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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (13,673 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Marya Hornbacher Narrator: Marya Hornbacher Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 1999 ISBN:
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Precociously intelligent, imaginative, energetic, and ambitious, Marya Hornbacher grew up in a comfortable middle-class American home. At the age of 5, she returned home from ballet class one day, put on an enormous sweater, curled up on her bed, and cried because she thought she was fat. By age 9, she was secretly bulimic, throwing up at home after school, while watching Brady Bunch reruns on television and munching Fritos. She added anorexia to her repertoire a few years later and took great pride in her ability to starve.

Marya's story gathers intensity with each passing year. By the time she is in college and working for a wire news service in Washington D.C., she is in the grip of a bout of anorexia so horrifying that it will forever put to rest the romance of wasting away. Down to 52 pounds and counting, Marya becomes a battlefield: her powerful death instinct at war with the will to live.

Why would a talented young girl go through the looking glass and slip into a netherworld where up is down, food is greed, and death is honor? Why enter into a love affair with hunger, drugs, sex, and death? Marya Hornbacher sustained both anorexia and bulimia through 5 lengthy hospitalizations, endless therapy, the loss of family, friends, jobs, and ultimately, any sense of what it means to be normal. In this vivid, emotionally wrenching memoir, she recreates the experience and illuminates the tangle of personal, family, and cultural causes underlying eating disorders. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tricia | 2/4/2014

    " Marya is truly gifted. Her writing is raw, emotional, enveloping. I heart her. Her experiences are so incredibly amazing, and she's made it through. "Madness" is also a must-read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 A.H. Haar | 2/3/2014

    " " My terms amount to cultural heresy. I had to say: I will eat what I want and look as I please and laugh as loud as I like and use the wrong fork and lick my knife. I had to learn strange and delicious lessons, lessons too few women learn: to love the thump of my steps, the implication of weight and presence and taking of space, to love my body's rebellious hungers, responses to touch, to understand myself as more than a brain attached to a bundle of bones. I have to ignore the cultural cacophony that singsongs all day long, Too much, too much, too much. As Abra Fortune Chernik writes, "Gaining weight and pulling my head out of the toilet was the most political act I ever committed." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 ♥ | 1/23/2014

    " Wasted, A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia, is a memoir of the struggles of living with an eating disorder. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marcy | 1/18/2014

    " I really liked reading this, even if it took me a few chapters to really get into it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kay Marley-Dilworth | 1/15/2014

    " I never understood the need for a person to starve themselves literally to the point of death. I still don't get it completely, but Marya Hornbacher's memoir at least explains it to me in ways that I can mull over. I can see how reading this book could trigger those with eating disorders to fall off their healthy path, though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amrita | 1/2/2014

    " Utterly disturbing. An eye-opening, insider view to the disease and the impact it has on your body and mind. A must-read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel Sparhawk | 12/29/2013

    " This is my all-time favorite book. There are no words to describe how hauntingly true it is, from front to back cover. I admire how little self-pity Horbacher has and portrays in this novel. The narration of her childhood was so awful to read, especially if you can relate. The way she talked about food, the way she talked about herself: it was all true. All in all I found it absolutely amazing. It will always be my favorite book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sabrina | 12/22/2013

    " Alarming. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brianne Palmer | 12/8/2013

    " Its a very graphic look into her life with her eating disorder. I liked it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Margo | 11/11/2013

    " Love this author & I felt like I knew her personally after reading this. Very good addiction & recovery memoir. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 M | 10/17/2013

    " Beautifully raw, yet very triggering, so proceed with caution! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kyle | 10/13/2013

    " This book is amazing and I recommend it to everyone. I found myself in the pages and didn't feel alone anymore. It's a story of deep struggle, recovery and relapse, and of life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzanne Quinn | 7/21/2013

    " Very intense - great for anyone interested in eating disorders, he emotional turmoil, and the thought processes behind these illnesses. Really interesting... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynette Rambousek | 3/13/2013

    " Oh what a eating disorder can do. Ms. Hornbacher told the raw facts which at times where hard to accept. Yet she survived the all time low of the disease. Would like to hear her thoughts and feelings today. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 karen lai | 1/27/2013

    " extremely intense but an insightful perspective into the world of eating disorders "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 May | 10/17/2012

    " This is the first story I can truly relate. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elisabeth | 10/16/2012

    " Very frank, but very good. Especially useful to my daughter when she interned at an eating disorder clinic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melinda | 2/16/2012

    " Hard to put down. Very well written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Madeleine | 2/6/2012

    " Very raw and very real. Should definatley hold a trigger warning on the label though. Otherwise a insightful account of the struggle of harboring an eating disorder. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marjolein | 6/28/2011

    " One of my all time favorites <3 "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tiffany | 5/21/2011

    " Even though I do not currently suffer from an ED, I found this book to be very easy to relate to. The only issue I had was the grammar and way it was written. Run on sentences and random capitalization. Nothing major though. I highlighted numerous quotes. Worth buying. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Liza | 5/18/2011

    " Very frank and graphic view of the author's struggle with anorexia and bulimia. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ria | 5/5/2011

    " Liked the style of the German translation better. Anyway.. Amazing book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amber Battishill | 5/4/2011

    " Interesting read into the mind of an anoretic. A somewhat depressing and frustrating book as you want the main character to get herself together. Great insight into the disease and different perspective that what you get used to reading/hearing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lucie | 5/2/2011

    " Although I had to put it down many times (thats why it took so long to read) because it was upsetting I really am happy i read it. It was honest and had amazing writing and kept my attention. It makes me want to change the way i look at the human body, weight and what eating disorders really are. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lana | 4/25/2011

    " Excellent book. Very emotionally intense. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lether | 4/22/2011

    " I first read this book when I was 15. At the time I was struggling with an eating disorder and her story really struck home to me. She writes with such a sense of rawness. Every word is poignant.
    Very well written and I recommend it to anyone. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Abbey | 4/11/2011

    " Having previously struggled with an eating disorder, I am legally obligated to have read this book until its pages fall out. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kayla | 4/11/2011

    " One of my favorite books of all times. The detail is superb. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carly | 4/4/2011

    " painfully relatable but written extremely well. Careful to others though, it may be triggering "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jamie | 2/19/2011

    " Interesting, but as someone pointed out, she could have done with a better editor. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shaynipper | 2/15/2011

    " Wow - made me consider my habits regarding food "

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About the Author
Author Marya Hornbacher

Marya Hornbacher is the author of the Pulitzer Prize–nominated national bestseller Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia, a book that remains an intensely read classic, and of the acclaimed novel The Center of Winter. An award-winning journalist, she lectures nationally on eating disorders and lives with her husband in Minneapolis.