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Wasted A Memoir Of Anorexia And Bulimia



Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis tohelp you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:Plot SummaryChaptersCharactersObjects/PlacesThemesStyleQuotes This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz onWasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia by Marya Hornbacher.Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia recalls Marya Hornbacher's personal nine-year battle with anorexia and bulimia. In the story, Marya details childhood and personality factors that may have had a role in the development of her disorder. She also writes about the progression of her bulimia and her transition to anorexia. Marya describes her plummet to her lowest point in her struggle with anorexia, a time when she is eating almost nothing and weighs only 52 pounds. Finally, Marya describes the circumstances that finally convince her to check herself into a hospital for treatment.




Wasted A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia



Even as an infant and child, Marya writes that she has strange eating habits. She has her first experience with bulimia when she is nine years old. No one has even talked to Marya about bulimia; she discovers on her own that there is a way to get rid of any food she has eaten. Throughout her high school years, Marya suffers with bulimia. It is in her tenth-grade year when Marya attends a boarding school when she decides to make the transition to anorexia. Immediately following this school year, she is hospitalized the first time for her disorder. Marya writes that instead of getting better while in treatment, she gets worse. She convinces her parents to let her go to California and live with her stepmother when she is released from treatment.


Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia was declared in 2015 to be one of the top ten eating disorder books of all time. This memoir was beaten to the number one spot only by Clare Beeken's 2001 account of her journey from anorexia to compulsive over-eating and back again struggle that was made into the movie "Catherine" by Maureen Dunbar.


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.


Why would a precociously intelligent, imaginative, talented young girl go through the looking glass into a netherland where up is down and food is greed, where death is honor and flesh is weak? A secret bulimic at age nine, an accomplished anorexic by 15, Marya Hornbacher grew up in a comfortable middle-class home in Minnesota. Fearful of her developing adolescent body and dismayed by her seemingly voracious appetites for food and love, she embraced anorexia and bulimia with a passion that resembled love. Through five lengthy hospitalizations and endless therapy, she sustained a secret life of binging and purging, starving, self-mortification, alcohol, drugs, and sex, deceiving those who loved her and those who tried to help her. When her weight slipped down to 52 pounds, however, mind and body entered into mortal combat, and Marya began to fight desperately for her life.aIlluminating the tangle of personal, family and cultural causes that underlie eating disorders, Wasted takes us inside the experience of anorexia and bulimia in a way no one else has done before. A harrowing story of obsession, passion and madness, physically graphic and emotionally wrenching, this landmark book promises to do for eating disorders what William Styron's Darkness Visible did for depression and Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar for madness.


This thesis explores Marya Hornbacher's 1998 autobiographical work Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia. As a complex and layered American autobiography, Wasted will be placed within three American traditions of autobiography, namely, the self as morality play, in which the writer deals with matters of good and evil, virtue and vice, next, the self-made man, which is related to the bildungsroman and ideas of "self culture," and finally, feminist confession, which does not seek an exoneration of sins but instead offers personal and societal truths. As a memoir of anorexia and bulimia, Wasted is discussed as a study of American girls and their bodies. Autobiography and the body are both means of communication, and are both treated as such in the third chapter. As a transgressive memoir, Wasted is discussed in Chapter 4 as part of a trend that alters and propels American feminism, not unlike the works of other feminist punk writers such as Kathy Acker and punk musicians such as Le Tigre and Slaeter-Kinney. The introduction addresses the neo-conservative movement, which includes Wendy Shalit's 1999 book: A Return To Modesty, in which she argues that embarrassment is required for a woman's safety; the loss of embarrassment, and subsequently modesty, is the cause of contemporary damages to women, such as eating disorders, promiscuity, drug use, and rape. She uses Wasted to propel her arguments, citing Hornbacher as a woman lacking in modesty and embarrassment, a condition which, according to Shalit, leaves her open to self-destructive behaviors and victimization by vii others. This argument is dangerous in its simplicity and in its desire to place blame. Shalit's function is enabled by our society's lust for public spectacle, such as daytime talk shows in which the stranger the guests and their issues, the higher the ratings of the show. This circuitry works together to reduce women such as Hornbacher to objects defined by their sex and gender, thus providing a shallow critique of surface sexuality. Instead, this thesis strives to analyze Wasted in its proper interpretive matrix; a more appropriate and useful analysis would be to examine how the book fits into established American forms of autobiography, how the book uses both the body and its genre to tell the story, and finally, to question how this memoir fits into and changes American feminism. Wasted is an American autobiography, it is a woman's autobiography (with all the potential negative and positive connotations that accompany that adjective) and it is a transgressive memoir, continuing through nonfiction a punk feminist agenda. The conclusion of this thesis examines the reasons why Wendy Shalit's interpretation of Wasted in A Return to Modesty is reductionistic and anti-feminist, and that her suggestion to rediscover the lost virtue of modesty simply works to place blame on the victim, which in this case blames Hornbacher for her anorexia. Instead, I maintain, this memoir needs to be analyzed as a complex American autobiography, transgressive in style and content, and as a text that works in conjunction with the current wave of American feminism. 041b061a72


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