“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
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."
Judith Moore's book just might be the Stonewall for a slew of oversize people who do not fit the template of what every ostensible expert on beauty, health and nutrition tells us we should strive to be. Fat Girl is brilliant and angry and unsettling.
The New York Times
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.
Grim exploration of the author's wretched childhood and consequent lifelong relationship with food. Moore (Never Eat Your Heart Out, 1996) had it rough as a girl. Abandoned by her father at age three-and-a-half, she was left to the mercy of a vicious, violent mother and a possibly sociopathic grandmother. These loveless formative years had a lasting impact: "I hate myself. I have almost always hated myself." After this introduction and a long consideration of her heavy, adult body and its impact on her life, Moore begins piecing together her past. Prominently featured are the parents who quickly divorced, resulting in long stretches of loneliness for Moore in Oklahoma and New York City. Self-pity might seem all but unavoidable in discussing such circumstances, but the tone here, rather than confessional or exculpatory, has the ring of the analytical. As the author relates the trials she endured-just how fat she was, how her clothing fit, how she started each school year scanning the schoolroom for a classmate heavier than she-the episodes come together to make up a work that could be an anthropological study of the habits of obese children, or a psychological study of the effect of lovelessness on a child's development. Moore is matter-of-fact in describing childhood beatings; nor does she spare herself, confessing childhood misdeeds that included entering the homes of adults she admired and repeatedly raiding their pantries. Her greatest and most constant love is, of course, food. Here, she offers pages of unctuous descriptions of the texture of a cheeseburger, the composition of a dinner party menu, or the southern-fried feasts she imagines her father devouring as a young man. Moorewarns the reader not to expect a triumphant ending, and she's true to her word, though her book is strongly written and starkly compelling to the end.