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At the age of four Marya Hornbacher looked in a mirror and decided she was fat. At nine, she was bulimic. At 12, she was anorexic. By the time she was 18, she'd been hospitalized five times, once in a mental asylum. Her doctors and her parents had given up on her; they were watching her die. But Marya decided to live. Four years on, now 22, here is her tale, powerfully told in a mix of memoir, cultural criticism and psychological examination. Here is the fury of a clever woman made stupid by her culture, who threw away her teenage years in a continuous cycle of bingeing and vomiting or just plain starvation.
Born 22 years ago, Marya Hornbacher was educated at the University of Minnesota and the American University, where she won many awards for student journalism. Since she was 18 she has travelled around the US addressing young women (and men) about the causes of eating disorders.