Project Description

Read an extract
28 June 2022
RRP: $35.00
ISBN: 9781922626882
Paperback,  304 pages
Full-colour artwork throughout
218 x 160 mm

For media enquiries please contact publicity:
T: (03) 8695 9627


big beautiful female theory

by Eloise Grills

Part feminist manifesto, part comic book, big beautiful female theory is a carnivalesque exploration of the ways identity is formed through culture, relationships and the weight of society’s expectations. Without falling into a simple recovery narrative, these essays also resonate with humour, which gives a sense of delight and optimism in defiance of difficult circumstances and unfair patriarchal structures.

With breathtaking honesty and fierce wit, Eloise Grills turns her life, her body and her mind into art, confronting what it means to grow up in an increasingly unfathomable world.

PRAISE for big beautiful female theory

big beautiful female theory is the blistering, fearless manifesto on the fat female form I have been waiting for all my life. It is hot, it is ribald, it is sweaty, loopy, pulpy, and remarkably tender. Grills is my Philosopher Queen of the bodily berserk. The world is better for having this book in it.’ Ellena Savage, author of Blueberries

‘Impossibly brilliant – books that change culture and clear space for other writers to come are usually not this funny, funny-as-all-hell books are usually not this formally daring, formally daring books don’t embrace the confessional, confessional works aren’t generally blisteringly political, political books are not usually this level of sexy, sexy books are not, for the most part or maybe without exception, this devastating.’ Maria Tumarkin, Windham Campbell-winning author of Axiomatic

‘Eloise Grills’ essays fluctuate between decadent mixed media and sparse, thoughtful watercolours. Sidelong glances and gorgeous bodies and swirling water illustrate a collection of writing that is often funny and candid, and always generous. This collection is one to be savoured and revisited.’ Lee Lai, author of Stone Fruit

‘Eloise Grills amazes me—she’s vulnerable but also commanding, hilarious but also dead-serious, precise in her language but also wild in her art. big beautiful female theory is unlike anything I’ve ever read—it’s a truly unforgettable book.’ Chelsea Hodson, author of Tonight I’m Someone Else

‘Grills’ curated gut-spillage requires all of the adjectives and a whole lot of adverbs; intellectual, creative, irreverent. Invincibly vulnerable. Fragmentarily cohesive. Contradictory. Funny. Beautiful.’ ArtsHub

‘Combines feminist theory and memoir with playful illustrations in a riotous exploration of the beauty industry, consumerism and sexuality.’ The Age/SMH

‘A boisterous examination of beauty standards, sexuality, misogyny, consumerism and the cruel vicissitudes of modern life. Part memoir, part cultural commentary, the book shapeshifts between prose and vibrant, energetic illustrations. It’s not really a graphic novel, it’s not quite poetry – it’s an electrifying mix of both … The book unflinchingly portrays the despair of living in a fat-hating world, but also offers a defiant manifesto for survival within that world.’ Readings

‘Blazing with feeling, the book is ecstatic, exhaustive self-expression, drenched in watercolour and hectic sincerity: William Blake edits Rookie magazine.’ Meanjin

‘In its structure, subject matter and – probably most importantly – its attitude, this book is a delightful ‘up yours’ to the stale, pale, maleness of how Western culture views and articulates the body in written and visual art. This is nonfiction at its very best: captivating and exciting.’ Kill Your Darlings 

‘A raw, honest, and playfully executed memoir.’ Bendigo Advertiser

About the Author

Eloise Grills is an award-winning writer, comics artist, poet and critic. Her work has been published widely in literary journals and anthologies including Meanjin, The Saturday Paper, The Rumpus, Going Down Swinging, Kill Your Darlings, Sydney Review of Books, The Lifted Brow and Borderless. She has been the recipient of many grants, including competitive funding from the Australia Council, the Copyright Agency and Creative Victoria. Essays from this collection have been recognised in awards including the Melbourne Prize for Literature, Lifted Brow and RMIT non/fictionLab Prize for Experimental Nonfiction, the Peter Blazey Fellowship, and the Cosmonauts Avenue Nonfiction Prize.

Eloise lives on Dja Dja Wurrung country with her fiancé Jackie, and their two dogs, Ripley and Vince, as well as her mother-in-law, Madeleine, and her dog, Minnie. big beautiful female theory is her first collection of essays.