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.
Who is raising our children? You hardly even know them, because you are gone before they wake up for school and they are home, doing God knows what, four hours before you are. There can't be any problem because they are smiling, have good grades, and look healthy. Wrong. Marya Hornbacher tears down the walls of home as she draws us into the folds of her life in,
Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia. Hornbacher reveals how a ballerina can weave her way through the world, with a smile, into college, while killing herself the entire time right under her parents' noses. Using her crafted skills with the pen and forcing personalism by narrating her own work, Hornbacher buried herself under my skin with her story. In a world that glamorizes the thin with fashion contracts, while ridiculing the heavy as freaks and misfits,
Wasted serves as a billboard of our hypocrisy. (Jock C.)
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