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Body Story
     

Body Story

by Julia K. Depree
 

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Both personal narrative and revealing cultural analysis, Body Story is Julia K. De Pree's examination of her journey from adolescence to adulthood and from anorexia to health. For De Pree, between being a girl and being a woman, there was starvation. Body Story is her intimate account of girlhood, virginity, anorexia, and motherhood. De Pree's prose is spare and

Overview

Both personal narrative and revealing cultural analysis, Body Story is Julia K. De Pree's examination of her journey from adolescence to adulthood and from anorexia to health. For De Pree, between being a girl and being a woman, there was starvation. Body Story is her intimate account of girlhood, virginity, anorexia, and motherhood. De Pree's prose is spare and unguarded, detailing in vivid flashbacks and poignant vignettes the sources of her inner pain. De Pree deftly renders the starkness of anorexia along with the process of recovery, relapse, and, ultimately, redemption. She also recounts her close relationship with the physical and cultural landscape, from her origins in the Midwest to the American South, Paris, and the vast New Mexico desert, and she explores her own psychic landscape as she meets the challenges of maturation, childbirth, and motherhood. This evocative and often radiant vision is a unique window into womanhood and selfhood in middle-class, contemporary America.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
DePree, a poet and French professor at Atlanta's Agnes Scott College, has struggled with anorexia for most of her life. In this sensitive memoir, she describes her experiences with the disease and the related behavior patterns that have threatened to disrupt (sometimes successfully) her work and personal life. DePree's illness began at age 13, after her grandmother's death, and continued for nearly 20 years. Although she was an excellent student and skilled violinist in high school, her daily life was overshadowed by anorexia. Starving allowed me to create an interim space between innocence and experience, between being a girl and being a woman." DePree's difficulties continued when she left home for college and during her stints studying overseas. There were brief periods when she gained weight, but DePree was always aware she was hiding in a "glass box" in which she felt safe. Only after the birth of her second child in 1999 did she start undergoing psychoanalysis and taking medication, finally beginning to learn why she was so comfortable as an anorexic. Less graphic than other anorexic autobiographies, this memoir is nevertheless quite moving, thanks to DePree's eloquent writing. She focuses on her feelings, rather than chronicling her diet and exercise, which should help her work resonate with both readers familiar with anorexia and those helping anorexics. (June) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

"Avoiding the cliches and conventions of the usual eating disorders memoir, Julia De Pree's Body Story captures the complexity and fragility of one woman's struggle to attain peace with her body. In language that is both spare and lyrical, De Pree creates a compelling narrative that is hard to put down."

—Susan Bordo, author of Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body

“Julia K. De Pree's memoir Body Story is as sparse and clear as the American plains. Her journey from anorexia to a state of well-being serves as both comfort and warning to other contemporary women - women who believe in ‘having it all’ — that even though old demons may continue to haunt them, in moments of fleeting bliss these demons can be conquered.”

-- Alice Carey, author of I'll Know It When I See It: A Daughter's Search for Home in Ireland

Body Story conveys a vivid, direct experience. I especially love the contrast between her girlhood and the time of her adolescence, when her virginity was at stake and when she began wanting a body that was almost too thin to see. It is a beautifully written story.”

-- Linda Leonard, author of The Wounded Woman and Witness to Fire: Creativity and the Veil of Addiction

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780804010641
Publisher:
Ohio University Press
Publication date:
06/28/2004
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
(w) x (h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Meet the Author


Julia K. DePree is an associate professor of French at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta. An award-winning poet, in her recent articles she explores the intersections between literary representation and psychoanalytic theory.

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