About the author
Eloise Grills is an award-winning essayist, comics artist and poet, interested in hybrid visual-textual forms. big beautiful female theory is her first illustrated memoir-in-essays. The book has recently been shortlisted for the 2023 Indie Book Awards and highly commended in the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards. Her first poetry collection, If you’re sexy and you know it slap your hams, was shortlisted for the 2020 Mary Gilmore Award. She lives on Dja Dja Wurrung land with her husband and mother-in-law.
About the book
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, offering 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.
Eloise Grills takes our gaze to task in big beautiful female theory. The book as an object alone is ambitious enough to warrant recognition. Grills transforms writings (impressive in their own right) into visual essayistic feasts for the reader. At times theoretical, heavy but not dense, her work attends to an under-examined body in Australian literature. It’s a body onto which, Grills demonstrates, much of our cultural imaginary silently attaches, then loathes and fears – the fat body. big beautiful female theory is disarmingly raw, both in what it reveals about its narrator and subject, and in its deceivingly slapdash composition. But Grills maintains a self-awareness that’s rarely self-indulgent, and at times zooms out from introspection without the suspicion of the reader – and then it implicates us.
“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.” – Nanci Nott, ArtsHub
“Blazing with feeling, the book is ecstatic, exhaustive self-expression, drenched in watercolour and hectic sincerity: William Blake edits Rookie magazine.” – Imogen Dewey, Meanjin
“Combines feminist theory and memoir with playful illustrations in a riotous exploration of the beauty industry, consumerism and sexuality.” – Cameron Woodhead and Fiona Capp, The Age/Sydney Morning Herald
Read an interview with Eloise Grills for The Wheeler Centre
Watch an interview with Eloise for Kill Your Darlings‘ First Book Club
Read more about big beautiful female theory in this interview with Eloise for Going Down Swinging