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Brave Girl Eating: A Family's Struggle with Anorexiaby Harriet Brown
Synopses & Reviews
I've never had anorexia, but I know it well. I see it on the street, in the gaunt and sunken face, the bony chest, the spindly arms of an emaciated woman. I've come to recognize the flat look of despair, the hopelessness that follows, inevitably, from years of starvation. I think: That could have been my daughter. It wasn't. It's not. If I have anything to say about it, it won't be.
Millions of families are affected by eating disorders, which usually strike young women between the ages of fourteen and twenty. But current medical practice ties these families' hands when it comes to helping their children recover. Conventional medical wisdom dictates separating the patient from the family and insists that "it's not about the food," even as a family watches a child waste away before their eyes. Harriet Brown shows how counterproductive—and heartbreaking—this approach is by telling her daughter's story of anorexia. She describes how her family, with the support of an open-minded pediatrician and a therapist, helped her daughter recover using family-based treatment, also known as the Maudsley approach.
Chronicling her daughter Kitty's illness from the earliest warning signs, through its terrifying progression, and on toward recovery, Brown takes us on one family's journey into the world of anorexia nervosa, where starvation threatened her daughter's body and mind. But hope and love—of the ordinary, family-focused kind—shine through every decision and action she and her family took. Brave Girl Eating is essential reading for families and professionals alike, a guiding light for anyone who's coping with this devastating disease.
Ive never had anorexia, but I know it well. I see it on the street, in the gaunt and sunken face, the bony chest, the spindly arms of an emaciated woman. Ive come to recognize the flat look of despair, the hopelessness that follows, inevitably, from years of starvation. I think: That could have been my daughter. It wasnt. Its not. If I have anything to say about it, it wont be.
In this emotionally resonant and compelling memoir, journalist and professor Harriet Brown takes readers—moment by moment, spoonful by spoonful—through her familys experience with the nightmare of anorexia. A guiding light for anyone touched by this devastating disease, Brave Girl Eating is essential reading for families and professionals alike.
About the Author
Harriet Brown grew up in South Jersey and has lived in New York City and Madison, Wisconsin. A regular contributor to the New York Times Science section, Brown has also written for the New York Times Magazine, O, Redbook, Health, and other magazines and newspapers. Her previous books include Feed Me!, which is also the title of her popular blog that covers food, eating disorders, and obesity (harrietbrown.blogspot.com). Brown is a sought-after speaker and an assistant professor of magazine journalism at the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She lives in Syracuse, New York, with her family.
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