Till the Fat Lady Sings

Alisa Kwitney, Author Aaron Asher Books $19 (0p) ISBN 978-0-06-019021-7
This hip debut ruminates on the concept of food as a substitute for love. In satirical, pseudo-profound prose Kwitney skewers her characters, all intentional caricatures, and Columbia University provides an ideal vantage point from which to watch them succumb to insecurities and develop defense mechanisms. Polite, plump, 18-year-old Manya fills her socially empty weekends with bulimic binges. Weekdays, she attends a feminist lit class taught by equally plain, food-obsessed Emilia, who fears spinsterhood. Manya becomes friendly with a seductive, pretentious student who renames herself after Hamlet's overwrought Ophelia, imagines melodramatic dialogues with Death and even plans her own suicide as the ultimate attention-getting device. All three punish themselves physically, but while Manya and Emilia overeat to alleviate loneliness, Ophelia uses drugs and starves herself to prove she's independent. Kwitney insightfully mocks romantic and platonic relationships, forms of nourishment, poseurs and female self-images in a clever novel burdened with a banal title. ( Sept. )
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-06-099511-9
Show other formats
Discover what to read next