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Feed Me!: Writers Dish About Food, Eating, Weight, and Body Image Paperback


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Read an excerpt from Feed Me!: Writers Dish About Food, Eating, Weight, and Body Image [PDF].

Product Details

  • Paperback: 247 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (January 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345500881
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345500885
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #692,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This collection of essays by women addresses food, fat, and body image, issues challenging so many women in today’s media-dominated, appearance-obsessed society, forever judging those whose bodies aren’t perfect and fall short of some ever-shifting ideal. Magali Amadei recalls the bulimia that plagued her rise to a top model. Diana Abu-Jaber, raised in a large Jordanian American family, tells the story of her uncle, who encouraged young girls to overeat. Harriet Brown reworks the biblical 10 plagues into a list of 10 foods she relishes to excess. Laurie Notaro registers embarrassment at being unable to shop for clothes in the trendiest boutiques. In one of the most moving essays, Caroline Leavittwrites about how food helped deal with her grief at the death of her fiancé and served as a warning sign in her subsequent toxic relationship. A worthwhile read for both women and those who love them. --Mark Knoblauch

Review

“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

More About the Author

I write about the things that interest me, from the neurobiology of forgiveness to early childhood education. You can find my work in the New York Times Magazine, O, and many other publications. My latest book, BRAVE GIRL EATING: A FAMILY'S STRUGGLE WITH ANOREXIA, is part memoir, part science journalism; it recounts our family's efforts to help our oldest daughter recover from anorexia as well as exploring the latest research on eating disorders. I've edited two anthologies (FEED ME! and MR. WRONG), and have written other nonfiction books, including THE GOOD-BYE WINDOW: A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF A DAY-CARE CENTER and THE BABYSITTER'S HANDBOOK. I teach magazine journalism at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in Syracuse, New York. Find me on Twitter (@HarrietBrown) and Facebook.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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I really enjoyed this book----an easy, interesting and great read!
K. Brown
The painfully true tales range from finger foods in a Bedouin household, to the ghost of a grandmother who says "Eat. Eat what you want. And love."
E. Kanell
I devoured this book in one sitting but will return to it many times.
S. E. Sarliker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By S. E. Sarliker on February 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book will remind you that being a woman in the U.S. means that your body, the food you put in it, and the triangle between you, others and your body will be complicated at best and tortured at worst.
I devoured this book in one sitting but will return to it many times.
I wasn't sure I needed to read this book, having read many books on this topic, but what I walked away with, and continue to marvel at, is how common and heartbreaking it is that we interact with ourselves in these ways. Thin women don't escape unscathed. Fat women who love our bodies are radical. In between women are never sure where they stand.
And food is never just food.
My favorite essay is Joyce Maynard's, the last, about her mother and pie (and so much more). I loved reading writers I knew from their articles or blogs for even a bit more insight into their lives (Kate Harding, Harriet Brown, Wendy McClure, and Jane E. Brody, who I understand a bit better now). I consumed with the bittersweet glee the essays about being from another culture with a different relationship to food and women's bodies, like Diana Abu-Jaber's details of being fed by her Jordanian uncle, Rochelle Jewel Shapiro's eating at a breakneck speed to keep up with her holocaust survivor father, Amity Gaige's details of the long shadow cast by her mother's childhood deprivation as a refuge from Latvia and Courtney E. Martin's revealing look at her body and relationship with food as she studies abroad in South Africa.
There were stories too familiar, but mostly, I came away thinking, almost every woman struggles with this -- and why? Do we need to? I'm glad this book made me feel normal (however unfortunately) for the way I feel about my body, and that I might have more in common with a woman who weighs 100 pounds less than I do that I might have thought.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mary Brown on April 7, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
FEED ME in a nutshell is a collection of smart, well-written snapshots by real women sharing their honest feelings about food, body image and society's message that even if you're thin you're never thin enough.

Are you a woman? Have you ever looked in a mirror and seen more flaws than positive traits?

I enjoyed the breadth of the essays about food and body image in FEED ME. The stories made me feel normal. A size four woman obsesses about not being a size two? This was a revelation. My favorite was the female model's take on how people treated her and how that's affected how she looks at her young daughter.

These essays convey that while women know intellectually there's more to life than obsessing about food, we find it hard NOT to be preoccupied about every morsel we put into our mouths or the size tag in our jeans.

The challenge for any weight/food obsessed (read: "every") woman is to make peace with the voice in her head. Turn off that negative tape (mine's an 8-track) that plays in a continuous loop, "You're not good enough." Tune into the place in our true selves and focus on the fact that people who care about us enjoy our company because of our unique personality traits. Whether we gain or lose five, ten or twenty pounds, have a croissant or a salad for lunch, no one's keeping track. There is more going on in the world around you than what you eat today. FEED ME inspired me to dare to be my true self.

You are good enough right here, right now. You. Are. Enough.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Reader Mom on February 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
FEED ME! is a terrific collection of essays looking at thoughts and feelings about food and eating from a number of perspectives. They run the gamut from joyful to miserable, with all kinds of interesting stuff in between. Kate Harding contributes one of my favorites, that manages to come across as both cranky and charming. Any reader is bound to find plenty of food for thought!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tina on April 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
I wasn't really sure about this book when I first heard of it. Eating issues are a big thing for me and I am extremely picky about the types of book on this topic.

However, Feed Me by author Harriet Brown took a very delicate subject and explored it in a touching, realistic and respectful way.

Food and weight are such a big deal in today's society and I am absolutely in love with the way Brown explored the fact that not everybody will be a size 5 and that is okay.

I fell instantly in love with this book on the first story where the first writer describes how her boyfriend innocently told her that he thought he was maturing because it did not even bother him that she was not skinny. At first, that got my back up, but when I read the rest of the story, I adored the way Brown took his back-handed compliment and used it to explore her own unresolved issues about her weight.

This book is loaded with these types of inspiring and honest stories about body image and how we and other people look at us.

It was wonderful, wonderful and I am going to re-read it a second time - I felt very good after reading this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By June Alexander on March 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
Candid insights into the influence of food in daily lives encourage the reader to pause and reflect on food-related memories in one's own life. At its most basic, food is about feeling hungry or full - but it is also about being happy, being sad; about loving it for its taste or hating it for the power it seems to wield over us. We all need to eat, to live; seems simple, no big deal, but the stories shared in Feed Me remind us that food, from the day we are born, is much more than this.
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