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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.

Topics: Minnesota, Washington, D.C., 1990s, Eating Disorders, Body Image, Depression, Addiction, Family, Drugs, Obsession, and Survival

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061755552
List price: $10.99
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This is very intelligently written, witty and poses an intense and realistic view of eating disorders, unlike most books which seem to glamorize and idealize.more
A lyrically written tale of an ugly, ugly disease.more
I am not, nor have I ever been anorexic. However, being thin all my life, I've constantly been accused by ignorant people and doctors of having an eating disorder. Thus formed my curiousity and secret obsession of reading about, watching and finding out all I can about eating disorders. With the recent popularity of "being TOO thin" there are many books popping up on the subject. Books that are not up to par. I've read many of those books, and this is not one of them. Marya's book is insightful and sad. It puts you in her place, and she describes in great detail how anorexics feel, think and act. If I were an anorexic, I wouldn't read this book. Simply because, with all the descriptions she gives.. it could be triggering. But for someone who is just interested in eating disorders, this is the perfect book to bring you into their world and shed some light. It's extremely informative and well written, I wish there were more like it.more
I really liked this. She has a great smartass style and just writes frankly about what anorexia and bulimia are like for her and what her life has been like. She started being bulimic at age 9. She acknowledges all the societal pressures on women and how abnormally most "normal" women eat, but also thinks there is something about her that responded to this. Her family is so much like mine, in their "stop acting like a child / why are you trying to act so grown up?" schizophrenia and their micro managing in some areas and deliberate blindness in others. I'm surprised in some ways that I didn't develop her kind of eating disorder but can see places where my life went in a different way.A long time ago someone I know said of her eating disorders that she tells people who say they wish they could get anorexia and lose weight, "If you want to kill yourself, just use a gun, it's quicker." But I never understood what she meant or what it was like. This book made what it's like clear. For the first time I wasn't thinking "What's so bad about that? It would be great to have that kind of willpower" and could see it was something that had hold of her rather than something she was doing. All that and she's funny, too.more
Synopsis: A painful memoir about Marya's eating disorder which began when she was nine years old. From bulimia, to anorexia and even depression, Marya retells the bitter truth about how these illness' really affect you.My Opinion: Marya describes everything in vivid detail. What I really liked about this book is that it doesn't move too quickly, which I find appropriate for this book as it reminds me of the slow, yet extremely harmful way which an eating disorder will affect you. It finishes brutally as well, with Marya explaining how she will never be fully healed from what was (and is still hugely) a part of her life.more
This is a very disturbing account of a young woman's fight with anorexia and bulimia. Hornbacher is honest and forthright about her disease and does not try to make it pretty. What is disturbing is that young women frequently read books like this and use it as a guide for how to become anorexic. Still, this is a horrifying book that will be a reality check for most people.more
It's a terrifying read, mostly because Hornbacher paints so vividly the draw behind starving herself. The control, the need, the addiction. It's an ugly book, a hard one, and it doesn't end with the author happily recovered. She's struggling and quite frank about it.more
A powerful look at bulimia and anorexia as lived by the author. Using alternatively creative, poetic language and harsh facts, Hornbacher sets out - and succeeds - to demystify the romantic aesthetics of thinness, to communicate just how much she hated herself and her body to go through such lengths to destroy herself and the constant price that she now has to pay for a normal healthy life. A shocking story of a young women who from ages nine to eighteen suffered in solitude from a little understood disease. A must read for all women and especially mothers.more
I've read this book twice now. It's certainly an interesting read although some of it is a little too 'poetical' for my tastes. I found myself really wanting her to get better, and I hope that she has managed to work through her demons and stay healthy since writing the book.more
A gripping memoir, interlaced with the author's perspectives on the hows and whys of eating disorders.more
This book should be read by every grade school girl and every woman in Western civilization, if not the world. Along with being very well written, it is a haunting critique on the ramifications of our culture's idea of beauty. It's the memoir of a woman (the author) who dealt with bulimia and anorexia for 15 years of her life. And yet this book reflects the majority of women, regardless of whether they have eating disorders or not. Hornbacher constantly refers to the fact that most women in our culture are obsessed with their weight, that the paragon of cultural beauty is found in a body that is prepubescent at best, and that society expects women to be something that is unrealistic if not distinctly unhealthy. It will scare you, how much of yourself you see in this novel. An absolutely amazing, striking, and tragic memoir.more
An absolutely amazing account of a woman who dealt with eating disorders and still deals with them. She describes everything from how it began, being hospitalized several times, and trying to recover. Marya details things in such a way that you feel as if you're inside her, living her life. At the same time you want so badly for her to understand her beauty. Anyone who has ever dealt with body issues, food issues, or eating disorders should most definitely pick up this book. It is by far one of my favorites of all time.more
This is a great book. Myra Hornbacher is brutally honest in this memoir. She doesn't sugarcoat anything and shows the reader the truely ugly and dangerous side to eating disorders. It a book every young girl and woman should read, especially in our society today where thinness is emphasized and actresses and models today are just shrinking and shrinking to the point where they just look like skeletons. This book opens the reader's eye to the horror of eating disorders and how it truely is a disease that needs understanding. This is an easy read considering the subject matter and I've read it a dozen times. Highly recommend it.more
Fasicinating. I loved this.more
Like most have said, this book is *EXTREMELY* triggering. It is not a novel I would recommend for anyone who beginning the recovery process from an eating disorder nor do I recommend it for someone who feels they could be coached to relapse easily.This book is 100% BRUTAL honesty about her life and the struggles with her own disordered eating.It will take you into her mind and really show you the day-to-day life of an anorexic.It's a poignant tale. Not for the weak-minded or the newly recovering. But it's her tale and its the truth and way of life of so many people.more
Although, thankfully, I could not relate to the severity of the author's disease, I still loved this book. The writing is strong and the story is amazing. This woman is lucky to be alive, not only because she abused her body to such a tremendous degree, but also because she was able to share her story.more
a book i really related to--more for the prose and the shared experience--perhaps of "being different" and mood disorder problems rather than eating disorders--very well written.more
Incrediblemore
Read all 20 reviews

Reviews

This is very intelligently written, witty and poses an intense and realistic view of eating disorders, unlike most books which seem to glamorize and idealize.more
A lyrically written tale of an ugly, ugly disease.more
I am not, nor have I ever been anorexic. However, being thin all my life, I've constantly been accused by ignorant people and doctors of having an eating disorder. Thus formed my curiousity and secret obsession of reading about, watching and finding out all I can about eating disorders. With the recent popularity of "being TOO thin" there are many books popping up on the subject. Books that are not up to par. I've read many of those books, and this is not one of them. Marya's book is insightful and sad. It puts you in her place, and she describes in great detail how anorexics feel, think and act. If I were an anorexic, I wouldn't read this book. Simply because, with all the descriptions she gives.. it could be triggering. But for someone who is just interested in eating disorders, this is the perfect book to bring you into their world and shed some light. It's extremely informative and well written, I wish there were more like it.more
I really liked this. She has a great smartass style and just writes frankly about what anorexia and bulimia are like for her and what her life has been like. She started being bulimic at age 9. She acknowledges all the societal pressures on women and how abnormally most "normal" women eat, but also thinks there is something about her that responded to this. Her family is so much like mine, in their "stop acting like a child / why are you trying to act so grown up?" schizophrenia and their micro managing in some areas and deliberate blindness in others. I'm surprised in some ways that I didn't develop her kind of eating disorder but can see places where my life went in a different way.A long time ago someone I know said of her eating disorders that she tells people who say they wish they could get anorexia and lose weight, "If you want to kill yourself, just use a gun, it's quicker." But I never understood what she meant or what it was like. This book made what it's like clear. For the first time I wasn't thinking "What's so bad about that? It would be great to have that kind of willpower" and could see it was something that had hold of her rather than something she was doing. All that and she's funny, too.more
Synopsis: A painful memoir about Marya's eating disorder which began when she was nine years old. From bulimia, to anorexia and even depression, Marya retells the bitter truth about how these illness' really affect you.My Opinion: Marya describes everything in vivid detail. What I really liked about this book is that it doesn't move too quickly, which I find appropriate for this book as it reminds me of the slow, yet extremely harmful way which an eating disorder will affect you. It finishes brutally as well, with Marya explaining how she will never be fully healed from what was (and is still hugely) a part of her life.more
This is a very disturbing account of a young woman's fight with anorexia and bulimia. Hornbacher is honest and forthright about her disease and does not try to make it pretty. What is disturbing is that young women frequently read books like this and use it as a guide for how to become anorexic. Still, this is a horrifying book that will be a reality check for most people.more
It's a terrifying read, mostly because Hornbacher paints so vividly the draw behind starving herself. The control, the need, the addiction. It's an ugly book, a hard one, and it doesn't end with the author happily recovered. She's struggling and quite frank about it.more
A powerful look at bulimia and anorexia as lived by the author. Using alternatively creative, poetic language and harsh facts, Hornbacher sets out - and succeeds - to demystify the romantic aesthetics of thinness, to communicate just how much she hated herself and her body to go through such lengths to destroy herself and the constant price that she now has to pay for a normal healthy life. A shocking story of a young women who from ages nine to eighteen suffered in solitude from a little understood disease. A must read for all women and especially mothers.more
I've read this book twice now. It's certainly an interesting read although some of it is a little too 'poetical' for my tastes. I found myself really wanting her to get better, and I hope that she has managed to work through her demons and stay healthy since writing the book.more
A gripping memoir, interlaced with the author's perspectives on the hows and whys of eating disorders.more
This book should be read by every grade school girl and every woman in Western civilization, if not the world. Along with being very well written, it is a haunting critique on the ramifications of our culture's idea of beauty. It's the memoir of a woman (the author) who dealt with bulimia and anorexia for 15 years of her life. And yet this book reflects the majority of women, regardless of whether they have eating disorders or not. Hornbacher constantly refers to the fact that most women in our culture are obsessed with their weight, that the paragon of cultural beauty is found in a body that is prepubescent at best, and that society expects women to be something that is unrealistic if not distinctly unhealthy. It will scare you, how much of yourself you see in this novel. An absolutely amazing, striking, and tragic memoir.more
An absolutely amazing account of a woman who dealt with eating disorders and still deals with them. She describes everything from how it began, being hospitalized several times, and trying to recover. Marya details things in such a way that you feel as if you're inside her, living her life. At the same time you want so badly for her to understand her beauty. Anyone who has ever dealt with body issues, food issues, or eating disorders should most definitely pick up this book. It is by far one of my favorites of all time.more
This is a great book. Myra Hornbacher is brutally honest in this memoir. She doesn't sugarcoat anything and shows the reader the truely ugly and dangerous side to eating disorders. It a book every young girl and woman should read, especially in our society today where thinness is emphasized and actresses and models today are just shrinking and shrinking to the point where they just look like skeletons. This book opens the reader's eye to the horror of eating disorders and how it truely is a disease that needs understanding. This is an easy read considering the subject matter and I've read it a dozen times. Highly recommend it.more
Fasicinating. I loved this.more
Like most have said, this book is *EXTREMELY* triggering. It is not a novel I would recommend for anyone who beginning the recovery process from an eating disorder nor do I recommend it for someone who feels they could be coached to relapse easily.This book is 100% BRUTAL honesty about her life and the struggles with her own disordered eating.It will take you into her mind and really show you the day-to-day life of an anorexic.It's a poignant tale. Not for the weak-minded or the newly recovering. But it's her tale and its the truth and way of life of so many people.more
Although, thankfully, I could not relate to the severity of the author's disease, I still loved this book. The writing is strong and the story is amazing. This woman is lucky to be alive, not only because she abused her body to such a tremendous degree, but also because she was able to share her story.more
a book i really related to--more for the prose and the shared experience--perhaps of "being different" and mood disorder problems rather than eating disorders--very well written.more
Incrediblemore
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