I’m always in two minds about ED books. At my worst they have definitely fuelled by ED, particularly ‘Wasted.’
How can we share our stories to help, not hurt people?
When I sat down to read Kelsey Osgood’s How to Disappear Completely: On Modern Anorexia, I was more than a little excited. I had read a review of the book in the New Yorker and was interested in how Osgood was going to critique the modern anorexia memoir and provide a corrective alternative. I was elated that finally, maybe I could read an anorexia memoir and not be triggered.
Yeah… that wasn’t really how things happened.
There were parts of Osgood’s memoir with which I found myself nodding in agreement. Anorexia memoirs often glamorize and romanticize the disease and have a sort of aesthetic appeal that veers on a perceived fulfillment of a spiritual or cultural ideal (classic memoir that does this = Hornbacher’s Wasted). That is problematic. As Osgood argues, an un-addressed but problematic part of these memoirs is that they are too graphic. They describe…
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