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FAT CHICK Paperback – June 1, 2009

73 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


I couldn't put it down. Merkl writes a story that is funny, honest and heartfelt. I loved the pure transparency about the constant frustrations about weight and food.

Interesting story ... the underlying search for middle ground is unearthed in a compelling read. --Angie Mangino, Freelance Book Reviewer

Filled with witty dialogue as well as well-placed character development, "Fat Chick" is a story that could change your life.   --

I'd recommend this book to people who enjoy chick lit with a weight and/or diet main story line with a bit of glamour, bad behavior, WW points obsession and stereotyping thrown in for good measure. Overall, this book was a decent read! -- Rian Montgomery

This is a great debut novel that handles dieting, body image and love with wit and compassion. --The Chick Lit Club

From the Back Cover

Fat chick or skinny bitch. These have always been the only options for advertising account executive, Trish Collins, who desperately needs to find some middle ground -- with her weight as well as her life. (added by author)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 246 pages
  • Publisher: Vineyard Press (June 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1930067704
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930067707
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.6 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #721,299 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lorraine Duffy Merkl is a published author, freelance journalist and advertising creative director/copywriter for print, television, radio and interactive media.

Her debut novel, "Fat Chick" was published in 2009 by The Vineyard Press. She also writes a bi-monthly column -- "New York Gal" - for Manhattan Media's Our Town and West Side Spirit newspapers; and a weekly column -- "Mommy in the Middle" -- for Her writing has also appeared in the New York Times, New York Post, New York Press, New York Family, Adweek, Big Apple Parent, MomSense, The Writers' Journal,, Elle,,, Bitch magazine and huffingtonpost.

Among various awards, Ms. Duffy Merkl counts a Broadcast Design Award honoring work done for HBO, and the Erma Bombeck Humor Writer Award for her column. Her short stories have received honorable mention from The Writers Place and Reading Writers.

During her freelance advertising career she specialized in entertainment marketing for such notable companies as MTVNetworks; HBO/Cinemax; Nickelodeon/Nick-at-Nite/TV LAND; WE: Women's Entertainment; Columbia House; Food Network; A&E Networks; United Media; VH1; Showtime; Comedy Central; Peter Max Studio; Lifetime Television; USA Networks; and eScholastic.

Throughout her commercial career she also worked on products in the categories of: toys, travel, packaged goods, real estate, pharmaceuticals, cereals, electronics, as well as public service.

She is an active member in the Civil Support Division of The Legal Aid Society.

Lorraine Duffy Merkl hails from the Bronx, New York. She received a B.A. in Communications from Fordham University. Post-grad she supplemented her education with advertising courses at The School of Visual Arts and creative writing classes at NYU. She currently resides in Manhattan with her husband, son and daughter.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Iler Kirkland VINE VOICE on November 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
We meet Trish Collins as she is on top of her world. Finally, a perfect size zero, she has a great job at an ad agency representing TREND, the most sought-after fashion magazine. She has a great relationship with her boyfriend, who is also the personal trainer who helped her get a toned and muscular body. She isn't hurting for anything....

The book then goes back and portrays Trish's life when she was fat. Losing her father early, she stuffed her pain with food. She continues to eat until she is large, every taunt and male rejection just fueling her appetite as she turns again and again to the friend that never rejects, food.

Finally, she has had enough and decides this is the time she will make a real difference. She joins a program, joins a gym, and over months, gets thin and thinner and thinner. Her life is now perfect, or is it?

Lorraine Duffy Merkl has created a woman that will find a touchpoint with most women. Most of us have wished for thinner bodies or wished we were even thinner, typing our self-worth to how many pounds show on the scale and what size we can buy in the department store. She shows Trish's struggles with sterotypical rejections and then flips the mirror and shows the pros and cons of being super-thin. The writing is breezy and the characters sometimes shallow, but this is intentional on the author's part as she shows the archtypes that rule women's places in society. This book is recommended for women readers and males that want to understand the enormous part weight and self-image play in almost every woman's life.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had written a long diatribe about this book. But, honestly my rant was probably longer and contained more emotional depth than this book. I'm not sure why it seems to strike a nerve with me. My weight goes up and down like any woman, but I'm pretty laid-back when it comes to weight issues. And I've read a lot worse crap on the subject. But let me try to be brief.

The writing style of this book is very glib. At first, I thought it was very witty and funny and clever. But after a few pages, the unceasing entrendres and plays on words gets a little monotonous. Then it just comes across as trying-too-hard. But midway through the book, the author seems to run out of most of her witticisms and that calms down.

You'll spend pretty much the entire book hating the main character. She is annoying as a fat woman--pathetic, a terrible cliche of an overweight person, almost literally reaching for food at the end of every paragraph whenever she doesn't get something she wants or something doesn't go her way.

Then she loses the weight. 175 pounds, in fact. However, her weight loss "struggle" is skimmed over in about a page or two. I put struggle in quotation marks because there really is none. There's no talk of it being difficult for her to lose weight, or anything you might otherwise sympathize with. She just decides one day to do it, and then it's done, and she is suddenly gorgeous overnight (none of her friends or family or co-workers notice this transformation because she apparently continues to wear the same close almost 200 pounds lighter--seems legit, right?). Then she gets a makeover, and suddenly everyone notices that she lost a buck seventy-five.

The character ditches her current boyfriend, and meets her new trainer-boyfriend the same day.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Karen Dyer on June 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not another book about a fat young lady, the million diets she's been on and how miserable her life is? Nope. This lady is fun, interesting and smart. I enjoyed this book a lot and even went back to read certain parts again. Witty, funny and even thought provoking, this is a book for anybody of any weight!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fran Zak on December 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
"Fat Chick" is a NY story, but Lorraine Duffy Merkl has written a "debut" novel that speaks to any and every woman who has ever been touched at some point in their lives, by the American obsessions with dieting, body image, youth culture, sex, and the striving for success, and that probably includes all of us! The book addresses this wide range of themes with intelligence, insight, compassion, and wit. It's definitely a page turner. Once I started it, I couldn't put it down. The writing was totally lively and great fun to read, lots of NY hip language, with witty chapter headings like " "Eat and Run," "Heavy Hitter," and "Weigh Your Words."

Trish Collins, our heroine, works for an upscale, high-powered advertising agency in New York. She has to deal with a grueling schedule, huge egos (mostly male), younger, thinner actress/model types who can't wait to replace her, boyfriends who relate only to her body image, but are clueless about anything else about her, and a mother whose idea of love is to practically force-feed her on their visits. Sound familiar? Trish is a stand-in for all of us who have had to "fight the fat" forever!

Lorraine Duffy Merkl writes with an insider's savvy. She worked in the advertising field for twenty years and knows that world and how it all works.

I'll stop right there and leave the rest to you, for your reading pleasure. You're going to love it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By LMS on May 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
in this world most of us can relate to Fat Chick we put things on hold until the goal weight. We will be happy at a goal size existing while we wait rather than living
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