BODY STORY

Julia Knowlton de Pree, Author . Ohio Univ./Swallow $24.95 (148p) ISBN 978-0-8040-1063-4 ISBN 978-0-8040-1064-1

DePree, a poet and French professor at Atlanta's Agnes Scott College, has struggled with anorexia for most of her life. In this sensitive memoir, she describes her experiences with the disease and the related behavior patterns that have threatened to disrupt (sometimes successfully) her work and personal life. DePree's illness began at age 13, after her grandmother's death, and continued for nearly 20 years. Although she was an excellent student and skilled violinist in high school, her daily life was overshadowed by anorexia. Starving allowed me to create an interim space between innocence and experience, between being a girl and being a woman." DePree's difficulties continued when she left home for college and during her stints studying overseas. There were brief periods when she gained weight, but DePree was always aware she was hiding in a "glass box" in which she felt safe. Only after the birth of her second child in 1999 did she start undergoing psychoanalysis and taking medication, finally beginning to learn why she was so comfortable as an anorexic. Less graphic than other anorexic autobiographies, this memoir is nevertheless quite moving, thanks to DePree's eloquent writing. She focuses on her feelings, rather than chronicling her diet and exercise, which should help her work resonate with both readers familiar with anorexia and those helping anorexics. (June)

Reviewed on: 05/10/2004
Release date: 04/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 148 pages - 978-0-8040-1063-4
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