Marya Hornbacher Essay

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Autobiography Review- Wasted by Marya Hornbacher Marya Hornbacher- the eating disorder not otherwise specified, the childhood bulimic and anorexic. In this 23 year old’s stunning memoir she painfully describes her 14 year struggle with eating disorders- the five hospitalisations, her spell in a mental asylum, her ranging weight as it plummeted between 61 and 23 kilograms, her suicide attempt and her decision to save her withering life. Marya Hornbacher divulges her compelling story with a relaxed wit and eloquence. She dissects her painful upbringing with a humourous twist as she guides the reader with deep descriptions of her past. Humour, puns and allusions are observed in Hornbacher’s memoir as she attempts to bring light to her adversities. “Malnutrition precipitates mania. So does speed. Both were at play here, in large doses.” Hornbacher’s attempts at humouring her depressions are often disturbing and shocking to the audience, but also inform them of the tragedies and consequences of anorexia and bulimia. Hornbacher has omitted photographs from her biography, perhaps due to the fact she was ill. To imitate feelings and memories through images of the past may possibly trigger her eating disorder and depressive states, or that of a recovering reader. Quotes often interlude to the beginning of chapters, and she later refers to quotes from books and authors as her sanity and guidance whilst boarding at the Lowe House mental asylum. Hornbacher refers back to her childhood and family situations, often depicting conversations and actions vividly. She clearly describes her childhood and upbringing with imperative memories of her parent’s relationship and her mother’s struggle with her own body issues and the negative effect they had on her at that crucial stage in her life. Her family had always lacked care and the knowledge she needed to help pull

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