Precociously intelligent, imaginative, energetic, and ambitious, Marya Hornbacher grew up in a comfortable middle-class American home. Why would a talented young girl go through the looking glass and step into a netherworld where up is down and food is greed, where death is honor and flesh is weak? Why enter into a love affair with hunger, drugs, sex, and death? Marya Hornbacher sustained both anorexia and bulimia through five lengthy hospitalizations, endless therapy, the loss of family, friends, jobs, and, ultimately, any sense of what it meant to be normal. In this vivid, emotionally wrenching memoir, she recreates the experience and illuminates the tangle of personal, family, and cultural causes underlying eating disorders. Maryas story gathers intensity with each passing year. By the time she is in college and working for a wire news service in Washington, D.C., she is in the grip of a bout with anorexia so horrifying that it will forever put to rest the romance of wasting away. Down to fifty-two pounds and counting, Marya becomes a battlefield: the death instinct at war with the drive to live, mind and body locked in mortal combat.
...the story of one womans travels to the darker side of reality and her decision to find her way back—on her own terms...the author takes the reader inside the world of anorexia and bulimia in a unique manner.