From Publishers Weekly
Despite the obesity epidemic that plagues America, fat people remain such a reviled and marginalized group that contributor Natalie Kusz observes that they are often perceived as "invisible" by other Americans. This wonderful collection of reprints by or about overweight peoplearranged by the editors of 2003s What Are You Looking At?: The First Fat Fiction Anthologymay help to change all that. Some of its essays, like Michael Martones "Sympathetic Pregnancies," describe the authors ceaseless struggle to establish a healthy and stable relationship with food; others, like Pam Houstons "Out of Habit, I Start Apologizing," detail the authors complicated relationship with her body. Also illuminating are the essays by writers who are not fat themselves but who entered into a relationship with an overweight person, such as Lori Gottlieb, a former anorexic who dated a 300-pound man, and Irvin Yalom, a psychoanalyst whose treatment of a 250-pound woman prompted him to evaluate his own feelings about fat people. Atul Gawandes "The Man Who Couldnt Stop Eating" makes it clear that losing weight and keeping it off is no easy feat: the vast majority of dieters regain "one-third to two-thirds of any weight lost within a yearand all of it within five years." One of the collections most disturbing entries is Sarah Fenskes "Big Game Hunters," which records several mens candid discussion of "hogging," or targeting fat women for casual sexual encounters. Fenskes piece, and several others, suggest that we have a long way to go before fat peoples emotions, needs and experiences are accepted as respectfully as those of others. Perhaps this varied and often moving collection can serve as an effective catalyst in that direction.
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PRAISE FOR WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT?
"[A] singular and delightful anthology . . . Compelling in its honesty and surprising in its range."--Publishers Weekly