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Fat Girl: A True Story

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About the Author

JUDITH MOORE, recipient of two National Endowments for the Arts and a Guggenheim fellowship, is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Never Eat Your Heart Out, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Moore is the books editor and senior editor for the San Diego Reader and lives in Berkeley, California.


In her memoir of growing up fat, Moore, who previously wrote about food in Never Eat Your Heart Out, employs her edgy, refreshingly candid voice to tell the story of a little girl who weighed 112 pounds in second grade; whose father abandoned her to a raging, wicked mother straight out of the Brothers Grimm; whose lifelong dieting endeavors failed as miserably as her childhood attempts to find love at home. As relentless as this catalogue of beatings, humiliation and self-loathing can be, it's tolerable-even inspiring in places-because Moore pulls it off without a glimmer of self-pity. The book does have some high points, especially while Moore is stashed at the home of a kind uncle who harbors his own secrets, but the happiest moments are tinged with dread. Who can help wondering what will become of this tortured and miserable child? Alas, Moore cuts her story short after briefly touching on an unsatisfying reunion with her father and her two failed marriages. The ending feels hurried, but perhaps the publication of this book will give Moore's story the happy ending she deserves. Agent, Sarah Chalfant. (On sale Mar. 3) Forecast: Having received advance praise from David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs, Moore could get substantial review coverage. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Author of the noted culinary-themed memoir Never Eat Your Heart Out, Moore once again turns her pen inward. Warning readers not to expect a "triumphant" ending and requesting that they not feel sorry for her, she chronicles her obsession with food, her abusive mother, and never being one of the "picture pretty" girls. She admits: "I hate myself because I am not beautiful. I hate myself because I am fat." Thus Fat Girl may be a cathartic exercise for Moore, but it is obvious that she has not succeeded in exorcising her demons; indeed, at the end we know she is "still hungry," still striving to fill a void. Nevertheless, Moore's tale is honest, engaging, and well crafted, if a little depressing; readers like her, who have "know[n] so many diets," been called "fatso," or survived a loveless childhood, will relate and find solace. Conversely, those wary of living-in-the-past confessionals should steer clear. Recommended for public libraries.-Heather O'Brien, Ph.D. candidate, Dalhousie Univ., Halifax, N.S. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"Moore's unflinching memoir sets a new standard for literature about women and their bodies."--Entertainment Weekly (Editor's Choice) "Brilliant and angry and unsettling--there has never been a book like Fat Girl."--The New York Times Book Review "A magnificent achievement."--Andrew Vachss "Riveting."--O, The Oprah Magazine "Heartbreaking... hard to put down, no matter what the scale says."--Marie Claire "In its abrading wit and honesty, [Fat Girl] deserves to be widely read... by anyone who's ever, for whatever sensible-silly reason, felt like hiding."--San Francisco Chronicle "Bitterly eloquent."--New York magazine "Moore reveals herself not as just a wounded soul in need of succor but also a world-class sensualist."--The Washington Post Book World "[Fat Girl] documents, with a child's wretched matter-of-factness, the hatred that fatness provokes in others."--The New Yorker "What's most impressive about this book is its terrifying evocation of how food can bring nearly convulsive pleasure to the body... [Moore writes] in a manner both detached and unsentimental, mordantly amusing and unflinching."--Elle "Searingly honest without affectation... Moore emerged from her hellish upbringing as a kind of softer Diane Arbus, wielding pen instead of camera."--The Seattle Times "Frank, often funny--intelligent and entertaining."--People (starred review) "God, I love this book. It is wise, funny, painful, revealing, and profoundly honest."--Anne Lamott "Judith Moore grabs the reader by the collar, and shakes up our notion of life in the fat lane."--David Sedaris "Stark... lyrical, and often funny, Judith Moore ambushes you on the very first page, and in short order has lifted you up and broken your heart."--Newsweek "A slap-in-the-face of a book--courageous, heartbreaking, fascinating, and darkly funny."--Augusten Burroughs

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