‘I didn’t die because my parents bribed the surgeon that was supposed to operate on me not to operate on me … He had a nickname of The Butcher.’
In episode 3 of James and Ashley Stay at Home, we speak to author and writing teacher Lee Kofman about her creative non-fiction book Imperfect: How Our Bodies Shape the People We Become.
From her website: ‘By the time she was eleven and living in the Soviet Union, Lee Kofman had undergone several major operations on both a defective heart and injuries sustained in a bus accident. Her body harbours a constellation of disfiguring scars that have shaped her sense of self and her view of the world. But it wasn’t until she moved to Israel and later to Australia that she came to think these markings weren’t badges of honour to flaunt but were, in fact, imperfections that needed to be hidden away.’
Conservatively speaking, I could discuss this book with Lee for nine straight hours, but James and I managed to keep our chat to 45 minutes.
We discuss how her scars affected her growing up, stories from the many interviews with people with diverse bodies that feature in the book, and how her self-perception has shifted through the process of writing and promoting the book.
Lee is the author of five books, including Imperfect, a blend of memoir and cultural critique, and the memoir The Dangerous Bride. She is co-editor of Rebellious Daughters and editor of Split, an anthology of personal essays. Imperfect was shortlisted for the 2019 Nib Literary Award.