again—likely also teach with them. I was surprised she’s a sociologist and that the work is rich with sociological theory; I didn’t expect this, but since I’m a sociologist, it was a pleasant surprise. My favorite essay was Dying to be Competent; they all really made me twist my brain around thinking.
  • Deera
    I have been working my way slowly through this essay collection. I knew it would be rough. So much necessary information in it. I’m glad I read it. Will definitely need to re-read to make sure I got it all.
  • Azra
    Fans of Roxanne Gay NEED to read this book. She offers perspective with sharp wit and a bit humor that makes you almost feel like you're talking to her.
  • noelle
    the worst thing about this book is its not long enough!!!!!!!!!
  • Margaret Heller
    Read this in about two sittings—it is intense, but should be.
  • Leta Fincher
    This book is full of brilliance, wisdom and humor. I tore through it in a few short hours and copiously underlined it. Highly recommended.
  • Angela
    Truly outstanding collection of essays.
  • McKenna
    An important book for the upcoming year, and I'm grateful to have early access to Tressie McMillan Cottom's writing here. The book is insightful (especially for a young, white woman privileged in several respects like myself) but communicated with accessible language that may appeal to audiences beyond just those who can boast a college - or hell, any - educational degree. Conveying the biting, yet necessary, linkage between the "political, socia...
  • Els
    This review also appreaed at ReadingTheThingSo, how do I describe this book, to have you you all get it and read it? Probably it’s not enough if I say this might be the book that I’ll look back on in the end of 2019, and that it will have had the biggest impact on me. Maybe if I tell you that I rarely (virtually) underline sentences in books, and here I kept highlighting things. ‘Thick – and other essays’ consists of 8 essays by Tressie...
  • Nicole
    I give this essay collection a solid 3.5 stars. I found myself more interested and engaged as I read on, but not much at first. But since I've read some of Cottom's writings, including Lower Ed (which I loved) and her essay on Obama (an edited version of which appeared in this book), I decided to keep giving it a chance. For whatever reason, Cottom's writing style and some of the earlier essays just didn't resonate with me. There were times when ...