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Imperfect: How Our Bodies Shape the People We Become

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By the time she was eleven and living in the Soviet Union, Lee Kofman had undergone several major operations on both a defective heart and injuries sustained in a bus accident. Her body harbours a constellation of disfiguring scars that have shaped her sense of self and her view of the world. But it wasn’t until she moved to Israel and later to Australia that she came to t By the time she was eleven and living in the Soviet Union, Lee Kofman had undergone several major operations on both a defective heart and injuries sustained in a bus accident. Her body harbours a constellation of disfiguring scars that have shaped her sense of self and her view of the world. But it wasn’t until she moved to Israel and later to Australia that she came to think these markings weren’t badges of honour to flaunt but were, in fact, imperfections that needed to be hidden away. In a captivating mix of memoir and cultural critique, Kofman casts a questioning eye on the myths surrounding our conception of physical perfection and what it’s like to live in a body that deviates from the norm. She reveals the subtle ways we are all influenced by the bodies we inhabit, whether our differences are pronounced or noticeable only to ourselves. She talks to people of all shapes, sizes and configurations and takes a hard look at the way media and culture tell us how bodies should and shouldn’t be. Illuminating, confronting and deeply personal, Imperfect challenges us all to consider how we exist in the world and how our bodies shape the people we become.


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By the time she was eleven and living in the Soviet Union, Lee Kofman had undergone several major operations on both a defective heart and injuries sustained in a bus accident. Her body harbours a constellation of disfiguring scars that have shaped her sense of self and her view of the world. But it wasn’t until she moved to Israel and later to Australia that she came to t By the time she was eleven and living in the Soviet Union, Lee Kofman had undergone several major operations on both a defective heart and injuries sustained in a bus accident. Her body harbours a constellation of disfiguring scars that have shaped her sense of self and her view of the world. But it wasn’t until she moved to Israel and later to Australia that she came to think these markings weren’t badges of honour to flaunt but were, in fact, imperfections that needed to be hidden away. In a captivating mix of memoir and cultural critique, Kofman casts a questioning eye on the myths surrounding our conception of physical perfection and what it’s like to live in a body that deviates from the norm. She reveals the subtle ways we are all influenced by the bodies we inhabit, whether our differences are pronounced or noticeable only to ourselves. She talks to people of all shapes, sizes and configurations and takes a hard look at the way media and culture tell us how bodies should and shouldn’t be. Illuminating, confronting and deeply personal, Imperfect challenges us all to consider how we exist in the world and how our bodies shape the people we become.

39 review for Imperfect: How Our Bodies Shape the People We Become

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kate Cuthbert

    I really enjoy Lee's writing style and grace, but in the personal examination of how her scars have affected her life and outlook, I feel that she stretched too broadly, casting too wide a net. While seeking to make connections and develop empathy for others is a necessary activity, I remain unconvinced that there is universality of experience found in a scarred body or Marfan's syndrome or a fat body. I was most engaged in the stories of Lee herself and how her scars affected her choices and di I really enjoy Lee's writing style and grace, but in the personal examination of how her scars have affected her life and outlook, I feel that she stretched too broadly, casting too wide a net. While seeking to make connections and develop empathy for others is a necessary activity, I remain unconvinced that there is universality of experience found in a scarred body or Marfan's syndrome or a fat body. I was most engaged in the stories of Lee herself and how her scars affected her choices and direction, but would have preferred to read the first hand experiences of the people she interviewed, rather than hearing about their 'imperfections' through Lee's filter.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Vmpeters

    I found this book fascinating to read. Not only is the writing stunning - brutally honest and endearing as the author takes you on the challenging journey of her body - the book has the power to change your perspective about all physical differences. What is it like to live inside a body that differs so much from others? I now feel I have some idea. An important book for our superficial time.

  3. 5 out of 5

    norman kable

  4. 4 out of 5

    A reader somewhere

  5. 5 out of 5

    Olwen

  6. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  7. 4 out of 5

    Larisa Coffey-Wong

  8. 5 out of 5

    Phillip Swain

  9. 5 out of 5

    K

  10. 5 out of 5

    Becky

  11. 4 out of 5

    Flügels

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nikkola Mikocki-Bleeker

  13. 5 out of 5

    Marcia Abboud

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cassie

  15. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cassie Lane

  17. 5 out of 5

    rosewart

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alice

  19. 5 out of 5

    M Robin

  20. 4 out of 5

    Paul Dalgarno

  21. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Jankuloska

  22. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Benn

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lydia Chin

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kate Frost

  25. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Cannold

  26. 5 out of 5

    Claudine

  27. 4 out of 5

    Anna Stamatelos

  28. 5 out of 5

    Emily (em_isreading)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Murtha

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jane

  31. 5 out of 5

    Lipi Jain

  32. 4 out of 5

    Angie XG

  33. 5 out of 5

    Susie Cartledge

  34. 5 out of 5

    Lewlew

  35. 4 out of 5

    JB

  36. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

  37. 5 out of 5

    Kirby

  38. 5 out of 5

    Astrid Edwards

  39. 5 out of 5

    Oly

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