Enter the Navel: For the Love of Creative Nonfiction (an essay, alphabetically arranged)

Advanced Praise from the Experts:

“Unexpected, but riveting.”

—Subir Roy, retired Medical Doctor and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Master of Science in Public Health in Biostatistics, Reproductive Endocrinologist, and the author’s father

“Funny, gross, informative, and a fun read.”

—Dotti Roy, Master of Science in Nursing, Registered Nurse, Public Health Nurse, Certified Case Manager, and the author’s mother 

This playful abecedarian offers a new perspective on the term “navel-gazer” by looking both figuratively and literally at the navel. Inside, readers will find antiquated and current dictionary definitions of “navel” woven in with scientific information on the curious state of lint and bacteria located there, including what humans have been known, disgustingly, to do with them (hello, navel cheese!). Also in appearance are Hawaiian and Hindu origin stories rooted in the navel that connect us, with urgency, to the divine; the role of the navel, our first wound, in and after human birth; a story of the author’s own regrettable 90s-era teenage navel piercing along with the plastic surgery that removed her mother’s navel, and more.

Styled as a self-referencing cabinet of curiosities, this chapbook is also a Rorschach for the genre of creative nonfiction, many of whose stalwart writers have been written off as “navel-gazers.” This text demands the reader be swayed to see what, in fact, is so good about looking at one’s own navel after all.


This text is forthcoming from The Operating System and is part of the 2020 Digital Chapbook Series, which has been coedited and curated by OS collaborators Curtis Emery and Orchid Tierney.

Open Access Library Release Date: September 23, 2020
Print copies will be available for purchase ❤