Precociously intelligent, imaginative, energetic, and ambitious, Marya Hornbacher grew up in a comfortable middle-class American home. At the age of 5, she returned home from ballet class one day, put on an enormous sweater, curled up on her bed, and cried because she thought she was fat. By age 9, she was secretly bulimic, throwing up at home after school, while watching
Brady Bunch reruns on television and munching Fritos. She added anorexia to her repertoire a few years later and took great pride in her ability to starve.
Marya's story gathers intensity with each passing year. By the time she is in college and working for a wire news service in Washington D.C., she is in the grip of a bout of anorexia so horrifying that it will forever put to rest the romance of wasting away. Down to 52 pounds and counting, Marya becomes a battlefield: her powerful death instinct at war with the will to live.
Why would a talented young girl go through the looking glass and slip into a netherworld where up is down, food is greed, and death is honor? Why enter into a love affair with hunger, drugs, sex, and death? Marya Hornbacher sustained both anorexia and bulimia through 5 lengthy hospitalizations, endless therapy, the loss of family, friends, jobs, and ultimately, any sense of what it means to be "normal." In this vivid, emotionally wrenching memoir, she recreates the experience and illuminates the tangle of personal, family, and cultural causes underlying eating disorders.
Amazing memoir, one of my favorite books.
Wasted is a beautifully written book about Marya's lifelong struggle with eating disorders. Her story gives life to the way these disorders manifest in our culture, the way treatment does and doesn't work, and the impact on family and friends. Marya is a wonderful writer, and her story is engrossing.
This is by far the greatest book ever written. Marya gives a lot of details of her life as an anorexic and bulimic. Her story is inspirational and one that you will always remember. Although it gets off to a rough start and is slow at times, you won't want to put it down. I originally read it about six months ago (from the library) but I'm going to buy it and read it again. If you do have an ed (and are especially trying to recover) I wouldn't recommend it because you could get a lot of ideas which could furthermore cause damage to your own body. Sometimes the reading is difficult but the whole story makes up for it. Anyone who wants to read it must.
I've owned the print version for years - it is falling apart because I have read it so many times. I had to own the audiobook as well when I saw it was available. Gritty, down to earth, and "real" - I can never put it down once I have started reading it.