Review: The Shape of A Hundred Hips
Bink Books: pp. 226
Cost: $14.95 (paperback)
Cumbie had been living, as she states, “outside” her body since suffering sexual assault during her freshman year of college. In a little over two hundred pages, she leads readers from her hardworking, Mid-Western childhood, where her parents raise her to always be polite, through to her college years—where we see Cumbie trying on different personas in an effort to belong, leading to the fateful night of her assault. Feeling that “rape is not considered well-mannered conversation,” the author tries to bury the trauma by ignoring it. It isn’t until she discovers the art of belly dancing that she begins to reconnect her body with her soul.
“Each session was a mini catharsis of practice and repetition, timing, and control. Clearly, the body is meant to move down, out, and up. A woman should be able to freely move her chest in a figure-eight, the mirror image of the infinite.”