cover image Cravings: How I Conquered Food

Cravings: How I Conquered Food

Judy Collins. Doubleday/Talese, $26 (272p) ISBN 978-0-385-54131-2

With her lyrical gift, singer Collins intimately invites readers into her struggles with food addiction and eating disorders, which nearly killed her. As a child, Collins shared her father’s passion for music, starting piano at a young age, but she also shared his addiction to sweets: “Sugar raced through my life.” Collins contracted polio at 11, and during her recovery she read voraciously while dipping her fingers into a glass of pineapple juice and sucking the sweet, sticky juice. In her early years as a folk singer, Collins discovered both her passion for performing and her growing addiction to food and alcohol. By the time she was 31 and a successful artist, her eating disorders were taking over; she spent a great deal of time eating and throwing up and weeping in remorse. After struggling to overcome her addiction in many programs, Collins discovered Grey Sheeters Anonymous, attended their meetings, and in December 1982—after 11 years of active bulimia—she embarked on their program, never to return to cravings and her obsession with staying thin. Collins weaves the stories of “diet gurus”—including Gayelord Hauser, an author and nutritionist who advised celebrities in the mid-20th century, and Jean Nidetch of Weight Watchers—into her own journey. Collins’s radiant memoir shines a light on her almost deadly struggles while vividly celebrating her new life free from cravings and sharing hope with everyone who suffers from food addiction. (Feb.)