Appetites: Why Women Want

Front Cover
ReadHowYouWant.com, Limited, Oct 8, 2010 - 324 pages
15 Reviews
What looks like a consciously altruistic effort to encapsulate one woman's entire life into lessons for the benefit of womankind may be just that: after divulging every gruesome detail of her spiral into anorexia and subsequent self-discoveries in this memoir, Knapp died of lung cancer last June at age 42. Similar in tone to her previous Drinking: A Love Story, this work is candid and persuasive enough to reach many women with analogous problems. But it's more than one woman's tragic story; multitudinous interviews with women with eating disorders, excerpts from classic feminist texts and sociological statistics lend credence and categorize the book under cultural studies as much as self-help. Knapp hypothesizes that the feminists who came after the revolutionary 1960s, herself included, were stifled rather than empowered by the overwhelming choices before them. They gained ''the freedom to hunger and to satisfy hunger in all its varied forms.'' Unfortunately, writes Knapp, size-obsessed fashion magazines and other social messages contradict a woman's right to desire, contributing to the rise in eating disorders and other illnesses. Knapp observes an aspect of the backlash against the feminist movement: when ''women were demanding the right to take up more space in the world,'' they were being told by a still patriarchal society ''to grow physically smaller.'' Though Knapp admits it's ''easier to worry about the body than the soul,'' she hopes creating a dialogue about anorexia will enable all women to nourish both.

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Review: Appetites: Why Women Want

User Review  - Ian - Goodreads

Unlike Drinking: A Love Story, this book is not captivating and gets lost in a series of wandering passages of ungrounded moralizing. Whereas Drinking was an intensely personal gripping story of how ... Read full review

Review: Appetites: Why Women Want

User Review  - Debi - Goodreads

(newest) Done! Okay this was totally worth it. A solid chock full read, but totally worth the extra time needed to get through all the details. I would recommend it still for every female out there ... Read full review

About the author (2010)

Caroline Knapp was a contributor at "New Woman "magazine and a regular columnist at "The Boston Phoenix," and her work has appeared in "Mademoiselle," "The New York Times," and numerous international magazines. She is also the author of "Alice K's Guide to Life "and "Pack of Two," Caroline Knapp died in 2002 at the age of 42.

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