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Cardboard: A woman left for dead Paperback – January 18, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 372 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2 edition (January 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1450502024
  • ISBN-13: 978-1450502023
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,914,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Fiona Place has always been interested in women, language and identity. Her short stories, poetry and essays appear in various literary journals and anthologies. She has worked as a financial commentator for various fund managers and major newspapers. Her focus on making investment and economic concepts accessible to the general reader. Today she combines motherhood with her work as a writer and an advocate for children with intellectual disabilities. Her essays on motherhood and genetics appear in peer-reviewed journals and other publications.

More About the Author

Fiona Place has always been interested in women, language and identity. Her novel Cardboard was originally published by Local Consumption Publications and won the National Book Council Award for New Writers. Her second, the co-authored self-help book When Eating is Everything was published in 1991.

Fiona has worked as a financial commentator for various fund managers and major newspapers. Her focus on making investment and economic concepts accessible to the general reader.

Today she combines motherhood with her work as a writer and an advocate for children with intellectual disabilities. Her essays on motherhood and genetics appear in peer-reviewed journals.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
I can thoroughly recommend it!
N. Marshall
Fiona Place is a fine poet, writer, story teller and thinker and Cardboard deserves to be read and enjoyed by everyone.
Michael T. Bailey
Beautifully written, with a disarmingly honest, charming and funny narrator who engages the reader from the start.
Dr. Liz Ferrier

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By mummazappa on April 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
When I first received this book and realised it was part prose part poetry I was a bit worried. Not because I don't enjoy poetry, I do, but because I wondered how it could be possible that a story could flow well while jumping between the two styles. I discovered very quickly however that this is not a problem - the prose has a very poetic form and the poetry fits in very well, exploring the paragraphs with greater emotional depth. I had several moments whilst reading the poetry that I was in awe of Fiona Place's ability to capture the subtle nuances of the emotional experience with words.

If I could explain this book in one word it would be experiential. The story begins with the protagonist in a desperately fragmented state, close to death from her eating disorder and her mind shattered. As the book continues and the reader follows her journey towards healing, the prose and poetry change in structure to reflect this. Ms Place has managed to capture the inner experience of a person suffering from an eating disorder and her journey through different styles of therapy that seem to either trap in her disorder or help her to find her way through towards health and well being. The way the book is written made me feel that I was following the protagonist so closely and experiencing her revelations at the same time she was. This is not an easy read, it is intellectually challenging and also challenges the reader to go within and experience the emotional journey from fragmentation to healing. This is a fascinating story, and lovers of poetry and language will enjoy this story immensely.

I have given this book 4 stars and not 5, because of the way my rating system works. My rating system is based on my enjoyment of a book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Playful Professional on April 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
It's been a long time since I've read a book that really put me into a life I've never known, into the shoes of someone whose path I've never traveled, and into a mind that I could both relate to and not understand at all. That's what Cardboard did for me. The book is written in what feels like stream of consciousness narrative from a woman who struggles with anorexia, which leads to other pyschological and social disorders (e.g., afraid of employment, afraid of relationships with men). Parts of the narrative are written in paragraph form and other pieces are written in short chunks of what really feels like a random thought in the woman's mind. The different types of narrative mixed together perfectly matched what I imagined the main character's mind to be like. I love modern literature, and this fascinated me.

This is also one of those books that is both hard to read and hard to put down. I kept getting caught up in Lucy's almost recovery and then heartbroken as she continued to falter on that path. Even though it was fiction, the story felt very real, like it was written about someone in particular or from the author's own personal experiences. And even though I personally don't have an eating disorder or suffer from any other pyschological disorders (that I know of), I could relate to Lucy's desire for control and her nervousness and fear when she sensed a loss of control. I probably wouldn't pick this book up to read again but I'm glad I read it in the first place because it was eye-opening, insightful, and definitely worth reading. 5 stars
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mari on August 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
Cardboard took me to places in Lucy's inner life that at times I knew very well and at times I had not even the remotest of clues. Fiona's writing drew me into the story straightaway and I saw the movie on the first page! (I'm an extremely demanding fiction reader.) And best of all, I thank Lucy for sharing her poetry with us.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Andrew B. Lohrey on March 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a marvelous portrait of growing, maturity and survival.
To call this a book about eating disorders is like calling Moby Dick a book about whales.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jacquelyn Ekern on March 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
I recommend Cardboard: A woman left for dead to anyone interested in glimpsing the inner world of a woman struggling with anorexia and recovery. Very good!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael T. Bailey on February 23, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had the pleasure of reading the Australian edition of Cardboard several years ago and it has since been one of my favorite novels. The writing is exquisite. Do not be put off by imagining a tale of eating disorder. There is far more to this than that.
The complexity of the character Lucy's world is a tour de force of tight thinking and probing insights into the complexity of human behavior. Frankly she reminds me of Rodion Raskolnikov, the memorable criminal in Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment.
Dostoevsky's character behaves in ways that are shocking and aberrant and would be so to the point of dreary caricature were it not for the descriptions of drink induced delirium, gossip and societal dysfunction which so famously add depth, realism and indeed a sense of attraction to the murdering Roskolnikov.
Fiona Place's technique is not so dissimilar but she uses her poetry to build Lucy's depth of character. Much of Lucy's behavior is, like Roskolnikov's, so clearly self destructive and frustrating to a reader that great skill is required to render her believable, compelling and even sympathetic.
To mix prose with poetry requires great talent in both genres and here Ms. Place's writing is at its' most powerful. For readers who love great writing this book is a pure pleasure. The story is a good one. And it is told in a way to make the reader stop and consider the true depth of human psyche, the nature of motivation, alternative realities and the strength people can be capable of in confronting some significant demons.
Fiona Place is a fine poet, writer, story teller and thinker and Cardboard deserves to be read and enjoyed by everyone.
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