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Mara Altman

Mara Altman writes about issues that embarrass her (i.e. chin hair), because she has found that putting shame on the page diffuses the stigma, leaving her with a sense of empowerment and freedom. Her favorite thing is when a reader writes to her and says something like, “I have chin hair, too!” or "Hemorrhoids!”

Mara has published eight best-selling Kindle Singles. Thanks for Coming, her first book, follows her on an adventure to find her orgasm, and has been translated into three languages - German, Spanish and Portuguese. The book was also optioned by HBO. 

Gross Anatomy: Dispatches From the Front (and Back), her newest book, was released by Putnam in August 2018. With a combination of personal anecdotes and fascinating research, Gross Anatomy holds up a magnifying glass to our beliefs, practices, biases, and body parts and shows us the naked truth: that there is greatness in our grossness.

Mara has written for publications such as The New York Times, Salon, New York Magazine and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Before going freelance, she worked as a staff writer for the Village Voice and daily newspapers in India and Thailand. Mara has a masters from Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and lives in San Diego with a few other hairy beings.

An honest, often hilarious look at women’s bodies, how we think of them, our practices, questions, embarrassments. It’s all on display, and Mara Altman is not shy about any of it.
— NPR's All Things Considered

Talks and Topics

  • Gross Anatomy, Author Presentation

  • Thanks for Coming, Author Presentation

An endearingly outrageous attempt to demystify the female body while shedding light on the causes of female corporeal insecurities. A simultaneously funny and informative memoir about the wonder of the human body.
— Kirkus Reviews
Altman’s bottomless curiosity and razor-sharp wit are a perfect match for fans of Mary Roach and everyone frustrated or fascinated by their mysterious vessel of flesh.
— Booklist


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