Three Books That Have Influenced Me in the Past

Updated: Nov 27, 2020

1. Sherine Hamdy, Our Bodies Belong to God: My background is in Arab studies, so when I first started thinking about applying to an anthropology graduate program with an intention of studying culture and health, I turned to an ethnography on organ transplantation in Egypt. While reading it, I was impressed with Hamdy’s nuanced approach toward religion and science as well as with her rich narrative. Reading her book solidified my decision about becoming an anthropologist.

2. Matthew Desmond, Evicted: I first read Evicted in my graduate class on public policy and inequity. I admired Desmond’s quest to understand marginalized people he followed during his study on eviction in Milwaukee. Evicted broadened my perspective on the issues of social (in)justice in the United States.

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3. Roxane Gay, Hunger: Hunger is honest, painful, and thought-provoking as it provides a fresh perspective on weight, sexual abuse, and race. After reading Hunger, I became a fan of Gay’s prose. So far I have read all her published works.


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