'The hungry self' is one of the best works I have read on eating disorders and a well-written one. This is Chernin's second book on the subject and she focuses on the identity crisis that leads women to obsessing about weight, food, and starvation. Her argument relates food issues to women's relationship to their mother, a relationship that is so much shaped by the acts of feeding and eating. She argues that any negative feelings that we associate with these early experiences of selfhood come to surface when it is time for a woman to surpass her mother - at critical moments of her lifetime (adolescence, studying, working, etc.) The guilt a woman feels towards her mother turns into a battle towards the body and food, which symbolizes the mother. It may sound complicated but Chernin does a great job in conveying her argument. She uses many examples from her work with women, writes brilliantly and speaks also from her own personal history with eating disorders. Being a sufferer myself I could relate to many of the points she makes and this book made me think a lot about myself, my mother, and the way food has featured in our relationship. It's a thought-provoking book and I urge you to read it.