In our appearance-obsessed society, eating is about much more than hunger and sustenance. Food inspires pleasure and anxiety, shame and obsession. We are constantly judged on how we look, so we’ve come to judge ourselves (and others) on what and how we eat.
These evocative essays, from some of the most talented and popular writers working today, tackle this universal subject with humor, longing, and compassion. Joyce Maynard writes about learning to make pie with her complex but adored mother. Caroline Leavitt’s chilling piece describes the overlap between power and eating. Ophira Edut explains how an outspoken “body outlaw” wound up on Jenny Craig. Diana Abu-Jaber writes about abandoning her Bedouin customs for America’s silverware and table manners–and missing the physical, hands-on connection with food.
Exploring the bonds between appetite and remorse, hunger and longing, satisfaction and desire, this anthology is for every woman who’s ever felt guilty about eating dessert, or gushed over a friend’s weight loss, or wished she had a different body.
About the Author
Harriet Brown is a regular contributor to the New York Times and also has written for O, Redbook, Psychology Today, and other publications. Her previous books include Feed Me!, which is also the title of her popular blog that covers food, weight, and body image (harrietbrown.blogspot.com).
Diana Abu-Jaber is the author of "Origin", "Crescent", "The Language of Baklava", and "Arabian Jazz". She has won the PEN Center USA Award for Literary Fiction, the Oregon Book Award, and other prizes. Her writing appears in the "New York Times", the "Washington Post", "Slate", "Ms.", "Gourmet", "Salon", and "Vogue", and she is frequently featured on National Public Radio. She lives in Coral Gables, Florida, and Portland, Oregon.
Foreword writer Jane E. Brody writes the Personal Health column for The New York Times and is author of several books, including Jane Brody's Guide to the Great Beyond, Jane Brody's Good Food Book, Jane Brody's Nutrition Book, and Jane Brody's Good Seafood Book.
“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