At the age of four Marya Hornbacher looked in a mirror and decided she was fat. At nine, she was bulimic. At 12, she was anorexic. By the time she was 18, she'd been hospitalized five times, once in a mental asylum. Her doctors and her parents had given up on her; they were watching her die. But Marya decided to live. Four years on, now 22, here is her tale, powerfully told in a mix of memoir, cultural criticism and psychological examination. Here is the fury of a clever woman made stupid by her culture, who threw away her teenage years in a continuous cycle of bingeing and vomiting or just plain starvation.
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