The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Mr. P grabbed me by the shoulders and leaned so close to me that I could smell his breath.


Onions and garlic and hamburger and shame and pain.

"All these kids have given up," he said. "All your friends. All the bullies. And their mothers and fathers have given up, too. And their grandparents gave up and their grandparents before them. And me and every other teacher here. We're all defeated."

Mr. P was crying.

I couldn't believe it.

I'd never seen a sober adult cry.

"But not you. You can't give up. You won't give up. You've been fighting since you were born," he said. "You fought off that brain surgery. You fought off those seizures. You fought off all the drunks and drug addicts. You kept your hope. And now, you have to take your hope and go somewhere where other people have hope."

I was starting to understand. He was a math teacher. I had to add my hope to somebody else's hope. I had to multiply hope by hope.

"Where is hope?" I asked. "Who has hope?"

"Son," Mr P said. "You're going to find more and more hope the farther you walk away from this sad, sad, sad reservation."

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie, is about a fourteen-year-old Spokane Indian boy who leaves his school on the reservation for the high-achieving, predominately white high school in a nearby town.

Arnold/Junior is a wonderful narrator, humorous and honest and sensitive, and his drawings are a great addition to the novel. The story exposed me to a culture I’ve really never learned about, namely that of modern reservation Indians. Aside from that, it is thoroughly gripping – I snuck away from dinner so I could go finish a chapter in the bathroom - and manages to be, by turns and sometimes all at once, funny, heartbreaking, and hopeful. I highly recommend it.

Grade: A

N.B. Contains some profanity and a few short passages that I found crude.

The weird uncle

He's not actually that weird, although his sense of humor is definitely off-beat (with a distinctly sadistic streak when he was younger...once had my father stick his finger in the ice cube crusher). It's just that when you consider the facts, he kind of sticks out:

1) He's the one non-twin among five sons.

2) He moved his family out to Missouri, whereas everyone else on my father's side of the family lives in California, and all but us in southern California.

3) His family are the only ones on my father's side who don't at least profess to be Christians.

He'll do things like go to college and earn the equivalent of a degree, but drop out when he's nearly done rather than take the gen. ed. courses.

Also, he installed Michael Jackson's home theater system. I think that's pretty cool. Heck, I even make that my claim to fame sometimes: "Uncle installed Michael Jackson's home theater stuff."

Anyways, there is this thing he says sometimes that makes me laugh and makes sense to me. I like to say it to myself sometimes when I feel like I'm procrastinating:

"The task expands itself to the time alloted to it."

(And then I realize I'm just being efficient with my time.) Pretty wise, eh? Pretty sensical?

Do you lot have any favorite personal or family sayings? Or weird relatives?

"On the Death of a Cat"

I'm fairly sure this was written with an eye to Gray's "Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat." It's one of the lighter pieces in the book of Wright's poetry that I'm reading now. I laughed a little at the way he talked about the cat's life spent sleeping, and with the tender description at the end, and its quiet feel, I think it's a very fitting tribute for a cat.

On the Death of a Cat
In life, death
was nothing
to you: I am

willing to wager
my soul that it
simply never occurrred

to your nightmareless
mind, while sleep
was everything

(see it raised
to an infinite
power and perfection)--no death

in you then, so now
how even less. Dear stealth
of innocence

licked polished
to an evil
luster, little

milk fang, whiskered
night
friend--

go.

- Franz Wright

A Year of Reading hosts this Friday's poetry round-up.

"There is a place where even music is no longer necessary"

Things that are making me happy:


My R.A.'s photoblog from her internship in the Himalayan foothills of northern India.

The Rapunzel's Revenge countdown widget that Taiger made.

The Kiki Strike influence, which continues to prompt me to do things like climb through windows and go over fences instead of around them.

Knowing that my sister will be home from west Africa in a week and a half.

The book of Franz Wright poetry I am reading right now, God's Silence. It is astonishingly beautiful and true.

The Perilous Gard, by Elizabeth Marie Pope. I finished it this morning, and I loved it!

Sixteen candles of randomness

Tagged by Cassandra

Directions: Once you've been tagged, you have to write a blog with 16 random things, facts, habits or goals about you. At the end choose 10 (cuileann says, Too many) people to be tagged, listing their names and why you chose them. Don't forget to leave them a comment ("you're it"). You can't tag the person who tagged you.

1. Ever since I accidentally threw my phone off my (lofted) bed last semester when the alarm went off one morning, it's made a funny creaking, cracking sound whenever I open it.

2. I think I sold my soul for a pair of sunglasses on Sunday.

3. However, I am planning on returning them. And hopefully regaining my soul.

4. I like to send unusual/old postcards from places I have never been to.

5. In regards to the capitalization of the "C" in my nom du internet, I am presently in a state of great uncertainty.

6. I have made six kinds of cupcakes in the past three and a half weeks.

7. The music from Audrey Hepburn's Sabrina gets very, very stuck in my head. I can loop "La Vie en Rose" and "Isn't It Romantic?" through my humming playlist for days.

8. Mock-shopping (making fun of clothes instead of buying them) is pretty much the only reason I set foot in new, chain clothing stores.

9. I recently learned that not only are there such things as techno remixes of Beach Boys songs, there are enough of them to play nonstop for an entire aerobics class.

10. I am going to be in Laguna Beach from this Saturday to the next. Any of y'all in the area?

11. I like using regional speechisms from places I've never been to, let alone originated from.

12. I think Norah Jones's "Rosie's Lullaby" is about suicide.

13. The Bath & Body Works cotton blossom scent makes me incredibly nostalgic for Germany.

14. My grammatical mistakes haunt me for years.

15. I've regrettably never seen any Brat Pack movies.

16. I think copy-editing is one of my callings in life.

cuileann opts out of the tagging.

A small confession, or, I make my concessions to the Grobanites

[N.B. If you are not a Josh Groban-lover this post will likely not interest you. Come back tomorrow, or read some old posts.]

Dear Grobanites,

I say I'm not a Josh Groban fan.

Which is true.

But -

he did this duet with Charlotte Church once.

I am a Charlotte Church fan. I own all her pre-crossover CDs. And I've listened to this duet a lot.

So there is this one song...

(Bonus!: There are ice skaters. And Charlotte's wearing a funny coat.)

So while I still don't like his music much, today I will concede that:

I like him here. I might even like him better than Charlotte in this song.

He has a very good gorgeous voice.

And he is pretty darn good-looking.

Sincerely,
cuileann

Violet on the Runway

[The headless woman curse strikes again! Run away!]

Assuming you sort of know the Princess Diaries series, take the basic storyline of the first book. Then imagine that the protagonist has always been very tall and incredibly thin, so that instead of finding out she's heir to the throne of a tiny European principality, she is spotted by a modeling agent and whisked away to the runways of New York City, where she instantly becomes the fashion world's newest darling. Voila, Melissa Walker's Violet on the Runway.

You can imagine a lot of the book: the adjustments a wallflower from North Carolina must make when she's thrown into the glitz and drama of big-time modeling, her struggles to stay in touch and on good terms with her old friends while living it up on the celebrity social scene and figuring out how to deal with those nasty popular girls from her high school who, surprise, suddenly think she's the coolest thing around. And so on.

The question that drives the plot seems like sort of the same one behind a lot of these transformation-plot movies and novels: How does a seventeen-year-old girl deal with being handed not just popularity, but fame, and perhaps the chance to finally become the person she's always wanted to be? To what extent does she keep her feet on the ground and maintain her sense of self?

The scenarios that Violet had to deal with were rather predictable, but what makes Violet on the Runway unique and enticing is the inside look into the modeling industry that it offers. It definitely delivers on that. The picture it paints of the life of a runway model doesn't do away with the excitement and glamour, but neither does it shy from depicting the less pleasant aspects of modeling.

As for Violet herself, I have mixed feelings about her. She's a nice person, and her ingenuousness is endearing. She can be smart, but she isn't always. She doesn't behave wisely in a lot of circumstances, and she doesn't always learn her lesson.

Bottom line, though: Violet on the Runway is fast, fun, and interesting. It kept both me and my little sister up late. If you like realistic YA novels, or reading about fashion or modeling (fans of The Devil Wears Prada, listen up), you will like this book.

Grade*: B-

N.B. For teens and up, with an additional medium-level caveat for profanity.

*Yep, have decided to switch rating systems. I'm still a student; letter grades are a more native language for me when it comes to judging.

Channeling the Strawberry Shortcake spirit

Cupcake adventures, part three: chocolate and vanilla angel cupcakes with strawberry frosting.

Here they are just out of the oven before I frosted them. A bit underfilled.

Freshly frosted.

Greetings, cardioid!


I used the vanilla and chocolate quick oil cake recipes from my mother's Joy of Cooking, which are not technically angel cake, but do contain plasma - sorry, meringue - so I have decided to call them that. It's a relatively healthy recipe. Back when I had a terror of trans fat, they were the only cake recipes I felt safe making. A little more flavor might improve them, but for a light cupcake they're nice.

The strawberry frosting recipe I used made me angry, so I'm not posting a link. I had to add way more sugar than it told me I did, just so it'd be thick enough to spread. I left it kind of thin rather than sweetening it further, but it was still too sweet for me. Also, when I finished the first box of powdered sugar I didn't know we had more, so I added a little bit of normal sugar (bad move) before my mother told me there was more powdered. As a result you could kind of taste the grains of the ordinary sugar in it. Grr. It still wasn't terrible, because it did have fresh strawberries in it, but I didn't really like it.

So, the lesson: Just because a recipe is on the internets doesn't mean it's any good. I am going to be more careful to make sure I use recipes only from reputable sites and avoid submission-based sites like Cooks.com and All Recipes.

Waiting for the hibiscus

I read this poem in an anthology of Texas poets that Naomi Shihab Nye edited, Is This Forever, or What? It has such a sweet feeling; it really makes me happy. The speaker's voice is so guileless, his words so simple, and although the poem is only a small window into his relationship with the person he's addressing, what he says - references to scenes we haven't witnessed, his obvious earnestness about their relationship - makes it a dimensioned glimpse, makes me feel like I know them.


Giant, Red Hibiscus


I wish you were here waiting with me in my mother's garden.
The early morning sunlight has splintered
through the fence, has every leaf glittering.

I am waiting for the giant, red face of the hibiscus to open.

And I would like to watch you watch the hibiscus
in early morning,
how it changes from some seemingly red, dead-looking thing
into the most beautiful bloom on earth.

I'm sorry, I forgot. I meant the second most beautiful thing.

How many times have you said
that I never share anything with you,
that I never tell you what's important to me?
Well, here it is. The hibiscus, I mean.

When I saw it yesterday for the first time I remembered difficulty.
And I wanted you to see it.

I wanted us to watch something open and not be afraid.

- Travis Ian Smith

Kelly at Writing and Ruminating is hosting this week's poetry round-up.

"Bend low again, night of summer stars."

Things that are making me happy:


Tracks of French conversation from my textbook CD popping up when I shuffle my music. First of all, it's quite amusing to hear invisible people jabbering about their respective vacation plans between songs, and it's not a bad refresher, either. I'm pleasantly surprised by how much I remember.

Rereading Enna Burning. This is my third time through it , and it's been two years since the last time. It's just the right kind of reread - the text feels familiar enough that I'm able to think more deeply about it than I had before, but it's been long enough since my last read that it's not boring.

Blowing scented soap bubbles while I wait for the streetcar.

Baking after dinner to a playlist of Gregorian chants while my sister does puzzles on the kitchen table and licks the bowls and spoons.

New-to-me family history. My mother dug out an old family tree and I learned a little more about my Welsh coal miner great-great-grandfather than I knew before, and that we have some history in Salt Lake City! (Now if my parents will only fly me out there during the next LRRH convention to do some on-location family history research...;)

Gala Darling's list of 50 Things To Do Before Summer Ends, and the southern-hemisphere companion, 50 Things To Do Before Winter Ends

My sky-ceiling of glow-in-the-dark stars, complete with a moon and a dozen sheep (Why sheep? To count, of course!)

Warm pavement and Pacific glimpses

Summer Senses Meme

Tagged by Gretchen

List the things you love about summer for each of the five senses and tag five people at the end. Simple!

Taste:
Honest Tea iced tea, salt licked off my skin after an afternoon at the beach, fresh cantaloupe and strawberries and pears and pineapple, coffee drunk at beautiful San Francisco cafes, hot fresh falafel

Touch:
Warm pavement under bare feet, a wave passing under me and lifting me off the sandy bottom and up and over its crest, downhill wind on bare arms during a bike ride, a chain-link fence between my fingers, sun and breeze on my face, the gentle foamy cool end of waves pushing its way around my calves

Sight:
Sea foam floating on clear water over dark sand and the pattern that the shadows of the foam and the sunlight through the water make on the sand (does anyone else know what I'm talking about?), the ocean spreading blue and forever across a clear horizon - or glimpsed between houses, books for me on the hold shelf at the library and tall stacks of them at home on my dresser, the ground falling away under me and the sky swinging overhead when I swing, freckles, flip flop tans, strawberry pickers on street corners selling fruit straight from the fields

Smell:
Sea air, fresh cucumber and pineapple, my dance studio (I think it's the shoes)

Sound:
My aunts telling stories, my cousins laughing in the surf and shrieking as they wipe out, waves breaking, Irish dance class music

Anilee, Odessa, ennagirl, Anna, and Ashleigh - you're it.

"The Truth the Dead Know"

I love the scene in the middle stanzas of this poem - especially the images she uses to create it - and the way she doesn't seem to feel the connection between June and bravery needs an explanation. Also the feeling in the last sentence, which I can't quite put a name on yet - not just grief.

The Truth the Dead Know
For my mother, born March 1902, died March 1959,
and my father, born February 1900, died June 1959

Gone, I say and walk from church,
refusing the stiff procession to the grave,
letting the dead ride alone in the hearse.
It is June. I am tired of being brave.

We drive to the Cape. I cultivate
myself where the sun gutters from the sky,
where the sea swings in like an iron gate
and we touch. In another country people die.

My darling, the wind falls in like stones
from the whitehearted water and when we touch
we enter touch entirely. No one's alone.
Men kill for this, or for as much.

And what of the dead? They lie without shoes
in their stone boats. They are more like stone
than the sea would be if it stopped. They refuse
to be blessed, throat, eye and knucklebone.

-Anne Sexton

Lisa Chellman's hosting today's Poetry Friday round-up over at her place.

"more or less equidistantly / exiled from both, / hovering in the dreaming..."

Things that are making me happy:

lining the inside of my journal's covers with tridecalogisms and pretending their powers will protect it

the Memoirs of a Geisha film score. I'm not that crazy about the movie, but the soundtrack is by John Williams and features Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman, so of course it's gorgeous.

wearing a crown around my neighborhood on errands that would otherwise be boring

Yee Sum's continued posts from our college's summer program in England - Anglophiles, see here, here, here, and here for some of the amazing photos she's taken so far.

phone calls and letters from faraway friends

sending messages to strangers by tucking notes into library books

cupcake inspirations that keep me awake

What about you?

Like little batter melons in cupcake papers

(Oh, the joy of posting about cupcakes above a review of a book about eating disorders...;)


Watermelon cupcakes! Just red batter with chocolate chips in it, frosted green. The idea belongs to Jamieanne at The Cupcake Review, and I couldn't resist trying it for my next batch of Saturday cupcakes (new summer tradition - lovely way to occupy my Saturday afternoon, and of course my family doesn't exactly mind having a kitchen full of fresh baked goods.)

I didn't actually make them from the recipe she used, which called for watermelon flavored frosting (!). Would have, but unfortunately I didn't have the watermelon juice required to make it. Maybe next time we have watermelon around.

I made mine from the Joy of Baking vanilla cupcake recipe, plus, of course, the chocolate chips. I used vanilla soymilk instead of plain dairy milk for a little extra vanilla flavor. I'd use the recipe again; the cupcakes turned out with a very nice texture.

I decided to frost them with royal icing, an easy egg-white-and-sugar (read: no fat!) icing that hardens very quickly and is usually used for decorating. It made a delightful crunchy layer on top of the soft, warm cupcake. I couldn't persuade it to be anything darker than pastel green, though.

Feed reader users, don't miss the new poll in the sidebar - it's your chance to sound off on baking posts.

Wasted

"I became bulimic at the age of nine, anorexic at the age of fifteen. I couldn’t decide between the two and veered back and forth from one to the other until I was twenty, and now, at twenty-three, I am an interesting creature, an Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. My weight has ranged over the past thirteen years from 135 pounds to 52, inching up and then plummeting back down . I have gotten “well,” then “sick,” then “well,” then “sicker,” and so on up to now; I am considered “moderately improved,” “psychologically stabilized, behaviorally disordered,” “prone to habitual relapse.” I have been hospitalized six times, institutionalized once, had endless hours of therapy, been tested and observed and diagnosed and pigeonholed and poked and prodded and fed and weighed for so long that I have begun to feel like a laboratory rat."
- Marya Hornbacher
in Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia

First things first: if you struggle with an eating disorder in any degree of seriousness, please, PLEASE stay away from this book. At best, it will not do you any good; at worst it is the definition of triggering. There is a reason the author's name shows up on pro-ana and pro-mia websites.

That said, I do recommend Wasted to mature readers who want to better understand the mindset and experiences of an eating disordered person. Hornbacher's vivid narration makes it all too real.

I can understand why it could look like just another book capitalizing on our society's love for intimate confessions of deep problems, one of those books that pleases readers by shocking and horrifying them. Maybe some people do pick it up looking for that kind of a read. Her insights and strangely graceful style of writing, even when dealing with such an ugly subject, make it more than that, though.

It's worth noting that it is, as it says, a memoir of her disorders - it doesn't touch much on her recovery, though there is an afterword. My only real beef with it is that the section detailing her childhod was a bit tiresome and confusing, and felt rather self-indulgent. As a whole though, Wasted is mostly just honest to the point of being reckless of the reader's comfort, which I can't say I think is a bad quality in a book.

To say Wasted is absorbing would be an understatement - reading it is like being caught by a breaking wave. It crashes over your head and pulls you down into the dim, disorienting, airless underwater of eating disorders. It's not a fun read, but the anoretic and bulimic speak to us about their disorders too rarely and urgently to be ignored.

Grade: B+

N.B. Wasted also contains strong language and deals to a much lesser extent with drug use and sexual promiscuity.

I posted another quote from this book last Tuesday.

Why I love aerobics

I've had a membership on and off at my local YMCA for a few years now. This being the summer after freshman year (uggh), I'm trying to exercise more than usual. And I've tried a bunch of different classes and forms of individual exercise, including the "cool" ones like yoga, Pilates, et cetera. But you know what I like best of all? Aerobics.


Yep, just like that. (Except aerobics practitioners have, blessedly, opted for more fabric and less poly/spandex since the '80's.) But no joke, the aerobics classes I go to are a blast.

First of all, there's the instructor. Her grin and enthusiastic bellow, and the sight of a woman who is at least in her forties dancing around so energetically and unreservedly and with so much enjoyment, never fail to perk me up, even at eight o'clock in the morning. Also, from time to time she yells that as long as we are moving, we're doing it right, which is a line I can't help but like.

The steps are fast and simple but with a goodly amount of variety, and impact-wise you can amp it up as much as you want, which I like because I love anything with a lot of jumping (hence I do Irish dance). It's an hour of bouncing, twisting, punching, and side-stepping around, and it's fabulous! I always feel like going full out, and sometimes I can't NOT grin.

A fast, fun soundtrack is provided, including reunion time with such classics as "The Twist," "We Got The Beat," and "Whoomp! (There It Is)" as well as weird, only-for-aerobics-instructors songs like a techno remix of Eponine's "On My Own" from Les Miserables.

I get to witness the miraculous spectacle of a gym full of women two or three times my age grooving uninhibitedly to said soundtrack, answering every "HOW ARE WE DOING?" from the instructor with a chorus of hearty cheers right on cue. Aside from how reassuring it is to see that, yes, women can have real fun even after they reach forty, thanks to them there is no trace of the stereotypical gym culture (that is, I never worry about wearing something cool, how I measure up to the person next to me, and so on). One older lady even told me today that my energy inspired her, which kind of made my morning. Teehee.

And of course, it's really good exercise. It gets your heart rate up for a solid hour, makes you sweat, and works your muscles a bit too, but at the end you still feel like you have more energy than you did when you began. Genius stuff, I tell you. We don't give the 1980's enough credit.

Happy Birthday Jesus!

And Happy Independence Day to you. :)

Unfortunately I couldn't find a YouTube vid of this song for you, but know that it's just a guitar and a sweet, low male voice. It has such a melodic, quiet sound, and I really like the way the lyrics characterize Jesus* (the Mexican boy).

Jesus the Mexican Boy

Jesus the Mexican boy
Born in a truck on the fourth of July
Gave me a card with a lady naked on the back
Barefoot at night on the road
Fireworks blooming above in the sky
I never knew I was given the best one from the deck

He never wanted nothing I remember
Maybe a broken bottle if I had two
Hanging behind his holy even temper
Hiding the more unholy things I do

Jesus the Mexican boy
Gave me a ride on the back of his bike
Out to the fair though I welched on a $5 bet
Drunk on Calliope songs
We met a home-wrecking carnival girl
He's never asked for a favor or the money yet

Jesus the Mexican boy
Born in a truck on the 4th of July
I fell in love with his sister unrepentantly
Fearing he wouldn't approve
We made a lie that was feeble at best
Boarded a train bound for Vegas and married secretly

I never gave him nothing I remember
Maybe a broken bottle if I had to
Hanging behind his holy even temper
Hiding the more unholy things I do

Jesus the Mexican boy
Wearing a long desert trip on his tie
Lo and behold he was standing under the welcome sign**
Naked the Judas in me
Fell by the tracks but he lifted me high
Kissing my head like a brother and never asking why

- Iron & Wine


*Not Jesús, really. He sings it as "Jesus."

**This welcome sign, if you didn't catch it.

In Search of Giants is hosting the poetry round-up today.

Cupcakes!

(Scroll down for English!)

Anscheinend sind Cupcakes momentan extrem trendig. Warum, weiss ich nicht, aber aus diesem Grund ist eine ganze Cupcakekultur aufgekommen, mit einer Menge Cupcakewebseiten, und die gefallen mir zwar sehr. (I empfehle Cupcakes Take the Cake, The Cupcake Review, and How To Eat a Cupcake, wo man für das nächste Rezept wählen kann, die er will, dass sie probiert)

Also, sie haben mich angeregt, ein cooles Cupcakerezept auszuprobieren - ich habe Minz-Schokochip Cupcakes gemacht, hurra! Ich habe dieses Rezept benützt, ohne den Zuckerguss zu machen - habe sie sondern nur mit Andes Pfefferminze gestreuet. Sie haben mir nicht schlecht geschmeckt, aber zum nächsten Mal würde ich sie irgendwie mit mehr Schokolade drin machen, denn meiner Meinung nach sollten sie stärker nach Schokolade schmecken.

Apparently, cupcakes are extremely trendy at the moment. Why I do not know, but for this reason an entire cupcake culture has sprung up, with a ton of cupcake websites, and them I do like a lot. (I recommend Cupcakes Take the Cake, The Cupcake Review, and How To Eat a Cupcake, where you can vote for the next recipe you want her to try.)

So, they inspired me to try a cool cupcake recipe out - I made mint chocolate chip cupcakes, hurrah! I used this recipe without making the frosting - just sprinkled them with Andes mints instead. They didn't taste bad, but next time I would make them with more chocolate in them somehow, because in my opinion they should taste more strongly of chocolate.

eta: I tried this recipe later with 1/2 t salt or so and 1/2 T more cocoa, and the cupcakes were notably better.




[Why is this in German?]

Armchair travels to a darker side of reality

Wasted, von Marya Hornbacher, ist, in einem Wort, heftig, als die Erzählung von einem vierzehnjährigen Kämpf mit zwei Essstörungen sein muss. Es war ein schmerzliches, faszinierendes, und ab und zu entsetzliches Lesen. Eine ganze Buchbesprechung würde ich lieber auf Englisch schreiben, also warte ich, denn ich habe versprochen, heute auf Deutsch zu schreiben, aber ich wollte dieses Zitat mit euch teilen (obwohl es nicht so ganz charakteristisch für das ganze Buch ist). Ich habe besonders gern ihre Beschreibung von der "kulturellen Kakophonie."

[Wasted, by Marya Hornbacher, is, in a word, intense, as the account of a fourteen-year struggle with two eating disorders has to be. It was a painful, fascinating, and at times horrifying read. I'd prefer to write a whole review in English, so I'll wait because I promised I'd write in German today, but I wanted to share this quote with you (although it’s not really representative of the whole book). I especially like her description of the "cultural cacophony."]

"This book is neither a tabloid tale of mysterious disease nor a testimony to a miracle cure. It's simply the story of one woman's travels to a darker side of reality, and her decision to make her way back. On her own terms.

"My terms amount to cultural heresy. I had to say: I will eat what I want and look as I please and laugh as loud as I like and use the wrong fork and lick my knife. I had to learn strange and delicious lessons too few women learn: to love the thump of my steps, the implication of my weight and presence and taking of space, to love my body's rebellious hungers, responses to touch, to understand myself as more than a brain attached to a bundle of bones. I have to ignore the cultural cacophony that singsongs all day long, Too much, too much, too much. As Abra Fortune Chernik writes, 'Gaining weight and pulling my head out the toilet was the most political act I ever committed.'"

- Marya Hornbacher
in Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia

[Why I am posting in German, if you didn't catch it.]

Edited to add: Read my review here.

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