Monday, October 31, 2011


- a memoir of anorexia and bulimia -

ByMarya Hornbacher

This book was good.

Marya describes her personal battle with bulimia and anorexia. Another eating disorder book, I know – but this is different than Wintergirls in the sense that this is a nonfiction book, and the events that occurred are coming from the mouth of the victim. The thing about the “victim” with eating disorders though, and Marya will admit (and does many times in the book), is that this victim is also the offender. A constant struggle within thyself. To live or die, eat or pass out, tell someone or continue living a lie.

It took me a few chapters to get into this book, but in those few chapters there were moments that Marya spoke so eloquently about the disorder and her experience that there was no way I could put it down. After getting to the guts of the plot, I was hooked. It was weird. For as beautiful of a writer as she is (and trust me, she is an amazing writer), it was hard to grasp the dark reality that was/is her life.  She is able to capture the two gripping sides of an eating disorder. The beauty of it, and the vile, raw truth that no one sees - because those are the things that are done in the most private of times.

In short, it was compelling. You read and read and read, and you root for her. You’re constantly thinking – how can you be so smart yet so ignorant? That’s the sickness. I can’t begin to describe how well this book is written. It’s such a TRUE portrayal of one girl’s familiarity with her ED. She doesn’t hold anything back, a strength for which I appreciated when reading fervently.

As you know, I can’t give anything away – but I will say Marya’s chronicles of her battle are so honest, and real, that you won’t be able to walk away without finding out what happens to her…

She got down in the range of - 50 pounds.

Its accounts like this where you realize how much the body is capable of enduring… and how fragile our bodies really are. Pushing limits, extremes. If you’re up for a nonfiction book, and don’t mind some truths that would make a handful sick to their stomachs… I would pick up Wasted.

Favorite Quotes:

“…lessons too few women learn: to love the thump of my steps, the implication of weight and presence and taking of space, to love my body’s rebellious hungers, responses to touch, … more than a brain attached to a bundle of bones.”

“For a long time, I believed the opposite of passion was death. I was wrong. Passion and death are implicit, one in the other. Past the border of a fiery life lies the netherworld.”

“I wanted to … Go to sleep. Go to a heaven where there was nothing but bathtubs and books.”

“Death by starvation is nasty.”

“… that life was but a dream and any sort of order in life was purely a product of the imagination and our minds were only a stage upon which perceptions played.”

“The loose ends are my body…the random half hearted kicking of my heart, wrinkled and shrunken as an apple rotting on the ground. The scars on my arms, the gray hair, the wrinkles… The immune system, trashed.”

“Never, never underestimate the power of desire.”

1 comment:

Ianstein said...

Very nice review. I really want to read this to get a better perspective of this sickness.Its just something that I cannot comprehend seeing as food is such a vital part of life.
Bring this book home please.