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Stick Figure by Lori Gottlieb

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Stick Figure is a memoir by Lori Gottlieb, basically a collection of diary entries written by her 11 year old self. Though it is now many years since the young Lori developed a near-fatal eating disorder, Anorexia Nervosa, after uncovering these journal entries, Gottlieb had them published.

Though the book is literally written by an 11 year-old, edited by adults, it is not an unpleasant read. In fact, the young Gottlieb was to me perceived as witty, acceptably naïve, and very intelligent for her age. Another aspect of the book that is fascinating is how society looked from this little girl’s eyes approximately thirty-five years ago. In this respect, readers can compare how the awareness of dieting and eating disorders has developed since the late ‘70s.

At the beginning of the book, Lori is an eleven year old like any other – besides her evidently heightened intelligence for her age. But because of the kind of environment she lived in, what with every female she knew dieting and depriving themselves of any food enjoyable, it was almost inevitable for Lori to begin doing the same. However, as Lori’s diet progressed, it became even more dangerous as Lori pushed herself to continue losing an obscene amount of weight – when she wasn’t even fat in the first place.

While every case of Anorexia Nervosa is different, this honest account of Gottlieb’s is enlightening and a good read. Depending on your interest on the subject, you will not get bored reading this – even in the beginning, where she hasn’t yet fallen into the deep dark hole of her illness. This book also goes to show that eating disorders does not discriminate when it comes to age; women and men of every age, any size, and any race are vulnerable and not immune to this very serious mental illness.

Rating: 4/5 stars

*Helpful and Informative Eating Disorder Resources:*

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