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A Love Story of Epic Miscalculation

Camonghne Felix
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An epic meditation on loving yourself in the face of heartbreak, from the acclaimed author of Build Yourself a Boat, longlisted for the National Book Award

When Camonghne Felix goes through a monumental breakup, culminating in a hospital stay, everything--from her early childhood trauma and mental health to her relationship with mathematics--shows up in the tapestry of her healing. In this exquisite and raw reflection, Felix repossesses herself through the exploration of history she'd left behind, using her childhood "dyscalculia"--a disorder that makes it difficult to learn math--as a metaphor for the consequences of her miscalculations in love. Through reckoning with this breakup and other adult gambles in intimacy, Felix asks the question: Who gets to assert their right to pain? 

Dyscalculia negotiates the misalignments of perception and reality, love and harm, and the politics of heartbreak, both romantic and familial.


Camonghne Felix, poet and essayist, is the author of Build Yourself a Boat, which was longlisted for the National Book Award in Poetry, shortlisted for the PEN/Open Book Award, and shortlisted for the Lambda Literary Awards. Her poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming from Academy of American Poets, Freeman's, Harvard Review, LitHub, The New Yorker, PEN America, Poetry Magazine, and elsewhere. Her essays have been featured in Vanity Fair, New York, Teen Vogue, and other places. She is a contributing writer at The Cut.


“I am deeply shaken by the profound singularity of Dyscalculia. Felix manages to cast, and really conjure, a new portal into the agony of miscalculating love, and the pain one can experience in loving relationships. Dyscalculia was not aiming to be the seminal book about the undercurrent of living and loving through Trump and the pandemic, but that’s exactly what it became for me halfway through. Everyone is trying to write that book, and Felix wrote it, and so much more, seemingly without even trying. I believe in this book, and I wish I had the will and skill to write anything as remotely lasting and wonderful as Dyscalculia.”—Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy

Dyscalculia took my breath, grabbed my heart, and made me see. It brought me back to every heartbreak I’ve ever endured, and I marveled at Camonghne Felix’s deep knowing and even deeper articulation of the pain of loss, the loss of self, the loss of love, and the pathway back to healing and something like wholeness. This book is a gift and a miracle, and Felix’s pen and heart are full of the most beautiful fire.”—Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

Dyscalculia is a frank exploration of pleasure, heartbreak, and reclamation. It makes a case for softness, for lostness, for black girlhood, that rejects containment and asks instead for care.”—Raven Leilani, author of Luster


  • Publisher: One World (February 14, 2023)
  • Language: English
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • ISBN-10: 0593242173
  • ISBN-13: 9780593242179
  • Item Weight: 1.25 pounds
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