Solitaire documenting her teenage experience with anorexia nervosa, she recounts her midlife relapse and recovery. Liu exposes many"/>
 

Gaining: The Truth About Life After Eating Disorders

Aimee Liu, Author
Aimee Liu, Author . Warner $24.99 (289p) ISBN 978-0-446-57766-3
Reviewed on: 11/06/2006
Release date: 02/01/2007

Thirty years after Liu penned Solitaire documenting her teenage experience with anorexia nervosa, she recounts her midlife relapse and recovery. Liu exposes many myths surrounding eating disorders, with a combination of research and in-depth interviews with other former anorexics and bulimics. She interviews men and women of various cultural and economic backgrounds to refute the notion that anorexia and bulimia affect only "modern rich white girls." Liu's interviewees range from Rob, a 50-year-old physician, to Jessica, an Australian 25-year-old aspiring actress. Liu devotes many chapters to the impact of family on the anorexic or bulimic, contradicting the accepted belief that the victim is "the sick one"; rather, she locates the starting point of the disease in genetics, family life, shame and personality. Like other victims, Liu finds a history of mental disorders in her family, ranging from alcoholism to obsessive-compulsive disorder. According to Liu, a manifestation of an eating disorder is a call for help and should be treated as early as possible, and she fleshes out facts and statistics with her personal interviews, making this book poignant even for those who have not suffered from an eating disorder. (Feb. 22)

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