Skip to product information
1 of 2

Bite Your Friends : Stories of the Body Militant

Bite Your Friends : Stories of the Body Militant

Regular price $28.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $28.00 USD
Sale Sold out
By Fernanda Eberstadt


At once a subversive autobiography of a mercurial woman and a mesmerizing history of the body as a site of resistance to power.

“I bite my friends to heal them.”—Diogenes the Cynic, c. 350 BCE

From a Roman amphitheater where 4th century martyrs are fed to wild beasts to the S&M leather bars of New York in the 1970s, this sinuous and illuminating book by novelist and cultural critic Fernanda Eberstadt explore the lives of uncommonly brave men and women—saints, philosophers, artists--who have used their own wounded or stigmatized bodies to challenge society’s mores and entrenched power structures.

The Greek Cynic philosopher Diogenes who lived “a dog’s life,” sleeping, teaching, having sex in the public square; Saints Perpetua and Felicitas, two early Christian martyrs; twentieth-century prophets of bodily freedom like filmmaker-poet Pier Paolo Pasolini and philosopher Michel Foucault; Russian punk feminist group Pussy Riot; the political artist Piotr Pavlensky, who nailed his scrotum to the pavement of Red Square to protest Vladimir Putin’s tyranny; these are the outrageous, uncommon, but deeply committed activists featured through original interviews and careful case studies in Eberstadt’s immensely readable book, which is part political treatise, part manifesto, part memoir.

Running through her narrative of the Body Militant is Eberstadt’s own story and the story of her mother, a New York writer and glamor figure of the 1960s, whose illness-scarred body first led Eberstadt to seek connections between beauty, belief, and the truths taught through the body.

Eberstadt asks crucial questions for our time: what drives certain individuals to risk pain, disgrace, even death, in the name of freedom? And, what can we learn from their example to become braver ourselves?

View full details