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Hunger Point: A Novel Paperback – Bargain Price, October 15, 2002

85 customer reviews

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"Kitchens of the Great Midwest" by J. Ryan Stradal
Each chapter tells the story of a single dish and character, at once capturing the zeitgeist of the Midwest, the rise of foodie culture, and delving into the ways food creates community and a sense of identity. See more

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Editorial Reviews Review

This ambitious, ribald, and extremely honest first novel attempts to unravel the familial and social pressures that drive two sisters into a life of serious food abuse. One survives, the other doesn't. Frannie, though she does not succumb completely to anorexia, is near the breaking point, and Hunger Point takes us along on her painful and often funny emotional odyssey of rebirth, detailed with her family's embattled love and her own self-loathing. Food is not the only matter of the body that is treated brilliantly; the author's soul-baring depiction of both the miseries and pleasures of sex from a woman's point of view is unforgettable and occasionally terrifying. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Unfortunately, until women stop mistaking food for love and thinness for perfection, stories such as this one will need to be told. Equally unfortunately, the telling is flawed despite the story's importance. Narrator Frannie Hunter recounts the disturbing story of her sister's anorexia and suicide, her parent's broken marriage, and her own obsession with food and men. Although confronting enough conflict to fill a dysfunctional family circus, Frannie most often reacts by sleeping, whining, or crying?all understandable psychological responses but ones that do nothing for the dramatic tension of the novel. Striving for realism, Medoff manages only to be mundane. A more dynamic heroine would have focused an otherwise commendable first novel.?Yvette Weller Olson, City Univ. Lib., Seattle
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; 1st Paperback Edition 2002 edition (October 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060989238
  • ASIN: B000CC49MQ
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,543,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jillian Medoff's bitterly funny, shocking new novel, I Couldn't Love You More, will be available from Grand Central Publishing in May, 2012. She is the acclaimed author of Hunger Point and Good Girls Gone Bad, both of which received surprisingly great reviews (surprising to her). A huge seller in the US, Hunger Point was the basis for the Lifetime movie starring Barbara Hershey and Christina Hendricks ("Mad Men"). Although Jillian is proud of Hunger Point, had anyone asked, she would not have selected such a bright pink (any pink, frankly) for the trade paperback edition. Her books have been translated into many different languages, including French, Spanish, Hebrew, Turkish, Hungarian, Japanese, Polish, and German, but her big wish is for an edition in Tagalog.

The eldest daughter of a traveling salesman, Jillian moved 17 times by age 17, ultimately ending up in Atlanta, where her new novel is set. She has a BA from Barnard and an MFA from NYU, and is grateful for having studied with such luminary writers as Mona Simpson, Jonathan Dee, Robert Coover, and Alice Walker. She also attended Master Classes with Toni Morrison, Joyce Carol Oates, and Grace Paley. Although each author continues to influence her work in powerful and diverse ways, she suspects few of them, if any, remember her. A former fellow at the MacDowell Colony, Blue Mountain Center, VCCA and Fundacion Valparaiso in Spain, Jillian taught at NYU and the University of Georgia, but for only, like, five minutes.

You can read more about her books at She currently lives in New York with her family, and has no plans to move anytime soon.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By CoffeeGurl HALL OF FAME on February 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
I was duly impressed with Jillian Medoff's Good Girls Gone Bad, and so I didn't hesitate to pick up this book. Hunger Point is a poignant novel about a young woman's struggles with the unraveling of her family.
Frannie Hunter, unable to sustain a job and an apartment of her own, moves back with her parents. As she tries to get her life in order, she witnesses her sister's battle with Anorexia, her mother's two-timing behavior, and her father's career woes. As a former anorexic, I can relate to the hardships the protagonist and the other characters go through.
The subject matters that Medoff addresses in Hunger Point -- eating disorders, depression, grief, etc. -- are mixed with poignancy and humor. Medoff is as witty as she is insightful. I laughed out loud in many occasions. Her work is similar to Anna Maxtet's; however, Jillian Medoff has a particular brand of comic timing and keen storytelling all her own. She is one of the best new authors out there and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Sandell on September 11, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read alot (close to fifty books so far this year) and in all that time I have only read a handful of books that affected me as much as this one. I was greatly moved by this story. I think Ms. Medoff really dug down deep and drew from her well of experience for this novel. I don't think she could have written a book this good without having some experience and a deep knowledge about Anorexia and its effects on a family. I was moved to tears many times by this painfully honest novel, but just as many times I was laughing out loud at the author's acerbic wit.
Frannie Hunter is 26 years old and she is just part of majorly dysfunctional family. She can't seem to hold onto a job or an apartment and is forced to move back home and live with her parents. Frannie's mother, Marsha is obsessed with food, her body image and that of her children's not to mention the fact that she is also addicted to tranquilizers. Frannie's father, David is in the midst of a career crisis, he watches all the cooking shoes on T.V. and instead of talking with his family to find out what is really going on, he perfers to do the daily word jumbles and not say much to anyone. Shelly, Frannie's younger sister is a gifted graduate of Cornell, she wants to attend Harvard Law mainly to make her mother happy and she is the Anorexic one. Perhaps she is forced into that as well to please her mother or she just adopts this pattern of behavior because that is all she knows. Although this is a novel about Anorexia and other obsessive behaviors, it is also about women's relationships to men, sex and other women. It is the relationship between Frannie and Shelly that was the most heartwrenching for me. It is one that I am still thinking about even though I have finished the book and one that I am not likely to forget.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Hendry VINE VOICE on September 4, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I cannot believe this one is out of print already. Track down a used copy of Hunger Point, it will be worth your effort. Hunger Point is a very funny, engaging story, with many more layers than the usual single girl in search of life, love and career. Frannie Hunter the protagonist has always been overshadowed by her brilliant younger sister Shelly. Frannie had just moved back home and is working as a waitress in a local restaurant and is single, but Shelly has just been hospitalized for anorexia. As their family tries to cope with Shelly's crisis, Frannie tries to deal with her own issues, on top of what's happening to Shelly. Hunger Point can be funny and sad at the same time. It is a wonderful exploration of family relationships and of eating disorders. Frannie is a warm, personable character you will find yourself rooting for. Find yourself a copy and enjoy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Aiden Rackham on September 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
I found this book by Jillian Medoff to be, overall, a good read, skirting about the serious issues of anorexia and depression. I thoroughly enjoyed her style of writing, which seemed to capture well the day to day conversations that are necessary in a novel to pull you in and feel contained within the walls of the story. However, that being said, I often found myself thinking that the reactions of the main character Frannie were often over-dramatized, a Joan-Rivers-esque "I just can't DEAL with this. I mean, SERIOUSLY, people, don't you UNDERSTAND that this is traumatizing me beyond your comprehension. I can't be BOTHERED with this right now" often eliciting anger, jealousy and spite out of her. I kept reading, but in dealing with her sister's anorexia at the hospital, she always focused situations on her self, and her very surface concern for her sister seemed completely unrealistic to me. I enjoyed the character of her lonely grandfather, and her mother is another deliciously antagonistic character that will have you waiting to see what she does next. I think Medoff is a good writer, and my sense in this book is that she was trying to relate this character to something in her own life that happened, instead of letting the character be a stand alone character with realistic reactions to a very difficult situation.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 15, 1997
Format: Hardcover
As an anorexic female, I found this book to be very emotional, for two reasons. One, I can place myself in the main character's struggle for perfection and thinness but at the same time I also saw the family's struggle with the eating disorder. The book, I feel, takes an honest look at all the systems involved with a person who is struggling for meaning. I could not put this book down. I read it in one day and I would reccommend this book to those who are trying to understand eating disorders. This novel really struck some feeling in my heart.
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