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Hunger Strike: The Classic Account of the Social and Cultural Phenomenon Underlying Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia and Other Eating Problems (Penguin Psychology) [Paperback]

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

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Book Description

28 Jan 1993 Penguin Psychology
In her examination of the anorectic's struggle, Susie Orbach 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. As the author demonstrates, a woman's obsessive monitoring, severe reduction in food intake and the accompanying bingeing are a reflection of society's demands that she does not take up too much space, that she looks a certain way in order to be acceptable and that she curtails her needs in general. Yet anorexia also expresses a rebellion againts such ideas. It is, at another level, a cry of protest, a hunger strike against the contradictory and intolerable demands women face in contemporary society. In a new introduction, Susie Orbach discusses current attitudes towards eating problems and how they have changed over the last several years, and in a newly revised final chapter, she proposes an innovative approach to residential treatment that utilizes the meanings of anorexia to the sufferer as a basis for a therapy. The author also wrote "Fat is a Feminist Issue".

Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (28 Jan 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140169784
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140169782
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.4 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 798,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description


'A much-needed antidote to the unsympathetic views often aroused by anorexia nervosa.' - The Times Literary Supplement'Ms Orbach extends the feminist analysis systemically, convincingly and movingly to portray the anorexic struggle as a "metaphor of our age".'- The New York Times Book Review --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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. She has a practice seeing individuals and couples and consulting to organisations. Her numerous works include 'Fat is a Feminist Issue' (1978), 'Hunger Strike' (1986), 'The Impossibility of Sex' (1999), and 'On Eating' (2002). --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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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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