Writers Dish About Food, Eating, Weight, and Body Image
By Harriet Brown
(Ballantine Books, Paperback, 9780345500885, 272pp.)
Publication Date: January 27, 2009
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In our appearance-obsessed society, eating is about much more than hunger and sustenance. Food inspires pleasure and anxiety, shame and obsession. We are constantly judged on how we look, so we’ve come to judge ourselves (and others) on what and how we eat.
These evocative essays, from some of the most talented and popular writers working today, tackle this universal subject with humor, longing, and compassion. Joyce Maynard writes about learning to make pie with her complex but adored mother. Caroline Leavitt’s chilling piece describes the overlap between power and eating. Ophira Edut explains how an outspoken “body outlaw” wound up on Jenny Craig. Diana Abu-Jaber writes about abandoning her Bedouin customs for America’s silverware and table manners–and missing the physical, hands-on connection with food.
Exploring the bonds between appetite and remorse, hunger and longing, satisfaction and desire, this anthology is for every woman who’s ever felt guilty about eating dessert, or gushed over a friend’s weight loss, or wished she had a different body.
“Amazing . . . will break your heart even as it makes you cackle with laughter, leading you into a more joyful and healthy relationship with your body.”
–Mary Pipher, Ph.D., author of Reviving Ophelia
“For every woman who has ever (a) hated her body, (b) stepped on a scale more than once a day, (c) cried in a dressing room, or (d) all of the above, a funny and heartbreaking collection of essays about the tyranny of thinness. Though you could buy roughly four Entenmann’s cakes for the cover price, this book could actually fill you up.”
–Betsy Lerner, author of Food and Loathing
“These fascinating stories reveal the complexity of eating: the joy and misery, the acceptance and rejection, the nurturing and deprivation, the connection and isolation.”
–Ellyn Satter, author of Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family
“These diverse tales of humiliation, survival, and acceptance of the most personal and shameful of body dramas are palatable and poignant. . . . I devoured the book!”
–Nancy Redd, author of Body Drama