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Hunger Strike: The Anorectic's Struggle as a Metaphor for Our Age [Paperback]

Susie Orbach
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Jan 2005
In this classic text, originally published in 1986, Susie Orbach brilliantly examines the anorectic's struggle. She sees women's eating problems as symbolizing the battle for autonomy, in which every woman is engaged, by identifying the first and most important arena of contention: a woman's body. It is, at one level, a cry of protest, a hunger strike against the contradictory and intolerable demands women continue to face in contemporary society.

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Hunger Strike: The Anorectic's Struggle as a Metaphor for Our Age + Susie Orbach On Eating + Bodies (Big Ideas)
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  • Susie Orbach On Eating 5.24
  • Bodies (Big Ideas) 6.29

Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Karnac Books; New Ed edition (1 Jan 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1855753774
  • ISBN-13: 978-1855753778
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 259,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description


Anorexia is a battle; a battle to be thin; a battle of wills, denial versus desire. It is also about control; by conquering feelings of hunger, the anorectic woman aspires to conquer her emotional feelings as well. For Susie Orbach, the struggle goes further. In this brilliant examination of women and eating disorders, Susie Orbach asserts that the complex relationship between women and food signifies women's battle for autonomy. Women's bodies are both private and public property. Society demands and expects women to look a certain way, to not take up too much space, to be self-effacing and mindful of others. Yet anorexia, whilst an extreme method of conforming to such demands, is conversely a rebellion against such ideas. It is the ultimate control over self, a cry of protest, a hunger strike against the contradictory and overwhelming demands placed on women in contemporary society.Also discussed are attitudes towards eating problems, and how they have changed over recent years, and an innovative approach to residential treatment. This book provides a highly original insight into the underlying causes of eating disorders.'A much-needed antidote to the unsympathetic views often aroused by anorexia nervosa.' - The Times Literary Supplement

About the Author

Susie Orbach is a psychotherapist and writer. She co-founded the Women's Therapy Centre and Antidote, the organisation promoting emotional literacy and is a visiting Professor at the LSE.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Regarding the horrendous disease of contradiction at the root of eating disorders, there are still, sadly, very few resources out there that are not woefully incomplete or simply on the wrong track. However, if this one book, Hunger Strike, is an example of what may begin to reeducate our culture about this disease, then we're in good hands. My credentials? Nine years as a severe anoretic, three long years learning how to eat, three long years healing from the foundation of the disease itself. Also an academic emphasis in this area. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone with any interest in this issue, but most especially to the following. First, professionals working with eating disordered patients; if you don't understand the basic premises which this book presents, you don't know what you're dealing with. Second, academics doing research on eating disorders; much of this book has a strongly sociological focus, and, well, the woman just knows what she's talking about. Third, to anyone suffering from this incredible disease who wants to be able to articulate what she is experiencing but cannot find the words to do it justice, this book is a crucial read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Whats my relationship with food telling me? 11 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
if you want to mka e sense of your own relationship with food/eating this is a really helpful book. my own anorexic journey concluded some 20 yrs ago but i have only just been brave enough to look more closely at what my body was trying to communicate and found this book a helpful guide.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book if you have clients with Anorexia, please 18 Nov 2012
By Laia - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Susie Orbach has a feminist perspective that I think is CRUCIAL in this matter. She doesn't have a recipe or a cure-for-all, she simply advocates in listening to the person and the symptom, not only the symptom. I don't want to simplify her approach, I'll just say: it's a MUST READ about anorexia.
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