I have always had issues with weight and body image This book was one of the most helpful and insightful to me I wept through the first chapter because I kept hearing myself described and I didn t feel crazy because of it. One of the best books of feminism I ve ever read My copy keeps on getting loaned out to friends, who have almost all then bought copies of their own for re reading Really, really smart, gripping, and emotionally absorbing. Caroline Knapp Addresses The Following Question How Does A Woman Know, And Then Honour, What It Is She Wants In A Culture Bent On Shaping, Defining And Controlling Women And Their Desires She Uses Her Own Experiences As A Powerful Exploration Of This Issue It s unfortunate that this book gets pegged as an anorexia memoir even by a blurb on the cover, because it s also instead a fantastic analysis of some particular flavors of cultural misogyny, both external and internalized That said, Knapp does an amazing job of weaving in her personal experience to make most of what she says even engaging Combining memoir and analysis can get tricky oftentimes authors tend to overgeneralize, or get too caught up in the particulars of their own story to make any general critiques at all, but Knapp walks the line in a particularly graceful way her writing reminds me of bell hooks Wounds of Passion I m only halfway through, but this is one that I will read again and again, and should be on any feminist s bookshelf. this book is really stunning it took me a little time to get into it, but once I did I was really impressed with the intricate job Knapp does of weaving so much truth into this about appetite in the largest sense of the word, and how culture shapes it I loved this passage in particular Sorrow is stubbornly resistant to insight I can put together the puzzle pieces of anxiety and guilt and self hatred, I can draw neat lines between culture and alienation from body and self, I can trace pieces of my anorexic history to this moment and that one, this lesson and that message Sorrow is what runs beneath all that, a mysterious pull that seems at once deep as earth and free floating, and that casts the matter of appetite in a strong and singular light, all individual and known longings blurred and indistinguishable beneath its glare It simply makes its presence felt, periodically and without obvious cause on a sleepless night or the first waking moment of a bad morning, a sudden pang of hollowness and yearning that seems wholly unrelated to any specific want, that seems instead to speak to a deeper variety of hunger, an oceanic brand from which other appetites merely split off, diverge, reveal themselves to be smaller rivers and tributaries of feeling that always, somehow, lead back to this. Second time I have read this book The first time it was life altering the second time it served as a progress check up and how to proceed in the new year Loved it the first time and loved it again my mind wizard recommended this to me and i was suspect, as i am not and have never been anorexic this book blew me away it s not so much about anorexia but about what women do to themselves to fill the emptiness that permeates their lives the theme of hunger is not just about food but about the insatiable needs of love, understanding, respect, good relationships, meaningful work you might starve yourself, gorge yourself, shop until you re drowning in debt, chainsmoke, be promiscuous, dedicate your life to your job, etc, and it s all just a symptom of the overarching problem of wanting it s a slow read, but probably because you have to let it sink in i hadn t read anything so intellectually stimulating since college and i keep recommending it to women i know who will find some truth in at least part of the book the death of the writer of lung cancer before APPETITES publication is truly sad. Fascinating subject Knapp took what seemed to be a simple topic of the desire to eat and relates it to our struggles with mothers, men, loneliness, and our universal need for pleasure I ve already lent my copy out This book was very important to me I m extremely grateful I read this it said a lot of things I needed to hear Caroline Knapp, a former anorexic, delves into why women believe they need to deny themselves those things they desire, and why they shouldn t feel like they should Women need to not only get in touch with their appetites, but what those appetites are, why they are there Why do women feel the need to starve themselves Why do some steal, others shop, others cut, others purge She goes into all of this, where it might come from, and maybe how to fix it, even if it s just a little bit This really helped me realize that I had an eating disorder it also pointed me in the right direction before it became something too serious I am grateful to Caroline Knapp and to my professor who required us to read it I would recommend this to any woman who has felt the need to deny herself something because she didn t think she deserved it be it food, sex, or other things , and to men who want to understand better how a woman s mind works and where some of our insecurities come from. Considering how much I loved Knapp s memoir, Drinking A Love Story, I had high expectations for this memoir slash cultural study about women s relationships with appetite, whether it s for food, sex, or other But this book written 5 years after DALS, in 2002, and her last book before she died from cancer was terribly disappointing She rants and raves about men, consumer culture, the media, and advertising, blaming them for a host of ills that infect and distort women s images of themselves Except, for one thing, she pretty much admits her own anorexia was bound to deeper issues with her parents and family, rather than simply to media images She admits, as she did in DALS, to obsessive love affairs with older men whose qualities she wanted for herself and then distorts the idea of wanting to feel sexy for another person as some sort of disordered thinking She RANTS about fashion and beauty, seemingly not understanding at all that some women consider it a healthy habit to take care of their bodies and appearance And she confuses goddess worship, with Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue covers Plus, she seems to think that women s bodies have been vilified in all cultures throughout time Which puh leeze Poor thing could have used some serious schooling in Tantra and earth based, female centered religions Speaking of which, she mentions spirituality only in the last 1 10th of the book, dismissing it after a paragraph as something she never really understood Clearly She comes across as repressed, sheltered, and very unsophisticated, yet overcompensating with a know it all stance Very frustrating to read Though she includes some statistics for irrelevant information, the bulk of information about body image and women s self hate is based on her own personal assumptions and opinions and I pretty much agreed with none of them If you re going to say things like, I feel like this is a widespread sentiment, back it up Otherwise, I can t take anything you say seriously In short not recommended.
Caroline Knapp was an American writer and columnist whose candid best selling memoir Drinking A Love Story recounted her 20 year battle with alcoholism.From 1988 95, she was a columnist for the Boston Phoenix, where her column Out There often featured the fictional Alice K In 1994, those columns were collected in her first book, Alice K s Guide to Life One Woman s Quest for Survival,
- 224 pages
- Appetites: Why Women Want
- Caroline Knapp
- 22 June 2019 Caroline Knapp