Fat Girl: A True Story

Fat Girl: A True Story

3.6 66
by Judith Moore

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For any woman who has ever had a love/hate relationship with food and with how she looks; for anyone who has knowingly or unconsciously used food to try to fill the hole in his heart or soothe the craggy edges of his psyche, Fat Girl is a brilliantly rendered, angst-filled coming-of-age story of gain and loss. From the lush descriptions of food that call to…  See more details below


For any woman who has ever had a love/hate relationship with food and with how she looks; for anyone who has knowingly or unconsciously used food to try to fill the hole in his heart or soothe the craggy edges of his psyche, Fat Girl is a brilliantly rendered, angst-filled coming-of-age story of gain and loss. From the lush descriptions of food that call to mind the writings of M.F.K. Fisher at her finest, to the heartbreaking accounts of Moore’s deep longing for family and a sense of belonging and love, Fat Girl stuns and shocks, saddens and tickles.

Editorial Reviews

The first chapter of Fat Girl: A True Story carries the an epigraph by Mark Doty: "Even sad stories are company. And perhaps that's why you would read such a chronicle, to look into a companionable darkness that isn't your own." These words might stand as the emblem for this angry, stark, painfully honest memoir. Judith Moore's unflinching exploration of her own lifelong weight problems never slip into mawkish self-pity or self-caricature. As Augusten Burroughs noted, this is "a slap-in the face of a book-courageous, heartbreaking, fascinating, and darkly funny."

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
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Penguin Group
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File size:
653 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Fat Girl

A True Story
By Judith Moore

Hudson Street Press

ISBN: 1-594-63009-7

Chapter One

I am fat. I am not so fat that I can't fasten the seatbelt on the plane. But, fat I am. I wanted to write about what it was and is like for me, being fat.

This will not be a book about how I had an eating disorder and how I conquered this disorder through therapies or group process or antidepressants or religion or twelve-step programs or a personal trainer or white knuckling it or the love of a good man (or woman). This will be the last time in this book you will see the words "eating disorder." I am not a fat activist. This is not about the need for acceptance of fat people, although I would prefer that thinner people not find me disgusting.

I know, from being thin and listening to thin people talk about fat people, that thin people often denigrate fat people. At best, they feel sorry for them. I know too that when a thin person looks at a fat person, the thin person considers the fat person less virtuous than he. The fat person lacks willpower, pride, this wretched attitude, "self esteem," and does not care about friends or family because if he or she did care about friends or family, he or she would not wander the earth looking like a repulsive sow, rhinoceros, hippo, elephant, general wide-mawed flesh-flopping flabby monster.

I will not write here about fat people I have known and I will not interview fat people. All I will do here is tell my story. I will not supply windbag notions about what's wrong with me. You will figure that out. I will tell you only what I know about myself, which is not all that much.

Narrators of first-person claptrap like this often greet the reader at the door with moist hugs and complaisant kisses. I won't. I will not endear myself. I won't put on airs. I am not that pleasant. The older I get the less pleasant I am.

I mistrust real-life stories that conclude on a triumphant note. Rockettes will not arrive on the final page and kick up their high heels and show petticoats. This is a story about an unhappy fat girl who became a fat woman who was happy and unhappy.

But I haven't always been fat. I had days when I was almost thin.


Excerpted from Fat Girl by Judith Moore Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“Frank, often funny—intelligent and entertaining.”
—Vick Boughton, People (four out of four stars)

“Moore’s unflinching memoir sets a new standard for literature about women and their bodies. Grade:A.”
—Jennifer Reese, Entertainment Weekly (editor’s choice)

“Searingly honest without affectation . . . Moore emerged fromher hellish upbringing as a kind of softer Diane Arbus, wielding pen instead of camera.”
—Kimberly Marlowe Hartnett, The Seattle Times

“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.”
—Peg Tyre, Newsweek

“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

“A slap-in-the-face of a book—courageous, heartbreaking, fascinating, and darkly funny.”
—Augusten Burroughs

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Fat Girl: A True Story 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 66 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book Fat Girl by Judith Moore is about a girl who is fat and what her life is like growing up known as "Fat Girl". She experiences what it feels like to have her parents be divorced, and live with her mother through her childhood. The girl's mother divorced her father because he would not stop getting fat. When the girl lived with her mother she was always being scolded about her weight. "When I stood close to her so she could measure my waist or pin up the hem to my dress, she pinched me hard and flicked me with her fingernail and hissed again and again how disgusted she was. She said I looked ugly and that boys and girls at my school would keep on teasing me," (Moore 86). Not only was her mother malicious but also the peers in her class. The book was really heartbreaking that ever since childhood the main character has been hurt physically and mentally. It's surprising that people can act towards another person with cruelty just because they look different. I hope that people will read this book so that mankind will stop judging people on appearances. It is a good book to learn about how people are being mistreated everyday about the littlest things. But the thing I didn't like about this book was that it talked about food a lot, with a great deal of detail. Other than the food the book was a great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am 11 years old and i liked this book because well i am a fatass . Do not judge me but i am 11 and i weigh 140 pounds this book spoke to me .
Guest More than 1 year ago
I didn't have all of the challenges that the author did, but soo soo many of us grew up overweight, and being beat up emotionally for it 'even by ourselves'. This is a book that says, 'you weren't alone!'. I have to say, please go read a book that spoke so crystal clearly to me---'Build Your Mind, Your Body Will Follow'. It tells how to feel good about yourself, no matter how you look, and then how to start changing in a positive way! These 2 books should be a 1-2 punch!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is the true story of a girl who grew up overweight, beaten, lost and depressed. it tells you all the details you may never have thought about, and tells the engrossing truth about it all. i would recommend this book NOT ONLY to someone who has been, or is overweight, but to anyone, skinny or fat. so that they could also start to see how miserable it is to be overweight. i feel for this girl !! i am 17 and would recommend this book to anyone 13 and up.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book really hits home. Although I wasn't a 'fat' child I did get bigger later on in life. But the same feelings surface at any age. She described a lot of problems bigger people have, from chaffing legs, to never exposing certain parts of your body. Anyone who has an overweight child should read this book. The insight will be very valuable. Life is tough enough to tackle, when you add weight, you don't even get to the life part because the weight consumes you. Take note.
prettybrowneyes More than 1 year ago
Fat Girl is a sad story about an overweight woman who went through obstacles from childhood to adulthood. I like the way Ms. Moore explains her thoughts in a warm, sedate kind of way that the reader can familiarize.
LSR More than 1 year ago
I read this book in order to look for a piece for highschool forensics (competitive speaking) in the solo-serious acting catagory. I have had amazing results from my cutting from this book. I highly recommend reading this startling and honest memoir.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have heard so many good things about this book. As i was growing up i was a fat and chuby little girl and people made fun of me all the time. So i can kind of feel how this little girl is feeling. And my mom and dad got a devorice when i was about 3 years old so i know what it feels like experancing and haveing your mom and dad geting a devorice. But we should not make fun of people like that. I am going to read thos book and i hope you all will to.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was honest in the most visceral sense. If you have ever been overweight or just felt bad about yourself this book will show you you're not alone.
mel_it_like_it_is_2 More than 1 year ago
props to Judith Moore for opening up and writing on a topic that is so personal. however, to be honest, it wasn't quite what i was expecting. while i understand that describing her family was a vital part of understanding her background/environment, i think she may have gone a bit overkill, and it wasn't until the last 40-50 pages that she started talking about herself a lot vs. her family. i don't know... not bad, but not as good as i was expecting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was one of the most well written, take my breath away book. One of the best books I have read in a long time
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was popular a while back, and I read it then. Now, evidently more have discovered it. Why more is not made of family dysfuction/abuse and overweight children is beyond me. FAT GIRL is not the happy ending you might expect, but it will open your eyes to why you do the things you do regarding food and relationships.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Fat Girl' is one book that I won't ever forget. Judith Moore endured a childhood so filled with pain it brought tears to my eyes. I was so happy she had a nice uncle to give her some sense of love. I was not fat as a child, but have put on weight after having children, and now I understand the difficulty of taking the weight off. This book is heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. Absolutely could not put it down. Now I want to read Moore's other memoir. If it's anything like this, I will love it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was depressing and sad, but it was so honest. I was fat as a child and teen too and still struggle everyday to keep the weight off. I can relate to dreaming of food, having to find double digit sizes, feeling ugly and undateable. This book made me relive so many sad memories of my younger years that I work hard to not think about. So many young kids are obese nowadays, they all go through this torment and shame and then the cycle continues into adulthood.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Memoirs don't get much more frank than this. Judith Moore's Fat Girl: A True Story is an anti-sentimental journey through the life of a fat woman. Do not read this to feel better about your size. Read this because you want company.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Judith Moore leads other readers into a cathartic experience regarding childhood demons. Her outstanding courage and poignant honesty lessened the childhood pain in my heart.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book yesterday. I picked it up this morning and could not put it down until I finished it! An absolutely haunting memoir.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'It's alright to love the devil. Just don't let the devil love you.' So said Truman Capote, at least, in his short story, 'Children on their Birthdays.' Judith Moore's demons come in the form of cheeseburgers, self loathing, and the insatiable emptiness of a ruined childhood. In Fat Girl Moore stands up to and describes her love affair with these in unflinching, unsentimental, detail. The result is a profoundly intimate self examination- brilliantly, beautifully and breath-takingly told. At the end of the book you will thank Judith Moore for her candor, and her generosity in telling her tale. You'll also thank God it was she and not you that lived to do the telling.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cant belive im 200 pounds. Im only 11.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im just a normal girl. Going by Eresa Mwadin, 5'3", 14, blue eyed, honey skinned, brown haired, thin, and friendly, I was considered normal at Morwin High School, of the Public Schools in Reinad, Washington. Until my friend Sammy showed up. She was very, uh, chubby, to say nicely. But I was a friendly girl, so I greeted her on her first day in November. "Hello, Sammy." "Hi, Eresa. How do you do?" "Are you country?" "From Cinju, Indiana." "Oh." I had never met a country girl before. Especially one who is very fat. "Would you like to come over Eresa? My house after school?" I had planned to go to my BFF Kelly's house afterwards. "I have to see. Have a good day, Sammy!" My gut was telling me that he was very bad. My gut was usually right. The school depended on that gut of mine. I go heading to the gossip leader girl, Morgan Finlo, and wait until she is done talking. Seeing me with my report, she excuses everyone and asks,"So what is it Eresa?" "The new girl Sammy Edgewood?" "Yes, the fat country one. Gut?" "Not good. My gut tells me she is very bad to example and could make other people fat. Even die." "There has never been such a girl! I will warn everyone. Here is $20. Thank you Eresa." Her face was pale and sick. She is the nicest person on campus. She signals to her three gossip friends the lines, and whispers the news to them. They gasp and go out to say. The day ends and I reply to Sammy,"No thanks." She starts crying and I go to the bus.....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
not worth the read, too many food descriptions, not enough about the author
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
FranklyMyDear1 More than 1 year ago
Of three memoirs of overweight life struggles I’ve read recently, this is the darkest and most lyrically written.  The author tells us upfront that she hates herself.  And even though she matter-of-factly requests that we not feel sorry for her, my heart ached at her recounting of a miserable childhood marked by abandonment and rejection.   One thing I found odd and unexpected was the lack of information about her life as an adult.  This is a short book, and she devotes pages and pages to minute details from her childhood.  Yet she covers her adult life with only a few pages of random musings at the beginning and a partial summary at the end.  Because the book focuses on family relationships, in particular I would've liked to know more about her relationships with her ex-husbands, whom she barely mentions.   If you are looking for a funny, uplifting or inspirational read about overweight life, this isn’t it.  Yet Ms. Moore has a gift for painting vivid pictures in the reader’s mind and evoking a mood. Her book is haunting, engrossing and beautifully written, and I’m glad I read it.    For memoirs infused with more hope, see my two recommendations.  Those are written in a more girl-next-door style with candid depiction of highs and lows.          
Anonymous More than 1 year ago