eta i think it s important to note that this book was first published in 1998 when things like tumblr did not exist for a generation that learned to get all information from books, this book was the key to tricks and tips for anorexia not that you couldn t figure them out for yourself, but if you were on the edge or something, this gave you ways i don t actually say that this book should be censored, i say i wish there was a way to put warnings on it i say i think it s an important book for non ED people i.e family and friends and i do think it s important for people with EDs, i just don t like the framing all that much that is a personal preference see my reviews of elizabeth wurtzel s books i have issues with people with mental illness who seem to lack agency in getting better hornbacher isn t 100% committed to getting better at the end of this she isn t committed to recovery and that s fine, for her, but i wish she hadn t written it until she was committed everything else in the book remains true, and i think would have resonated and been stronger if she was committed not necessarily a happily ever after but a anything to stop this disease the kind of ironic thing is that she does get the happily ever after what i loved about Madness A Bipolar Life was that i felt like she truly tapped into what was driving her to do the things she did that she finally was brutally honest, that she committed to getting better honestly, crazypeoplememoirs always walk a fine line between sensationalist literature, victimization, fact and moralizing.i appreciate the story i appreciate the willingness to show the bald face of EDs but i still question why this is the book she chose to write, who she intended her audience to be, and what she hoped to accomplish because i think the author that wrote wasted would have different opinions than the author of madness, or sane, and i do think that s worth considering and, for the record, i have done extensive work with women in their teens and older with EDs i said 25 not because i don t think people older can suffer from it, but rather that they are already aware of all the tricks and tips these illnesses are absolutely devastating, and they exist, and i think there is a balance society needs to start dealing with in terms of celebrating thin women and calling healthy women fat or on pregnancy watch, and that this book deals with the strength required to have an ED, and not necessarily the elements of self hatred and comorbid diagnoses and beliefs that lead a lot of women and men to develop EDs 2005 i think this book should be pulled from the shelves of most bookstores, or at least not giving to anyone under the age of 25, but i am against censorship, so mostly i just wish this wasn t the book she chose to write for a non ED audience, it plays well the story is gripping, it goes into detail about the horror of living with an ED, it discusses why the ED is so hard to give up for the ED audience, the book is literally packed with tricks and tips and ways to cheat and get around your doctors hornbacher claims that the point of writing the book was to deglamourize EDs the problem is, even she, at the end of the book, has not fully committed to giving up her ED how can you write a book saying there is nothing good about EDs without resolving to give it up yourself i have heard people talk about how they appreciated her brutal honesty to me it read as an attention seeking method of writing to me, she made herself out as a victim, and she is still a victim at the end she still does not have control over her disorder of course, the ending is very true to real life recovery is a painful, long process with frequent relapses, especially for those who have been hospitalized but instead of exploring why that is the case, she spends her time talking about how she cheated the system she does not give up her basic system of beliefs that caused the ED in the first place she is unapologetic and, to me, paints herself as someone without any agency in the recovery of ED, which infuriates me it s sad, because i think she has a lot of really good things to say she just chooses to take a different route, kind of the sensationalistic route rather than the de glamourization she claims to have wanted it was disappointing to me, and it was frustrating, and it worried me that kids with ED are recommending this book to each other in order to find tips and thinspiration i don t know, i found it profoundly depressing, which hardly ever happens i guess i just feel like it was such a wasted pardon the bad pun opportunity to make a positive impact on the ED community i agree with whoever said stay away from this book if you are in recovery and go visit something fishy.com instead. It would be tacky to put this on my food shelf, wouldn t it But I did get so hungry while reading it that I got up and made spaghetti carbonara It was delicious.So this is a memoir of the author s ten year struggle with bulimia and anorexia I found it different from other works I ve read on eating disorders, in that the author doesn t go for easy explanations of why she almost killed herself She wasn t trying to be pretty or perfect or to control her world, at least not solely She was really, acutely mentally ill, and that recovery is as big a problem as the physical illnesses associated with the eating disorder.I found the book self indulgent, arrogant, and obnoxiously smug in places, but honest and lacerating in others Sometimes all five at once This isn t a perfectly written book reviewers swooned over her prose when she wrote it at 23, but in my opinion Hornbacher could have used a good, judicious editor to cut down some of her babbling bullshit It s an impressive effort, though I was curious when I finished if the author is still alive, because the book was published almost 10 years ago She is, and has another memoir coming out next spring that fills in where this one left off I m not sure if I want to spend any time inside her head, but I m intrigued. I read this book when it was first released its very disturbing I wouldn t know how many stars to give it actually I never like to rate memoirs in the first place I can t give it 5 stars I can t give it 1 star so I went for 3 but I ll never forget the story Eating disorders are a disease Marya Hornbacher does not sugar coat anything People who have suffered anorexic or been a parent of a child lived this life deeply may not want to read this book NO SOLID answers NO SOLID solutions to HOW to REALLY end this disease at least at the time when this book was written.I believe MUCH scientific base information from real chemical imbalance is making the biggest difference into this disease today I ve a friend medical doctor doing some wonderful research now putting together programs which were much different than just 15 years ago Things our daughter rejected 5 times in hospital programs were for good reasons The were being feed foods which their bodies WERE reacting to diet was NOT being considered they were being forced to eat anything given to them dead processed hospital food We ve learned these people than most need a very clean whole food diet allergy checking etc.I hope to god this author, Marya is doing well today I haven t kept up with her Our own daughter who suffered for 14 years is THRIVING doing WONDERFUL She healed herself HER way It took 14 years but she is strong bright independent supporting herself 32 years old beautiful very talented to boot Wishing all that suffer with eating disorders to get the help THEY need to get well 3.5 starsI once had an eating disorder several years ago, so I appreciate Marya Hornbacher s unflinching honesty in Wasted She holds nothing back in this memoir, sharing the immense pain that accompanies anorexia and bulimia the preoccupation with calories that takes over your life, the obsession with food that steals your energy from your passions, and the shame and guilt that comes with not feeling strong enough to resist your disorder Published in 1997, Wasted may have very well served as one of this country s first exposures to eating disorders Thus, I applaud Hornbacher s courage in providing us with such a raw and vulnerable look into her life Here is one quote about the emotional upheaval that often underlies and contributes to the development of eating disordersAll of us carry around countless bags of dusty old knickknacks dated from childhood collected resentments, long lists of wounds of greater or lesser significance, glorified memories, absolute certainties that later turn out to be wrong Humans are emotional pack rats These bags define us My baggage made me someone I did not want to be a cringing girl, a sensitive plant, a needy greedy sort of thing I began, at an early age, to try to rid myself o my bags I began to construct a new role I made a plan When I was six, I wrote it down with my green calligraphy pen and buried it in the backyard My plan To get thin To be great To get out Despite my appreciation for Hornbacher s memoir as a whole, I did not enjoy its lack of organization She jumps around between times and settings in an often incomprehensible way Her prose has a tendency to fall into an unrefined stream of consciousness that trends toward unfiltered emotional catharsis than an understandable conception of her life You could say that this messy writing highlights the disorientation that comes with an eating disorder However, I would argue that writers have an obligation to readers in particular to vulnerable, younger readers to do their best to display some of their healing alongside their pain, or at least their path toward healing.This lack of emphasis on recovery makes me skeptical of Hornbacher s motives Of course, I believe her narrative and feel honored and awed that she shared it with us At the same time, in some ways Wasted glorifies eating disorders instead of portraying them as horrid illnesses we must strive to prevent and rail against I wish that Hornbacher had spent time describing her recovery, as well as the joys and challenges that accompanied it I will end this review with a passage toward the very end of the book, about strengthIt is not a sudden leap from sick to well It is a slow, strange meander from sick to mostly well The misconception that eating disorders are a medical disease in the traditional sense is not helpful here There is no cure A pill will not fix it, though it may help Ditto therapy, ditto food, ditto endless support from family and friends You fix it yourself It is the hardest thing that I have ever done, and I found myself stronger for doing it Much stronger.Never, never underestimate the power of desire If you want to live badly enough, you can live Why Would A Talented Young Woman Enter Into A Torrid Affair With Hunger, Drugs, Sex, And Death Through Five Lengthy Hospital Stays, Endless Therapy, And The Loss Of Family, Friends, Jobs, And All Sense Of What It Means To Be Normal, Marya Hornbacher Lovingly Embraced Her Anorexia And Bulimia Until A Particularly Horrifying Bout With The Disease In College Put The Romance Of Wasting Away To Rest Forever A Vivid, Honest, And Emotionally Wrenching Memoir, Wasted Is The Story Of One Woman S Travels To Reality S Darker Side And Her Decision To Find Her Way Back On Her Own Terms Marya is a fantastic fucking memoirist There are a couple reasons this is all the incredible First, that she d found such a voice and command of prose at 23, and second, that a 23 year old would have lived a life worth writing about The language is appropriately jagged, with short, sharp sentences, embodying a sparse, terrifying narrative of the scattered moments recalling her gradual and deliberate self destruction.She spares no one, including herself, in her examination of the causes and effects of her disorder She stops briefly, as objectively as a memoirist could be expected to, on the childhood memories that grew to define her outlook But, rather than simply laying the blame on someone s doorstep, she perpetually questions her own rationales after the fact, never dwelling on what might have been had one thing or another not happened It s possible, she allows, that there s no environmental cause at all. Edited to add disclaimer PLEASE err on the side of extreme caution if you are recovering from ED or were planning to share this book with a young person who may be in a vulnerable position As someone who has struggled from an ED myself, I can say that this book contains many things that could trigger you It also contains graphic detail of how to hide food, how to get rid of food, how to trick people, etc Basic Summary Well, I think the title sort of covers it It s a memoir of the author s hellish descent into the dark world of Anorexia and Bulimia The Pros I think this is an important book, a book that really needed to be written and put in the hands of everyone If I thought he would understand, I would hand this off to my boyfriend and tell him that every girl healthy or not has felt similar to Marya in their lives, in their judgments of themselves, their food, etc Not many to her extent, but I would say this book can strike a chord with just about all women to some degree I admire her forthrightness, her bluntness and her bravery for writing this book I, especially, think the last 20 pages of her book are very powerful Just for their striking honesty and the light they shed on the after math of a life ravaged by eating disorders, often silently By rule, I almost never give 5 star ratings to even my favorite books, but, I had to pull one out for this book.The Cons She is not a natural writer, in my opinion If Lynne Truss author of grammar book, Eats, Shoots Leaves The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation were to see this book I fear she would fall into cardiac arrest It s an abomination on the English language She has a Thing About seemingly Random Capitalization and abundant use of quotations that are arbitrary Sometimes in the middle of a sentence she will use an exclamation point where I think italics might have done the trick She has footnotes which are, at times, used just fine and mark a specific article study author etc Other times, as I just read, the footnote is nearly half a page long and just seems like she should have included it in regular print as a part of her story As, the footnotes are generally her elaborating on a subject Which, in a memoir, does not usually warrant a long footnote but rather a new paragraph instead As you see, these are technical notes and nitpicks I have no qualms about her subject or story.Memorable Quotations 1 I hold my breath and shut my eyes when I pull on a pair of jeans in the dressing room, afraid they will now, as then, get stuck at my hips and there i will stand, absurd, staring at the excess of hips that should, if I were a good person, be slim2 Bear in mind, people with eating disorders tend to be both competitive and intelligent We are incredibly perfectionistic We often excel in school, athletics, artistic pursuits We also tend to quit without warning Refuse to go to school, drop out, quit jobs, leave lovers, move, lose all our money We get sick of being impressive Rather, we tire of having to seem impressive As a rule, most of never really believed we were any good in the first place. 3 I was really annoyed when told I was going to die and rather petulantly went, Well fuck you then I won tAfter being told she would only have a week left to live, at 52 pounds. I m ambivalent about this book Certainly, at times, she pulled no punchesyet at other times, still a bit under the sway of her disorder, she seemed to be bragging about her successes in the extremes of her eating disorder She wasn t really healthy yet, and that came through in ways she probably never intended In many ways, it helped me understand how eating disorders work In other ways again, I m sure unintentional on the author s part , I began to understand how eating disorders and personality disorders can often go hand in hand But by the end of the book, I just really didn t like her very much You know how sometimes brutal honesty can feel disingenuous, as if meant to distract or redirect your attention from something else It felt a bit like that. My relationship with this book is love hate It kind of reminds me of Prozac Nation in the sense that the first couple chapters about her average middle class childhood are pretty boring and pointless She tries to describe every little bad thing that happened to her like she is the only one in the world who ever received less than perfect parenting However keep reading because unlike Prozac Nation this book actually gets pretty good as time goes on and you get into the shocking rock bottom details of her eating disorder I think once you get to these parts the book is written beautifully, it is engaging and is very easy to get addicted to However, the ending left me yearning for a little bit.Another thing that is totally off putting about this book is that it is A MAJOR TRIGGER for people with eating disorders When I read this I was in recovery and feel back into that hole deeper than I had before The book is good but it left me wondering why someone who has been through what she has would write such a thing The whole time it seems like she is trying to seem like the worst and most ill anorexic bulimic in the world, it is almost like she is gloating about her illness If you have an eating disorder you will leave wondering Why didn t I do all those things she did, thats pretty smart or Why couldn t I be that strong and lose as much weight as she did It gives out secrets and tips that could easily kill you, glorifies it and makes it seem like its no big deal I would HIGHLY recommend that no one with an eating disorder comes within 10 feet of this book.However, if the thought of an eating disorder confuses you, makes you laugh or just plain disgusts you than I do recommend this book AS LONG AS YOU HAVE NO RISK OF DEVELOPING AN EATING DISORDER it is very descriptive and educational, bringing you into a raw world of pain and demons that so many feel everyday. God, there is nothing tedious than a personal narrative that just goes on and on and on I admire Ms Hornbacher s willingness to put everything out there, but I find much of what she writes terribly suspect Reading it from a non eating disordered perspective, I had to wonder if people who had been through this picked it up and thought wow, that s just what I went through or hey, what a good idea, I never thought of doing that Plus I m not sure if the fact she s not yet over her illness helps or hurts her point I wanted to sympathize, I really did, but by the end, I just kinda wanted to give her and her entire family one giant bitch slap I apologize if that sounds heartless.
Marya Hornbacher published her first book, Wasted A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia HarperCollins Publishers, Inc , in 1998, when she was twenty three What started as a crazy idea suggested by a writer friend became the classic book that has been published in fourteen languages, is taught in universities and writing programs all over the world, and has, according to the thousands of letters Mar
- 298 pages
- Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
- Marya Hornbacher
- 06 February 2017 Marya Hornbacher