My Body in Pieces

Original title: La grosse laide

Publication Date:

October 2019



Original language and publisher

French | Editions XYZ

Territories Handled

English (World excl Canada), France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Scandinavia

Territories Sold

World English (Groundwood Books)
Spanish (World) (Pepitas de calabaza)
France (Éditions des Équateurs, at auction)


Graphic Novels & Comics, Literary Fiction, Memoir

My Body in Pieces

Original title: La grosse laide


La grosse laide seduced by its graphic power and its strong, yet universal subject, which will touch everyone. — The jury, MIFA Comic Book

I was caught by Marie-Noëlle Hébert’s brush and pen with a disconcerting strength, a feeling of familiarity, of sisterhood too, of intimacy even. It is an unswerving text…that touches and resonates. This harshness and frankness is opposed to the poetry and delicacy of Marie-Noëlle Hébert’s charcoal drawing, which manages to overlay words and images diluted by the pencil onto a personal experience that touches the universal through the sincerity of her voice. Marie-Noëlle takes hold of her most intimate and deepest pains, those rooted in childhood, to better tell the story of the world around her, a contact which reawakens her scars in the same way that the reader’s flesh and emotions burn a little brighter with each page. Acquiring editor Lize Veyrard, Editions des Equateurs

In this first graphic novel, 27-year-old Quebec author Marie-Noëlle Hébert recounts a childhood spent under the scornful gaze of those closest to her: she is too fat, she is too ugly, she eats too much… Words that burn and little by little shape her self-image. Sublimely illustrated, this album also shows how, through drawing, she gradually rebuilt herself. — Marion Pillas, editor of La Déferlante

An intense, liberating work, which frees us from the prejudices we have all faced at some point, whether we were victims or guilty… — Flair, Belgium

A deeply emotional graphic memoir of a young woman’s struggles with self-esteem and body image issues.

All Marie-Noëlle wants is to be thin and beautiful. She wishes that her thighs were slimmer, that her stomach lay flatter. Maybe then her parents wouldn’t make fun of her eating habits at family dinners, the girls at school wouldn’t call her ugly, and the boy she likes would ask her out. This all-too-relatable memoir follows Marie-Noëlle from childhood to her twenties, as she navigates what it means to be born into a body that doesn’t fall within society’s beauty standards.

When, as a young teen, Marie-Noëlle begins a fitness regime in an effort to change her body, her obsession with her weight and size only grows and she begins having suicidal thoughts. Fortunately for Marie-Noëlle, a friend points her in the direction of therapy, and slowly, she begins to realize that she doesn’t need the approval of others to feel whole.

Marketing Information

  • Winner of the Prix des libraires du Québec (BD québécoise) 2020, Finalist Prix Réal-Fillion 2020, Prix BD du Salon du livre de Trois-Rivières 2020, and shortlisted for the Prix BD des collégiens 2021
  • Represented Québec at the Annecy International Animation Film Market (MIFA) 2021
  • Over 5,000 copies sold