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Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self [Paperback]

Lori Gottlieb
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: 9.80 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 April 2001
""I wish to be the thinnest girl at school, or maybe even the thinnest eleven-year-old on the entire planet,"" confides Lori Gottlieb to her diary. "I mean, what are girls supposed to wish for, other than being thin?"For a girl growing up in Beverly Hills in 1978, the motto "You can never be too rich or too thin" is writ large. Precocious Lori learns her lessons well, so when she's told that "real women don't eat dessert" and "no one could ever like a girl who has thunder thighs," she decides to become a paragon of dieting. Soon Lori has become the "stick figure" she's longed to resemble. But then what? "Stick Figure" takes the reader on a gripping journey, as Lori struggles to reclaim both her body and her spirit.By turns painful and wry, Lori's efforts to reconcile the conflicting messages society sends women ring as true today as when she first recorded these impressions. "One diet book says that if you drink three full glasses of water one hour before every meal to fill yourself up, you'll lose a pound a day. Another book says that once you start losing weight, everyone will ask, 'How did you do it?' but you shouldn't tell them because it's 'your little secret.' Then right above that part it says, "'New York Times" bestseller.' Some secret."With an edgy wit and keenly observant eye, "Stick Figure" delivers an engrossing glimpse into the mind of a girl in transition to adulthood. This raw, no-holds-barred account is a powerful cautionary tale about the dangers of living up to society's expectations.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group; Reissue edition (1 April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425178900
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425178904
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.2 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 290,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A smart, funny, compassionate journal ... stands out as a fresh, edgy take on that perilous time in a girl's life... -- Entertainment Weekly

About the Author

LORI GOTTLIEB, a medical student at Stanford University, is a former Hollywood executive. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, and Slate, among other publications.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
First of all, I should probably tell you about me and school and stuff, so you'll get what I'm talking about when I write in you. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An incomplete story 11 Oct 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I don't think this book adds much to the sum total of ED literature. It's well written and Lori's 11yr old voice is compelling, funny and wise beyond her years. However, it's very triggering and lacks insight. Lori's mother is painted as an ogre, the doctors do nothing to really help her and I was left wondering where her apparently spontaneous recovery came from and how she fared after her hospitalisation. It's a book mostly about Lori's becoming and being sick, with recovery a deus ex machina that's never examined or explained. As a book its ok for what it is but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone looking for help with recovery.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A portrait of a desparate girl! 6 May 2001
What would a girl growing up in Beverly Hills in 1978 wish for at her birthday party? This chess-playing, math-loving whiz of a kid wishes to be the thinnest girl at school, maybe even the planet!
Lori is a brainy kid used to being cute to the adults in her life, except now they're calling her "different" & "unique". Now her school friends have turned their minds to the mush of makeup & boyfriends, what's a girl to do? Out shopping with her mother, Lori comes across a diary & starts on the journey of her life.
In three seasons this healthy youngster starves herself to the very brink & through her admissions & omissions in her diary, the reader will also be drawn toward that edge.
A lively, furious read! Fast, funny, fatuous & fearful by turns, Stick Figure is worth hunting up & grabbing. Not only is it a paean to journal writing(& I'm an evangelist for the examined life!), it is an engrossing exploration of the makings of an eating disorder which, back then, didn't have a name. NB. this diary has been expanded by the woman Lori did survive to become.
This would make an excellent book for any girl around the age of 12 & for anyone older who has taken up dieting as a lifestyle. May I suggest you give a journal as well, it could save their life!...
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very good 10 Sep 2002
I found this interesting as Lori's age was significantly younger than those of the characters in other popular novels and autobiographies on eating disorders, and this gives the book an interesting slant. At times the 11-year-old Lori is so naive it becomes annoying, but all in all this is a very insightful view into an eating disorder. This is also the only book of its nature that I've come across that really places an emphasis on the role of the parents in the development of anorexia in the adolescent. It's very easy to hate Lori's mother. To conclude, a poignant and darkly funny insight into an 11-year-old girl's desperate wish to be thin.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious 20 May 2013
This book is increeedibly funny! Interesting that such a serious topic can be dealt with as hilariously as Gottlieb does. Funny does not mean the book is not insightful, though; it provides a sharp picture of the paradoxes of what it means to be a woman, then and now.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thin by looks but thick with emotion 21 April 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Written from the perspective of an 11 year old, this is a truly brilliant read. Set in LA where looks and body shape is ever important, the book highlights her disorder from hints of her childhood, and a true example of what society does to kids.

It was interesting to see a book of this genre written with a slightly different angle - less of a biography and more of a story, with Lori and her disorder as the main character and the various things that happen being chapter events, and it's unbelievably heartbraking when the storylike charm seeps in and the reality of truth arises. Packed with emotion and flair - just read it.
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