Fasting Girls: The History of Anorexia Nervosa

Front Cover
Vintage Books, 1989 - Psychology - 374 pages
2 Reviews
Winner of four major awards, this updated edition of Joan Jacobs Brumberg's Fasting Girls, presents a history of women's food-refusal dating back as far as the sixteenth century. Here is a tableau of female self-denial: medieval martyrs who used starvation to demonstrate religious devotion, "wonders of science" whose families capitalized on their ability to survive on flower petals and air, silent screen stars whose strict "slimming" regimens inspired a generation. Here, too, is a fascinating look at how the cultural ramifications of the Industrial Revolution produced a disorder that continues to render privileged young women helpless. Incisive, compassionate, illuminating, Fasting Girls offers real understanding to victims and their families, clinicians, and all women who are interested in the origins and future of this complex, modern and characteristically female disease.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Sovranty - LibraryThing

This book was relatively easy to read; however, it did have a few slow points. If there was more of an environment/era overview focus rather than a few specific era case studies, I think the book ... Read full review

Fasting girls: the emergence of anorexia nervosa as a modern disease

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Historian Brumberg (Cornell) has produced an excellent study of anorexia nervosa from a Medieval form of sacred possession, to a Victorian curiosity, to a modern condition that experts cannot ... Read full review


From Sainthood to Patienthood

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1989)

Joan Jacobs Brumberg is a Stephen H. Weiss Professor at Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York.

Bibliographic information