Why would a talented young woman enter into a torrid affair with hunger, drugs, sex, and death? Through five lengthy hospital stays, endless therapy, and the loss of family, friends, jobs, and all sense of what it means to be "normal," Marya Hornbacher lovingly embraced her anorexia and bulimia -- until a particularly horrifying bout with the disease in college put the romance of wasting away to rest forever. A vivid, honest, and emotionally wrenching memoir, Wasted is the story of one woman's travels to reality's darker side -- and her decision to find her way back on her own terms.
From the Publisher
A heart-rending memoir Elle
A stunningly original and beautifully written book gouging deep into a gruesome subject which, by comparison, other writers have merely flirted with. KATIE CAMPBELL, Evening Standard
This factual account of a 23-year olds experience of anorexia and bulimia is not just another confessional. It has not been written as an act of therapy or for financial gain. It is a prose poem. This does not detract from its painful force nor from the authors searing intelligence (one has to keep reminding oneself that she is only 23) but rather adds to the force of her communication Through a mixture of horrific autobiography, medical anecdotes and quotes from Nietzsche, Plath, Emily Dickinson and Lewis Carroll, she tries to tell you what suffering from anorexia is like. At every stage in the story of her illness she pulls to pieces the thought processes that justify starving herself to death. Like Plath she writes with a metaphoric intensity which at times seems tragically indistinguishable from the power of her drive to self-destruct. Her brutal honesty as to why it happened to her family culture, low self-worth, did she just come out that way? and her lack of special pleading, only adds to the essential pain of the book. If you want to understand anorexia, read this book. ALICE THOMPSON, Scotsman
The mind of Hornbacher is sharper than were her collar-bones when she weighed 4 stone, was given a week to live, and suddenly decided not to die. It is her 23-year-old body that was wasted by fourteen years of anorexia and bulimia. Her true story is painfully honest, analytical, complex and sad: compulsive reading. Harpers & Queen
A brilliantly moving memoir TOBIAS JONES, Frank
What marks Wasted out is the quality of the voice. Hornbacher is, simply, a good writer. Her gift for description makes even the familiar aspects of the phenomenon newly real. She is coolly vivid on the sheer violence of anorexia, correcting any misconception that its a passive disease; it is rather a no-holds-barred attack on your flesh. Theres an edge to her prose capturing the wildness of her eventual starved mania successfully catching a young womans desperate desire to counter the cultural voice that tells her shes "too much, too much, too much". Wasted will be of value not only to fellow sufferers: any woman who has ever been made gleeful by the diminishing of her physical self will gain from reading this painful and sharp-boned account. SYLVIA BROWNRIGG, Guardian