Synopses & Reviews
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 weve 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 Leavitts 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 Americas 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 whos ever felt guilty about eating dessert, or gushed over a friends weight loss, or wished she had a different body.
"Brown's wide-ranging essay collection about women's relationships with food is more than the sum of its parts, making an effective cross-section of modern Western attitudes toward eating. Those essays regarding eating disorders, such as anorexic Caroline Leavitt's moving account of the criticism and verbal jabs leveled at her by her fiancée and his family, are thoughtful and well-written, but suffer from a plodding sameness; a few border on melodrama. Essays from a ballerina and a model may confirm some stereotypes, but Ann Hood's account of the Draconian measures that ensure flight attendants conform to a body ideal is sure to inspire simmering outrage. The real gems come in frank, often comical accounts of growing up with unorthodox food practices: Kathi Kamen Goldmark's story of her health-obsessed parents, and the culinary chaos that ensued when Kathi was left on her own in the real world, is enlightening and entertaining. Conversely, Rochelle Jewel Shapiro details her family's more troubling obsession with eating as quickly as possible, inspired by her father's brutal experience under the threat of Cossacks. This hit-and-miss collection, taken as a whole, has a comforting, important message for anyone with food issues: you're not alone." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
This collection of poignant, heartbreaking, and funny essays includes works from some of the literary world's most accomplished authors about one issue that plagues nearly every woman: her relationship with food.