Evette Dionne’s essay collection Weightless has been a long time coming. After first selling the book in 2017, Dionne, a journalist, editor, and pop culture critic, took it back, was diagnosed with heart failure, scrapped her original version, and wrote an almost entirely new slate of essays. But Weightless is finally here, out from HarperCollins’ imprint Ecco earlier this month.
For this episode of Discourse Pod, I spoke with Dionne—who, full disclosure, is also a friend of mine—about her process behind Weightless, her journey through heart failure, and what she envisions in a better world for fat people.
Dionne’s life is a study in resiliency, and Weightless is no different. Through sharing her personal experiences and pop culture analysis, she makes tangible to readers the life-threatening consequences of anti-fat bias. But she also illustrates an abolitionist future of sorts where all people are afforded humanity in healthcare, public spaces, and entertainment, regardless of their size.
“I wrote this book with fat Black folks in mind, and more particularly fat Black women and femmes, as a reminder that we are okay as we are right now. We can exist as we are right now,” Dionne told me. “And I'm hoping that the book reaches anyone who believes our world can be different. It does not have to look the way it looks right now.”