By the age of 9, Marya Hornbatcher was bulimic. By 12, she was anorexic. WASTED is the powerful memoir of a girl swamped in today’s obssession with diet, body and gender, who went to the dark side and found her own way back out.

Amazon Book: Wasted

Amazon eBook for Kindle: Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia (P.S.)

A ‘retired career anorexic’ examines herself and her, and our, culture in a masterpiece of confessional literature. At the age of four Marya Hornbacher studied herself a mirror and decided she was fat. At nine, she was bulimic. At twelve, she was anorexic. By the time she was eighteen, Marya been hospitalized five times, once in a mental health hospital. Her doctors and her parents had given up on her; they were watching her die. But Marya decided to live.

Four years on, now 22, here is her harrowing tale, powerfully told in a virtuoso mix of memoir, cultural criticism and psychological examination. Here is the amazingly articulate fury of a clever woman made stupid by her culture, who threw away her teenage years in a continuous cycle of bingeing and vomiting or just plain starvation.

Wasted is a seminal book that explores, from the inside, the intimate relationship between eating disorders and 1990s culture’s historically unprecedented obsession with body, diet and gender. It is not a testimony to a miracle cure, but the story of one woman’s travels to the darker side of reality, and her decision to find her way back, on her own terms.

What is it like to be truly wasted?

Cases of anorexia and bulimia are rising in our generation, most likely due to the increasingly powerful media brainwashing us with the image of the perfect woman, pressuring us with photographs that have been airbrushed to the point that the body is almost unrecognisable, a skeleton with skin, a woman who would most likely be too weak to stand. Eating disorders are also constantly in the media, often ironically alongside these photographs, but what do you actually know about them?

Wasted, by Marya Hornbatcher is an account of a woman who lived with an eating disorder since she was nine years old, it is a book that will help you learn a truthful understanding of eating disorders, or at least make some sense of it all and gain awareness.

Hornbatcher’s eating disorder began at the age of nine, by throwing up a bag of chips, merely to see the outcome. She had no idea that she was opening the flood gates to bulimia and anorexia and wouldn’t be able to stop. We join Hornbatcher enduring five hospitalizations and watch her swing between bulimia and anorexia when her weight plummets to fifty three pounds. At this weight she was given a week to live, in which she finally turned around in defiance to the doctors who declared this and death itself, and said ‘no’ to bulimia, and chose to live life.

Hornbatcher paints a vivid picture of her life with bulimia and anorexia; we travel with her through her thought patterns to reveal a desperate time, struggling to find herself. Yet Marya finds a homely comfort in her eating disorder; something which – at many points in the book – she feels defines her. It is her safety net and an isolating escape from the real world. Hornbatcher is disturbingly honest, allowing the reader into her frantic and creative mind and how she will stop at nothing to become thinner, in control, an entity over herself, but she realises that she will never be thin enough.

Wasted is a rarity of a book, one that does not whitewash over the harsh reality of living with an eating disorder. The book itself is so beautifully written, reading it is like being there, watching it happen. Honest, witty and crazy, reading this art form of a book you will forget anything you ever heard about eating disorders. It’s an astonishing first hand account like no other.

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