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1 Burnside Film and Television- Actor Biographies

Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain

by

Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain Cover

ISBN13: 9781439177792
ISBN10: 1439177791
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“I didn’t decide to become anorexic. It snuck up on me disguised as a healthy diet, a professional attitude. Being as thin as possible was a way to make the job of being an actress easier . . .”

Portia de Rossi weighed only 82 pounds when she collapsed on the set of the Hollywood film in which she was playing her first leading role. This should have been the culmination of all her years of hard work—first as a child model in Australia, then as a cast member of one of the hottest shows on American television. On the outside she was thin and blond, glamorous and successful. On the inside, she was literally dying.

In this searing, unflinchingly honest book, Portia de Rossi captures the complex emotional truth of what it is like when food, weight, and body image take priority over every other human impulse or action. She recounts the elaborate rituals around eating that came to dominate hours of every day, from keeping her daily calorie intake below 300 to eating precisely measured amounts of food out of specific bowls and only with certain utensils. When this wasn’t enough, she resorted to purging and compulsive physical exercise, driving her body and spirit to the breaking point.

Even as she rose to fame as a cast member of the hit television shows Ally McBeal and Arrested Development, Portia alternately starved herself and binged, all the while terrified that the truth of her sexuality would be exposed in the tabloids. She reveals the heartache and fear that accompany a life lived in the closet, a sense of isolation that was only magnified by her unrelenting desire to be ever thinner. With the storytelling skills of a great novelist and the eye for detail of a poet, Portia makes transparent as never before the behaviors and emotions of someone living with an eating disorder.

From her lowest point, Portia began the painful climb back to a life of health and honesty, falling in love with and eventually marrying Ellen DeGeneres, and emerging as an outspoken and articulate advocate for gay rights and women’s health issues.

In this remarkable and beautifully written work, Portia shines a bright light on a dark subject. A crucial book for all those who might sometimes feel at war with themselves or their bodies, Unbearable Lightness is a story that inspires hope and nourishes the spirit.

Synopsis:

Now in paperback, the andlt;iandgt;New York Timesandlt;/iandgt; bestselling memoir from Portia de Rossi explores the truth of her long battle to overcome anorexia and bulimiaand#8212;and#8220;an unusually fresh and engrossing memoir of both Hollywood and modern womanhoodand#8221; ( andlt;iandgt;Los Angeles Timesandlt;/iandgt;, 5 stars).andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;In this groundbreaking memoir, Portia de Rossi reveals the pain and illness that haunted her for decades, from the time she was a twelve-year-old girl working as a model in Australia, through her early rise to fame as a cast member of the hit television show andlt;iandgt;Ally McBealandlt;/iandgt; . All the while terrified that the truth of her sexuality would be exposed in the tabloids, Portia alternately starved herself and binged, putting her life in danger and concealing from herself and everyone around her the seriousness of her illness. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;She describes the elaborate rituals around food that came to dominate hours of every day and explores the pivotal moments of her childhood that set her on the road to illness. She reveals the heartache and fear that accompany a life lived in the closet, a sense of isolation that was only magnified by her unrelenting desire to be ever thinner, ever more in control of her body and the number of calories she consumed and spent.andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;From her lowest point, Portia began the painful climb back to a life of health and honesty, falling in love and marrying Ellen DeGeneres and emerging as an outspoken and articulate advocate for gay rights and womenand#8217;s health issues. In this remarkable and landmark book, she has given the world a story that inspires hope and nourishes the spirit.

About the Author

andlt;Bandgt;Portia de Rossiandlt;/Bandgt;andnbsp;is an Australian-born actress best known for her roles in the television seriesandnbsp;andlt;iandgt;Ally McBeal, Arrested Development, andlt;/iandgt;and most recently andlt;iandgt;Better Off Ted.andlt;/iandgt;andnbsp;She lives in Los Angeles with her wife, Ellen DeGeneres.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Christin, August 24, 2012 (view all comments by Christin)
I read this even though I dang well know better than to read triggering books like this when I’m really stressed out and having anxiety attacks like I was the other day. So be warned, if that's an issue for you.

I think the fact that this book was so triggering is actually an indicator of how good it is. If Portia’s writing wasn’t so engaging and she wasn’t so unflinchingly honest, I wouldn’t have been able to connect with it and see so much of myself in it, which is what set me off.

What I think this book does very well is plainly show the way an eating disordered person’s mind works. You can see how it’s not just about food and weight, it’s about the crushing feeling of not measuring up, failure, and disappointment in all areas of life. But at the same time, it’s not just ”one thing they can control” like a lot of people (even therapists) try to reduce eating disorders down to. Yes, it’s about all that other stuff, but it is also about weight and eating, really and truly. Our culture is monumentally messed up about weight and appearance. That has an effect. It means something very powerful in our culture when a woman is whittled down to nothing and it’s rewarded in a lot of ways. It’s not just some crazy coincidence that all this other anxiety and self-hatred just happens to manifest as an obsession with weight loss. I think Portia’s writing makes very clear both elements of this disease.
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mandarava3, August 6, 2012 (view all comments by mandarava3)
Unbearable Lightness moved me, transformed me, and continues to reverberate deeply in my being. Portia de Rossi is not only expert at playing quirky, chilly women on TV, she’s also a first rate writer with a lyrical, clean style and a truly wise and warm heart. Her memoir of her struggle with anorexia/bulimia is profound and beautiful. It is not always easy to take in, but its rewards far exceed its difficulties.

I savored this book, settling onto the couch with a shiver of anticipation, reading just one exquisite chapter a day (the better to make it last). Those daily sessions still stand out in my mind as bright and sparkly and whole.

As amazing as it is, this book should not be given to anyone who struggles with an eating disorder or who may be at risk for one. In her honesty, Portia gives far too much “how to” information. However, as an incredibly inspiring and beautifully written memoir of profound personal transformation, Unbearable Lightness is among the very best.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781439177792
Author:
De Rossi, Portia
Publisher:
Atria Books
Author:
Rossi, Portia de
Author:
de, Portia
Subject:
Biography - General
Subject:
anorexia, eating disorder, ellen degeneres, elen de generes, portia derossi, new york times, bestseller, jonathan safran foer, weight loss, body image, gay rights, lesbian, coming out, memoir, ally mcbeal, arrested development, actress, celebrity, famous
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20110731
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
4 bandamp;w photos throughout
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.44 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » Actors » Biographies
Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » Biographies
Biography » Entertainment and Performing Arts
Biography » Gay and Lesbian
Biography » General
Featured Titles » Spirituality and Wellness
Gay and Lesbian » History and Social Science » History and Biographies
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Eating Disorders
Health and Self-Help » Recovery and Addiction » Eating Disorders

Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain Used Trade Paper
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$6.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Atria Books - English 9781439177792 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Now in paperback, the andlt;iandgt;New York Timesandlt;/iandgt; bestselling memoir from Portia de Rossi explores the truth of her long battle to overcome anorexia and bulimiaand#8212;and#8220;an unusually fresh and engrossing memoir of both Hollywood and modern womanhoodand#8221; ( andlt;iandgt;Los Angeles Timesandlt;/iandgt;, 5 stars).andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;In this groundbreaking memoir, Portia de Rossi reveals the pain and illness that haunted her for decades, from the time she was a twelve-year-old girl working as a model in Australia, through her early rise to fame as a cast member of the hit television show andlt;iandgt;Ally McBealandlt;/iandgt; . All the while terrified that the truth of her sexuality would be exposed in the tabloids, Portia alternately starved herself and binged, putting her life in danger and concealing from herself and everyone around her the seriousness of her illness. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;She describes the elaborate rituals around food that came to dominate hours of every day and explores the pivotal moments of her childhood that set her on the road to illness. She reveals the heartache and fear that accompany a life lived in the closet, a sense of isolation that was only magnified by her unrelenting desire to be ever thinner, ever more in control of her body and the number of calories she consumed and spent.andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;From her lowest point, Portia began the painful climb back to a life of health and honesty, falling in love and marrying Ellen DeGeneres and emerging as an outspoken and articulate advocate for gay rights and womenand#8217;s health issues. In this remarkable and landmark book, she has given the world a story that inspires hope and nourishes the spirit.
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