In FOOD AND LOATHING a bright, chubby girl believes that thinness is next to godliness and so attends one of the first meetings of Overeaters Anonymous in 1975. Her twenties are marked by yo-yo dieting, depressive episodes and a sadistic shrink. Then, just as her dream of being a writer is within reach, entering Columbia’s prestigious MFA program, she spirals into a suicidal depression and lands for a six-month stay at New York State Psychiatric Institute. There a young resident helps her take her first steps towards selfhood, unravelling the self-loathing of an eating disorder coupled with a paralysing mood disorder. He also helps her confront a tragic family secret whose silence had enveloped an otherwise average Jewish middle-class family.
FOOD AND LOATHING is a book about how people use food to narcotise, to love and to escape. It’s about therapy – the good, the bad, and the down right destructive – and about every woman who spends too much of her life thinking about her weight and how she can forgive herself for living – and even learn to love.