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Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self Paperback – November 17, 2009
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Stick Figure is a surprisingly upbeat memoir, mainly due to Gottlieb's descriptions of her upper-crust parents: "Mom and I usually don't like the same movies. For example, she didn't like my favorite movie, Star Wars, probably because no one goes shopping...." But despite the sly humor, Lori comes to a sobering conclusion that is, sadly, still relevant today: "...you can be too thin and not even know it, because you spend so much time listening to everyone talk about how ladies are supposed to diet, and how something's wrong with you if you aren't worried about being thin, too." Culled from Gottlieb's pre-teen diaries, Stick Figure is a wry and engaging observation of an eating disorder and the society that contributed to it. --Jennifer Hubert --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
It was horrifying to watch her mind go through the changes -- one minute she's a happy kid munching on a cookie after school and the next minute, she's in the hospital weighing less than 50 pounds and thinking her thighs are fat. She even believes breathing in air that SMELLS like food is enough to gain weight and her desperation to avoid gaining a single ounce is just gut-wrenching. I have felt that fear and I felt it again when I read this (a sign of good writing, incidentally). But when people tell her to stop dieting, she doesn't understand why since everyone around her is dieting too. Her friends throw away their lunches, her mom eats a few bites of salad for dinner and then sneaks down to the kitchen for cookies later, etc. etc. etc. The only people eating normally are her brother and father, and they're both too oblivious to really see what's going on.
One of the scariest parts of this book for me was realizing how many things Lori did when in the throes of anorexia that I do or have done. It's a real wake-up call. I mean, how can I yell at Lori to EAT THE DAMN COOKIE!Read more ›
Strikingly first person, the story is written based on Gottlieb's childhood diaries. Therefore, it has a very unique tone to it. Her attitude that the rest of the world is crazy gives the reader a sense of what could be going on in the minds of other young girls with anorexia. It is exceptionally poignant; humorous at times and heartwrenching at others.
I literally wanted to jump in the book and knock some sense into her parents, based on the way they were "handling" Lori. Her mother's comments made me jerk with agitation at some points. Of course, it was 1978 when much less was known of the disease. Fortunately, the support today is much stronger for the families of anorexics, who can then better support the terrible situation of their loved ones.
What surprised me the most about this book was how Lori was such a brilliant student. In my mind, smart people don't get anorexia. It certainly shifted my thinking about who the prime candidates for this disease are.
I would recommend this book to anyone who deals with girls as young as 10. It is amazing how early anorexia starts, and this book gives a great new perspective on the disease, and of some of the warning signs.
Most books about anorexics depict them as being incredibly controlling, compulsive, and monomanical about dieting - which they ARE - but that's usually ALL you see. Here, as in another great memoir, WASTED, you realize how complicated this illness can be. At times, Lori seems so "normal" -- even MORE "normal" than her friends and their dieting mothers. And you can really see how she's influenced by the attitudes around her, even though they don't "cause" her anorexia, they definitely contribute and add wry commentary on our media-driven culture.
Most people gave this book five stars, and if I could give it six stars, I would! I TOTALLY disagree with the two people who thought the book didn't depict Lori's recovery realistically -- I LIVED her recovery and really related to the book's ending -- it isn't all neat and tidy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am a huge fan of author Lori Gottlieb and always assign selections from her books in my media studies and gender courses. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Book Lover
Funny, honest, heartbreaking at times, this is a book every young person should read. And every parent, and teacher as well. Written with clarity, and amazing detail.Published 5 months ago by Liz
I am a clinical psychology graduate student specializing in eating disorders. My supervisor recommended this book in order to better understand how an eating disorder can develop... Read morePublished 7 months ago by AvidReader
I enjoyed this book, but I don't feel like it is the best representation of eating disorders. I have read several other books on EDs and I have many friends who also suffer from... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Adgee H
i read this as a teenager and i really identified with her in some ways. helped me to see that how we c ourselves can sometimes really become a big problem.Published 24 months ago by Stephanie Gross