How to Disappear Completely: On Modern Anorexia

How to Disappear Completely: On Modern Anorexia

3.5 2
by Kelsey Osgood
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions


At fourteen, Kelsey Osgood became fascinated by the stories of women who starved themselves. She devoured their memoirs and magazine articles, committing the most salacious details of their cautionary tales to memory--how little they ate, their lowest weights, and their merciless exercise regimes--to learn what it would take to be the very best anorectic.See more details below

  • Checkmark B&N Discover Great New Writers  Shop Now

Overview


At fourteen, Kelsey Osgood became fascinated by the stories of women who starved themselves. She devoured their memoirs and magazine articles, committing the most salacious details of their cautionary tales to memory--how little they ate, their lowest weights, and their merciless exercise regimes--to learn what it would take to be the very best anorectic. When she was hospitalized for anorexia at fifteen, she found herself in an existential wormhole: how can one suffer from something one has actively sought out? Through her own decade-long battle with anorexia, which included three lengthy hospitalizations, Osgood harrowingly describes the haunting and competitive world of inpatient facilities populated with other adolescents, some as young as ten years old.

With attuned storytelling and unflinching introspection, Kelsey Osgood unpacks the modern myths of anorexia, examining the cult-like underbelly of eating disorders in the young, as she chronicles her own rehabilitation. How to Disappear Completely is a brave, candid and emotionally wrenching memoir that explores the physical, internal, and social ramifications of eating disorders and subverts many of the popularly held notions of the illness and, most hopefully, the path to recovery.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Growing up in a happy family in a privileged suburb, Osgood, experiencing adolescent awkwardness and feeling ordinary and ugly at age 14, craved attention and sought “artistic greatness” through anorexia, using its extensive confessional literary genre (memoirs, magazine articles) as a guide. In her first book, an intelligent but grim memoir, she attempts to deromanticize anorexia, to “show the bloody, blue innards of the monster, as opposed to its gleaming, sharp fangs or elegant, black cloak. To reveal it as messy and disgusting and awkward and sad and pathetic.” She vividly portrays the creepy phenomenon of the “pro-ana” movement and the claustrophobic, self-involved, achingly lonely world in which young women compete to be “perfect” anorexics. Although Osgood avoids “prescriptive” content such as her daily calorie count, from which she believes “wannarexics” might “garner self-destructive inspiration,” the narrative is still imbued with a pathos and tenderness that angst-ridden girls may find attractive. Only the single section proposing practical solutions fully succeeds in shedding the charged, tragic atmosphere that permeates the text, despite Osgood’s good intentions. (Nov.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781468306682
Publisher:
The Overlook Press
Publication date:
11/14/2013
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
1,343,296
Product dimensions:
5.84(w) x 8.24(h) x 0.99(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

"Why do countless young women (and not so young women, and some men, too) starve themselves to the brink of death? Do not read Kelsey Osgood's uncompromising memoir of her own anorexia unless you really want to know the truth—unvarnished by moral, therapeutic, or redemptive pieties—about this epidemic. How to Disappear Completely gives new meaning to gutsiness."—Judith Thurman, Staff Writer at The New Yorker, and prize-winning author of Isak Dinesen: The Life of a Storyteller and Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >