Eireann Corrigan, Author
Eireann Corrigan, Author . Scholastic/Push $6.99 (128p) ISBN 978-0-439-29771-4
Reviewed on: 03/04/2002
Release date: 02/01/2002

Corrigan, now in her 20s, recounts her experiences as a teenager with an eating disorder in a series of poems distinguished more by the shock value of their contents than by their insight or literary merit. Along with the graphic details of the adolescent Corrigan's secret stockpiles of sealed plastic bags containing her regurgitated meals and her ruses in feigning weight gain, topics include her high school boyfriend Daniel, who shoots himself between the eyes—only to have the bullet ricochet out of an eye socket, leaving him alive and, eventually, able to function. Corrigan, still severely anorexic, is with another boyfriend, Ben, when the suicide attempt takes place, but she rushes to Daniel's bedside, aids in his slow recovery and realizes she wants to recover, too. (At some point Ben fatally drives his car into a tree.) Frequent attempts at irony don't deflect from the writer's absorption in her symptoms. Various incidents are rehashed repeatedly, even aggrandized (e.g., comparisons of herself and Daniel to Orpheus and Eurydice), but more fundamental narrative questions receive little attention: why, after all, do these individuals suffer in these particular ways? Corrigan acknowledges that her illness includes elements of competitiveness (as an inpatient, she and her fellows envy the clavicle of a particularly skeletal girl) and exhibitionism ("I wore sleeveless dresses/ even with scars on my wrists"); both these elements seem fully exploited here. Ages 13-up. (Feb.)

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