January 16, 1998 at 05:00 AM EST

Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia

Current Status
In Season
Marya Hornbacher
Self-Help and Psychology, Memoir
We gave it an A-

Morya Hornbacher’s Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia is a terrifically well-written book—completely devoid of self-pity—about a subject often bandied about in women’s-magazine terms but rarely in such a personal, nonjudgmental way. Hornbacher became bulimic at 9 and anorexic at 15; she was hospitalized five times and institutionalized once. At her lowest point (literally and metaphorically), she weighed 52 pounds and was given one week to live. Hers is an extreme case, which she is the first to admit. Now 23, Hornbacher is married but not ”cured,” and not in particularly good physical shape, either (years of starvation play havoc with the heart and immune system). Luckily, her narrative ability is powerfully intact. A-

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