Honest, funny, and totally gross essays that celebrate the female body in all its glory. 

Mara Altman's volatile and apprehensive relationship with her body has led her to wonder about a lot of stuff over the years. Like, who decided that women shouldn't have body hair? And how sweaty is too sweaty? Also, why is breast cleavage sexy but camel toe revolting? Isn't it all just cleavage? These questions and others like them have led to the comforting and sometimes smelly revelations that constitute Gross Anatomy, an essay collection about what it's like to operate the bags of meat we call our bodies. 

Divided into two sections, "The Top Half" and "The Bottom Half," with cartoons scattered throughout, Altman's book takes the reader on a wild and relatable journey from head to toe--as she attempts to strike up a peace accord with our grody bits. 

With a combination of personal anecdotes and fascinating research, Gross Anatomy holds up a magnifying glass to our beliefs, practices, biases, and body parts and shows us the naked truth: that there is greatness in our grossness.


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Praise for Gross Anatomy


“Gross Anatomy anoints Mara Altman at once the Mary Karr of sweat, the David Sedaris of head lice, and the Frank McCourt of nudist resorts. . . . What more could you ask for in a book?”
Sarah Knight, New York Times–bestselling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck


“Mara Altman treads bravely where most humans dare not go: into the slippery, icky, mushy corners of the collective human bod. She comes out triumphant, concluding hilariously that not every aspect of our bodies needs to be worshiped, purified, and/or plucked. Sometimes bodies are just plain odd. I read this while shrieking, laughing, and eating a bagel—as we bodies do.”
Tori Telfer, author of Lady Killers


“Gross Anatomy is a charming, deeply-researched, whole-hearted embrace of our imperfections, the things that women don't talk about because we feel they mar our societally imposed notions of femininity. But after reading Mara Altman's exploration of her body (and ours) you'll feel more comfortable with yourself, from head to toe.”
Jennifer 8. Lee, author of The Fortune Cookie Chronicle


“Forget that old fake news about sugar and spice. With wit and candor, Mara Altman tells us what girls are really made of -- and it's a hair-raising revelation.”
Tom Robbins, author of Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and Jitterbug Perfume


“Mara Altman boldly goes where no man has gone before. With this collection of hilarious and honest stories, I’m hoping that will change.”
—Lesley Arfin, author of Dear Diary and co-creator of Netflix’s Love

“I love how Gross Anatomy delightfully reveals Mara Altman’s upbeat and life-affirming obsession with the human body—our lovelinesses and not-so-lovelinesses.  Lots of people will soon feel far more body-positive because of this book.”
—Jon Ronson, author of The Psychopath Test