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My Body Is A Big Fat Temple
My Body Is A Big Fat Temple

My Body Is A Big Fat Temple

An Ordinary Story of Pregnancy and Early Motherhood



200 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper, EPUB

Trade Paper, $17.95 (CA $21.95) (US $17.95)

Publication Date: October 2021

ISBN 9781949116878

Rights: WOR

Woodhall Press (Oct 2021)


eBook Editions Available

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Price: $17.95


My Body Is A Big Fat Temple charts the emotional journey of new motherhood with humor and honesty

"Real and funny. I loved this book!" —Emily Oster, author of Expecting Better, Cribsheet, and The Family Firm

"Alena Dillon is one of my favorite writers and to read her journey through pregnancy is a great joy and heartbreak."  —Amy Schumer, Comedian, writer, actress (Films) Trainwreck and I Feel Pretty

My Body Is A Big Fat Temple, a memoir of pregnancy and early motherhood, follows a writer as she debates having children, miscarries, faces morning sickness, uncertainty, physical impairments, labor, breastfeeding, the “baby blues,” the heartache of not loving her son as she thinks she should, parenting through a plague, until finally (basically, mostly) blossoming into her new identity.

Creating life is a primal phenomenon. It requires grit, resilience, and a lot of bathroom breaks. There are dry heaves and darkened nipples, crotch lightning and brain fuzz, milk stains, sleep regressions, and equal amounts of despair and joy. It's a complicated magic. The undertaking is airbrushed to preserve the ideal of motherhood, and exacerbated by a culture that dictates what women can do and how they should feel. We don’t get the full story, so mothers with unromantic experiences feel like aberrations, and worse, alone. This is why the voices of women matter. The voices of mothers matter. Here’s one to remind you of the important things. 


“A life-altering debut featuring fierce, funny, and irreverent women who battle the most powerful institution in the world. This is the book we’ve all been waiting for.” —Amy Schumer


"Never underestimate the power of a group of women. Fierce, thoughtful, and dramatic--this is a story of true courage." —Susan Wiggs, New York Times bestselling author


“In Mercy House, Alena Dillon gives us one of fiction’s more unlikely lovable heroines: elderly, dynamic Sister Evelyn, whose tale—and that of her housemates—is as unexpected as it is moving. This is a thoughtful, accomplished debut.” —Therese Ann Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of Z, A Well-Behaved Woman, and A Good Neighborhood


“[A] stirring, fiery debut...Dillon balances her protagonist’s righteous anger with an earnest exploration of Evie’s faith and devotion to justice and community service. This uncompromising story will light up book clubs.” —Publishers Weekly


"...Dillon#&39;s debut novel is heartwarming to its core. With a widely diverse cast of supporting characters, author Dillon brings Bed-Stuy to life. Realistic in scope and pious without being preachy, Mercy House will appeal to fans of Naomi Ragen#&39;s The Devil in Jerusalem (2015) and Autumn J. Bright#&39;s Lovely (2017)." —Booklist 


"Dillon’s debut novel is heartwarming and easy to read, it never glosses over the history of abuse and sexism in the Catholic church...Those interested in religious fiction will also appreciate a simple narrative tackling complex church events. Perfect for reading groups." —Library Journal


"For fans of Ann Patchett’s The Patron Saint of Liars or Maile Meloy’s Liars and Saints, Mercy House is a must-read." —San Francisco Book Review

"Alena Dillon is the real gritty deal, and she leaves no agony or indignity unexamined. Plus, she#&39;s funny, reassuring, tender, and also furious--in other words, the perfect combo pizza for hungry new mothers." —Catherine Newman, author of Waiting for Birdy and Catastrophic Happiness

Author Biography

Alena Dillon is the author of Mercy House, a Library Journal Best Book of 2020, which has been optioned for a CBS television series produced by Amy Schumer, and The Happiest Girl in the World. Her essays have appeared in publications including The Rumpus, Slice Magazine, LitHub, Bustle, and River Teeth. She teaches creative writing at St. Joseph’s College and lives on the north shore of Boston with her husband, son, and dog.