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A ‘retired career anorexic’ examines herself and her, and our, culture in a masterpiece of confessional literature.

At the age of four Marya Hornbacher looked in a mirror and decided she was fat. At nine, she was bulimic. At twelve, she was anorexic. By the time she was eighteen, she’d been hospitalized five times, once in the loony bin. Her doctors and her parents had given up on her; they were watching her die. But Marya decided to live. Four years on, now 22, here is her harrowing tale, powerfully told in a virtuoso mix of memoir, cultural criticism and psychological examination.

Here is the amazingly articulate fury of a clever woman made stupid by her culture, who threw away her teenage years in a continuous cycle of bingeing and vomiting or just plain starvation.

The first book to explore, from the inside, the intimate relationship between eating disorders and 1990s culture’s historically unprecedented obsession with body, diet and gender

This is no tabloid tale of mystery disease nor a testimony to a miracle cure, but the story of one woman’s travels to the darker side of reality, and her decision to find her way back, on her own terms.
• The slimming industry is worth £1billion in GB alone
• The UK has 3.5 million anorexics and bulimics
• In Australia, a third of all women count calories
• Princess Di was only the highest-profile case of celebrity bulimia; Kate Winslet, hot Brit actress, said she was ‘happiest ever when 8 stone’
• Models get thinner and thinner; they are now 23% less heavy than the average Western woman; in 1977, they were just 8% lighter
• 41% of 9-year-olds in GB want to be thinner (Leeds Uni/Birmingham Uni research, 1996)
• The doll Sindy is now 20% thinner than it was when launched in the mid-1960s; if it were a real woman now, it would be too thin to menstruate

AuthorMarya Hornbacher
Language TypePublished
Number Of Pages304
Product GroupBook
Publication Date1998-03-02

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