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.
About Joan Jacobs Brumberg
Joan Jacobs Brumberg is the award-winning author of Fasting Girls: The History of Anorexia Nervosa. She is a Stephen H. Weiss Professor at Cornell University, where she holds a unique appointment teaching in the fields of history, human development, and women's studies. Her research and sensitive writing about American women and girls have been recognized by the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the MacDowell Colony. She lives in Ithaca, New York.
"Brumberg writes beautifully: her generous use of direct quotes from girls' diaries makes this an interesting, lively, and moving account of girls' worries and obsessions about their bodies and their sexuality. The book is a call to arms; our girls are in trouble and Brumberg offers provocative suggestions for change."
--Ruth Streigel-Moore, professor of psychology, Wesleyan University; past president of the Academy for Eating Disorders
"This book should help us all make sense of the body-image concerns girls and young women face today, and should serve as a companion to those interested in female development."
--Dr. David Herzog, director, Eating Disorders Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, and associate professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
"Full of fascinating cases, from medieval saints and Victorian spiritualists to contemporary college students and media celebrities."--Alison Lurie
"Brilliant--. A masterful blend of history and contemporary issues."--Journal of Social History
WINNER 1989 John Hope Franklin Publication Prize