Appetites: On the Search for True Nourishment

Overview

"Roth tells of her own experiences with a non-blink frankness cushioned by the gracefulness of her prose."—Chicago Tribune. "Just the right mix of confession, sass, and style."—Publishers Weekly.

Geneen Roth's bestselling When Food Is Love profoundly explored the relationship between eating and intimacy in women's lives. Now in Appetites, she takes the themes of longing, self-denial, and nourishment and puts them into the broader context of women's experience. 256 ...

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Appetites: On the Search for True Nourishment

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Overview

"Roth tells of her own experiences with a non-blink frankness cushioned by the gracefulness of her prose."—Chicago Tribune. "Just the right mix of confession, sass, and style."—Publishers Weekly.

Geneen Roth's bestselling When Food Is Love profoundly explored the relationship between eating and intimacy in women's lives. Now in Appetites, she takes the themes of longing, self-denial, and nourishment and puts them into the broader context of women's experience. 256 pp. Author tour & national publicity.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
That some of us overeat in order to feed a spiritual rather than physical hunger isn't a new idea, but perhaps no one has chatted it up with as much panache as Roth (When Food Is Love). In her earnest new book, this popular workshop guru focuses on the ersatz bliss of overeating but also expands her vision to question "the meaning of success, thinness, friendships, and fulfillment." Drawing on much personal anecdote-her hair loss following illness; her ties to her best friend; her worries about another's health, etc.-she charms readers toward realizing that true happiness comes not from a sleek body, wealth or indeed any external attribute but from a sense of inner worth. There's nothing new in that idea either, but Roth presents it, as usual, in just the right mix of confession, sass and style. (Apr.)
Library Journal
After 20 years of therapy and 13 years of "spiritual practice," diet guru Roth (When Food Is Love, Dutton, 1991) shares 243 pages of inspirational insights about self-esteem. "You are the feast," she concludes, having recounted at length her own tribulations brought on by an illness she will not name that caused her to lose her hair-a crowning blow. She was thus forced to reevaluate her own advice to those she had counseled about appearance and self-esteem. Roth continues to give lectures and workshops; to assist the reader, she offers her business address and telephone and FAX numbers at the end of the book. Though full of New Age platitudes, her work nonetheless has a following. For Roth's fans.-Cynthia Harrison, George Washington Univ., Washington, D.C.
Kirkus Reviews
A dubious exploration of appetite as a metaphor in women's lives, from the author of When Food Is Love (1991), who conducts workshops on women, food, and self-esteem.

According to Roth, women desire obsessively—a perfect body, success, love—instead of embracing themselves as they are and appreciating what they already have. A woman who overeats, for example, may be trying to fill a void within herself, not realizing that she already has what she needs. Roth gives examples from her own life: Having obtained what she thought she wanted—fame, a good man, a thin body, a life in scenic northern California—she still wasn't happy. Then she developed chronic fatigue syndrome and a vitamin deficiency that caused her hair to fall out, all of which made her realize that she should have appreciated her health while she had it. A series of chance disasters—an earthquake, a fire that nearly burned her house down—led her to understand that everything she has could easily be taken away, that her deepest satisfaction must come from herself. Though witty and lucid about her personal experience, Roth does, unfortunately, lapse into the occasional New Age, pseudo-Buddhist truism. Nor is it always obvious how particular parts of the narrative fit into her overall argument. Worse, the author can be downright maudlin: Anthropomorphic paeans to her cat's capacity for enlightened contentment, though mitigated by moments of self-mockery, get embarrassing after awhile.

Roth's lack of self-consciousness about her own privilege is an even larger problem. It is easy enough to preach about finding happiness within yourself when you have what you always wanted from the world. But those who haven't found love, fame, rewarding work, or money may be less than sympathetic to the spiritual struggles of the "woman who has everything" and still isn't satisfied.

From Barnes & Noble
The bestselling author of When Food Is Love recounts her own path to self-fulfillment that encompassed recovery from an illness, and in doing so, shares insights into the search for happiness, healing, and love.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780452276796
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/28/1997
  • Pages: 266
  • Sales rank: 629,583
  • Product dimensions: 5.36 (w) x 8.04 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Geneen Roth

Geneen Roth is a writer and a teacher who has gained international prominence through her work in the field of eating disorders. She is the founder of the Breaking Free workshops, which she has conducted nationwide since 1979. She is also the author of Feeding the Hungry Heart, Breaking Free from Compulsive Eating, and When Food is Love. A frequent guest on television and radio programs, she has written for and been featured in Tie, Ms., New Woman, Family Circle, and Cosmopolitan. Her poetry and short stories have been published in numerous anthologies. Born in New York City, she now lives in northern California.

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Table of Contents

Prologue: The Places We Search 1
1 The Size of My Body, The Size of My Life 11
2 The Hunger to Be Valued 49
3 Parallel Lives, Part 1: Losing My Hair 77
4 When Someone Believes in You 105
5 Women's Friendships: A Conspiracy of Hunger 135
6 To Have or Have Not: Nourishment and Self-Denial 159
7 Parallel Lives, Part 2: On Happiness and Joy 183
8 The Longing For a Safe Place 207
Epilogue: Seven Remembrances 239
Acknowledgments 243
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