Dead Weight

by Emmeline Clein


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    Dead Weight is a blistering debut— stylish, sharp, and smarter than anything else I’ve read about the fraught and gendered terrain of disordered eating – Jordan Kisner

    Stunning…With top-notch reporting, frankness, and humor, Dead Weight thumps with imagination and insight – Wendy Walters

    Destined to fundamentally reshape how we think and write about the subject of eating disorders…a moving, brilliant, and important book – Vulture

    Emmeline Clein’s own history of disordered eating began when she was just twelve. In Dead Weight, alongside her own experience and through the stories of other women – famous figures from across time and popular culture, and girls she’s known and loved – she traces the medical and cultural history of anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia and binge eating disorder. In writing that is electric, fierce and endlessly curious, Clein investigates the economic conditions underpinning our eating disorder epidemic, grapples with the myriad ways disordered eating has affected her own friendships and romantic relationships, and illuminates how today’s feminism has been complicit in disordered eating culture.

    Through it all, she challenges the accepted narratives women absorb every day about themselves, unearthing the pernicious messages that connect female worth to inhabiting an ever-smaller form. Aiming to galvanize readers against disordered eating, Clein imagines a world where we allow ourselves to listen to our appetites and fight back against these diseases of self-destruction. In an age of appetite suppression, when self-shrinking is fetishized as a core tenet of the feminine experience, it is far past time for a book like Dead Weight.

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