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Going Hungry: Writers on Desire, Self-Denial, and Overcoming Anorexia Paperback – September 9, 2008


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Going Hungry: Writers on Desire, Self-Denial, and Overcoming Anorexia + An Apple a Day: A Memoir of Love and Recovery from Anorexia + How to Disappear Completely: On Modern Anorexia
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; 1 edition (September 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307278344
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307278340
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #453,546 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Shedding light on anorexia and other eating disorders, Taylor gathers the personal stories of a range of writers, producing an occasionally inspiring but repetitive collection. Though gifted contributors (Jennifer Egan, Louise Glück, Joyce Maynard) offer honest, occasionally insightful accounts, many are is a strikingly similar; most can remember day they began their dark journey into anorexia and/or bulimia with striking clarity. Most see anorexia as a chronic affliction, shaping their relationships with food and loved ones, but in no way precluding happy, fulfilling lives. Powerful moments come from Amanda Fortini, medical writer Trisha Gura (who meshes her story with insight into the latest theories on anorexia) and John Nolan, but Taylor's collection is decidedly WASP-heavy: tales of ivy league schools, living abroad in Italy, auditioning for prominent ballet schools and living up to the expectations of glamorous, high-profile parents do little to deflect the stereotype of anorexia as an affliction of affluence. Still, those struggling with an eating disorder are sure to find among these personal essay at least one that will help them better understand their own condition, and provide company and hope (if not necessarily a plan for recovery).
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Edited by New York Sun reporter Taylor, this topical anthology showcases nearly 20 authors’ struggles with anorexia nervosa. The contributors include novelist Jennifer Egan, poet Louise Glück, and former New York Times reporter Joyce Maynard. Each author delineates his or her own personal battle with the disease, but by the fifteenth story, they begin to meld into a chorus. Young and old, men and women, all are included, and together they provide telling glimpses into the struggles of anorexics. The writing seems to be therapeutic for many, including Francine du Plessix Gray, who penned a bitter open letter to her deceased parents. Maura Kelly tells of her blue-collar widower father’s difficulty coping with her disorder as he tried to support and raise his family alone. Amanda Fortini discusses our obsession with thinness and the reactions of men and women to her weight loss after she acquired a parasite on a trip to Brazil. Each author provides a unique, often disquieting perspective on an increasingly common disease. --Katherine Boyle

More About the Author

Award-winning author Rudy Ruiz was selected as #1 among the Top Ten "New" Latino Authors to Watch & Read in 2015 by LatinoStories.com. Ruiz was born in Brownsville, Texas, the son and grandson of Mexican immigrants. He grew up in a bilingual, bicultural setting along both sides of the border. At 17 he enrolled at Harvard, where he studied both government and creative writing, graduating with honors and going on to earn a Masters in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Since 1995 he has been the CEO of Interlex Communications, an advocacy marketing agency. His first book, "¡Adelante!", was acclaimed as a guide for immigrants to success in America. His essay in the anthology "Going Hungry" was recognized in Newsweek Magazine for shattering stereotypes on eating disorders. His most recent book is his fiction debut, a collection of short stories titled "Seven for the Revolution." The book has won First Place in two categories of the 2014 International Latino Book Awards, including Best Popular Fiction Book and The Mariposa Award for Best First Book - Fiction. Ruiz has been hailed as "a cultural visionary" by the National Hispanic Institute.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This book opens up this world of secrets and deceptions.
L. Thomas
For me, this has to be the most compelling group of stories; plus all the contributors are accomplished writers so the prose is fluent and coherent.
cepacla
I recommend this book because it gives different insights to why people suffer from an eating disorder.
Sherice

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By L. Thomas on September 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
Anorexia requires withholding--from the self, from others. This book opens up this world of secrets and deceptions. It is ranging and searching--touching on history, ecstasy, motherhood, illness, creativity, and a host of other subjects. The writers have a multitude of experiences and perspectives, and their reasons for denying themselves food are manifold. But each essayist manages to write directly and to illuminate a new aspect of an elusive and epidemic disease. An important, generous, fascinating book.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Reader on September 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
This was an excellent book overall, and a number of the essays (including the editor's own contribution) are genuinely outstanding. My own perspective is that of someone who has not experienced this herself, but is close to those who have--if this is yours as well, and/or if you are perplexed and bewildered by anorexia as a medical phenomenon, this would be the ideal book to read. It includes a number of perspectives, with all the essays well-written, direct, and unsentimental, and yet from this variety some essence of understanding does emerge with regard to what the disease may actually be "about." Very highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By lena8423 on January 25, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As someone who has struggled with anorexia for years, I found this book incredibly truthful, realistic and at the same time heartbreaking because I could feel the pain radiated from the pages. Most ed books I have read are more like a how to manual on eating disorders which can be quite triggering. These essays offered a glimpse into the struggle of an eating disorder and makes a good point about there not always being a clear cut, happy ending.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Deb on February 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
On the surface, anorexia is a tragic disease of self-starvation. Underneath, however, lies an individual with a voracious hunger for life, meaning, purpose, connection, and validation. _Going Hungry_ is an illuminating collection of essays from 19 writers whose personal experiences shed light on this highly misunderstood disease, and offer a deeper look into the mindset of this body-destructive disorder. Informative, fascinating, poignant, touching, and eye-opening, _Going Hungry_ offers a much-needed course to the growing menu of eating disorder publications.
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By Clare Bear on January 2, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read many essays and books devoted to the topic of eating disorders, and this collection, without a doubt, has been one of the best. Many books written about the subject tend to fall into cliche or aren't written very well; they also represent a small number of people actually affected by the disorder and churn out the same, stereotypical image: young, upper-middle class white women with overbearing parents who are hellbent on being popular, pretty and perfect. This book is a breath of fresh air; it contains a number of intelligent and introspective looks into eating disorders in ways that aren't typically explored. Many of the authors are wonderfully gifted with their words, and weave stories that are both heart-wrenching and impossible to tear away from. It also breaks free of stereotypes and cliches, presenting a number of honest and unique perspectives. I'm so glad I found this book - as someone who is both a writer and has suffered with eating disorders, this book was a great read and was much more inspiring than triggering. I really reccommend it!
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By Sherice on December 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
I recommend this book because it gives different insights to why people suffer from an eating disorder. It’s not just about the media and how women are portrayed. It deals with the emotional aspect and how something tragic can spark an eating disorder. “One of the things I wanted out of my hunger strike was for my father to realize that he wasn’t the only one with a s***ty life.” (pg 24. Maura Kelly).
I recommend this book to be read because it deals with self-image and self consciousness that everyone faces. This book relates to the current issues of the real world even though some authors write about their experience from the year 1948. It deals with the critics parents have on their childrens appearances and how greatly it affects how people begin to view themselves. “‘Your face is too wide for that straight hair’; ‘Your cheeks are too plump for pink lipstick.’” (pg 56). Even though some writers are writing from their experience many years before it’s still applies to current self-images due to people’s opinions on your appearance.
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