Learn eating disorder recovery tools and tips from Marya Hornbacher, bestselling author of Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia. Wasted. “A memoir that resonates with unflinching candor and ironic wit, Wasted is a book that can save lives. The courage that prompted it awes me.”. Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia recalls Marya Hornbacher’s personal nine-year battle with anorexia and bulimia. In the story, Marya details childhood.

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Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia

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Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Wasted by Marya Hornbacher. Why would a talented young woman enter into a torrid affair with hunger, drugs, sex, and death? Through five lengthy hospital stays, endless therapy, and the loss of family, friends, jobs, and all sense of what it means to be “normal,” Marya Hornbacher lovingly embraced her anorexia and bulimia — until a particularly horrifying bout with the disease in college put the rom Why would a talented young woman enter into a torrid affair with hunger, drugs, sex, and death?

Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia Summary & Study Guide

Through five lengthy hospital stays, endless therapy, and the loss of family, friends, jobs, and all sense of what it means to be “normal,” Marya Hornbacher lovingly embraced her anorexia and bulimia — until a particularly horrifying bout with the disease in college put the romance of wasting away to rest forever. A vivid, honest, and emotionally wrenching memoir, Wasted is the story of one woman’s travels to reality’s darker side — and her decision to find her way back on her own terms.

Paperbackpages. Published January 31st by Harper Perennial first published December 29th To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

To ask other readers questions about Wastedplease sign up. Lists with This Book. Jan 21, Esmeralda Rupp-Spangle rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Possibly the finest auto-biography I have ever read. This book is a genuine, gripping story of a wadted literally thrown away in favor of madness. For anyone who has not suffered from some incarnation of disordered eating, it will seem surreal, and at times, utterly unbelievable.

The waated is effortlessly fluid. T Possibly the finest auto-biography I have ever read. The story moves along at a perfect pace, with enough detail to give a horrifying sense of understanding, but not so much as to become preachy or dull.

Most of the other characters seem two dimensional, but you get the impression that they seemed that way to her at the time- as though they were experienced in a dream.

: Wasted (Audible Audio Edition): Marya Hornbacher, Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio: Books

She goes from moderately neurotic, to waiting patiently at death’s doorstop, to being almost normal, recounting for us, her audience, all the stops along the way.

She goes through an utterly excruciating journey, and finally comes out the other end- not intact, and not happily ever after, but alive. It is both victorious and tragic, disturbing and moving, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Sep 04, stephanie rated it it was ok Shelves: A Bipolar Life was that i felt like she truly tapped into what was driving her to do the things she did.


View all 24 comments. May 04, Elyse Walters rated it liked it. I read this book when it was first released its ‘very’ disturbing. I wouldn’t know how many stars to give it actually. I never like to ‘rate’ memoirs in the first place. I can’t give it 5 stars –I can’t give it 1 star so I went for 3 but I’ll never forget the story. Eating disorders are a disease.

Marya Hornbacher does not sugar-coat ‘anything’.

People who have suffered anorexic — or been a parent of a child –‘lived’ this life deeply may ‘not’ want to read this book. I believe MUCH more scientific-base-information- from real chemical imbalance – is making the biggest difference into this disease today.

I’ve a friend medical doctor –doing some wonderful research now — putting together programs which were much different than just 15 years ago. The were being ‘feed’ foods which their bodies WERE reacting to. I hope to god this author, Marya is doing well today.

I haven’t kept up with her. It took 14 years but she is strong -bright -independent-supporting herself years old –beautiful — very talented to boot. Wishing all that suffer with eating disorders to get the help THEY need to get well!

View all 21 comments. Sep 02, sara rated it liked it. It would be tacky to put this on my “food” shelf, wouldn’t it? But I did get so hungry while reading it that I got up and made spaghetti carbonara. So this is a memoir of the author’s ten-year struggle with bulimia and anorexia. I found it different from other works I’ve read on eating disorders, in that the author doesn’t go for easy explanations of why she almost killed herself. She wasn’t trying to be pretty or perfect or to control her world, at least not solely.

She was rea It would be tacky to put this on my “food” shelf, wouldn’t it? She was really, acutely mentally ill, and that recovery is as big a problem as the physical illnesses associated with the eating disorder. I found the book self-indulgent, arrogant, and obnoxiously smug in places, but honest and lacerating in others.

Sometimes all five at once. This isn’t a perfectly written book—reviewers swooned over her prose when she wrote it at 23, but in my opinion Hornbacher could have used a good, judicious editor to cut down some of her babbling bullshit.

It’s an impressive effort, though. I was curious when I finished if the author is still alive, because the book was published almost 10 years ago. She is, and has another memoir coming out next spring that fills in where this one left off. I’m not sure if I want to spend any more time inside her head, but I’m intrigued.

Feb 24, Thomas rated it liked it Shelves: She holds nothing back in this memoir, sharing the immense pain that accompanies anorexia and bulimia: Published inWasted may have very well served as 3. Published inWasted may have very well served as one of this country’s first exposures to eating disorders. Thus, I applaud Hornbacher’s courage in providing us with such a raw and vulnerable look into her life.


Here is one quote about the emotional upheaval that often underlies and contributes to the development of eating disorders: Humans are emotional pack rats. These bags define us. My baggage made me someone I did not want to be: I began, at an early age, to try to rid myself o my bags.

I began to construct a new role. I made a plan. When I was six, I wrote it down with my green calligraphy pen and buried it in the backyard. She jumps around between times and settings in an often incomprehensible way. Her prose has a tendency to fall into an unrefined stream of consciousness that trends more toward unfiltered emotional catharsis than an understandable conception of her life.

You could say that this messy writing highlights the disorientation that comes with an eating disorder. However, I would argue that writers have an obligation to readers – in particular to vulnerable, younger readers – to do their best to display some of their healing alongside their pain, or at least their path toward healing.

This lack of emphasis on recovery makes me skeptical of Hornbacher’s motives.

Of course, I believe her narrative and feel honored and awed that she shared it with us. At the same time, in some ways Wasted glorifies eating disorders instead of portraying them as horrid illnesses we must strive to prevent and rail against.

I wish that Hornbacher had spent more time describing her recovery, as well as the joys and challenges that accompanied it. I will end this review with a passage toward the very end of the book, about strength: It is a slow, strange meander from sick to mostly well.

The misconception that eating disorders are a medical disease in the traditional sense is not helpful here. There is no ‘cure.

Ditto wastex, ditto food, ditto endless support from family and friends. You fix it yourself. It is the hardest thing that I have ever done, and I found myself stronger for doing it.

Never, never underestimate the power of desire. If you want to live badly enough, you can live. View all 3 comments. Oct 03, Michael rated it it was amazing. Marya is a fantastic fucking memoirist.

There are a couple reasons this is all the more incredible: First, that she’d found such a voice and command of prose at 23, and second, that a 23 year-old would have wastex a life worth writing about. The language is appropriately jagged, with short, sharp sentences, embodying a sparse, terrifying narrative of the scattered moments recalling her gradual and deliberate self-destruction.

She spares no one, including herself, in her examination of the causes a Marya is a fantastic fucking memoirist.