Marya Hornbacher to release follow-up book in 2008

22nd August 2007

Marya Hornbacher to release follow-up book in 2008

When I was in the throes of my eating disorder, I cleaned the library out of every eating disorder memoir I could possibly find. Admittedly, I wanted to become an even better anorectic than The Best Little Girl in the World and treated these books much like pro-ana sites for tips and tricks on how to lose even more weight.

But I was also desperately lonely and isolated. When the insanity first became too much, the fact that I had an eating disorder never even occurred to me. I thought I was too fat to have one. Books like Marya Hornbacher’s Wasted, and especially Wasted, provided me with much-needed solidarity and the reassurance that I wasn’t alone… that I wasn’t insane… that they were others who were once just like me and they recovered.

Wasted became my security blanket, always within grasp. I’d read and reread it on the bus ride to and from work each day, the corners dog-eared, passages highlighted and pages tear-stained. Once, when I thought I lost my copy, I rushed out and purchased a new one, only to find the old copy days later under my bed. Words alone cannot express the comfort Hornbacher’s eloquently penned memoir did for me.

Which is why I was so excited to see she has a new book coming out next year. Kudos to Charlynn for the pointer.


Marya’s new memoir Madness: A Life (Houghton Mifflin) is an intense, beautifully written book about the difficulties, and promise, of living with mental illness. It is already being called “the most visceral, important book on mental illness to be published in years.” It will be published in April of 2008.

Hornbacher also released her first fiction book a year or so ago, The Center of Winter. It has absolutely nothing to do with eating disorders, but it’s chock-full of the beautiful, poignant type writing seen in Wasted.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007 at 2:01 pm and is filed under Eating Disorders, Personal, Pop Culture. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

There are currently 4 responses to “Marya Hornbacher to release follow-up book in 2008”

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  1. 1 On August 23rd, 2007, Kristin Bell said:

    thanks for the book recommendation. I think I started to read Wasted….now where is it? Maybe I just saw it and wanted to read it. EEK. Can’t wait until her new book comes out. It sounds great. :)

  2. 2 On August 23rd, 2007, Heather said:

    Sadly, despite the optimistic ending of Wasted, Hornbacher has never recovered from her eating disorder — she’s been in and out of the hospital since its publication.

    This article (scroll down to the second half) explains her husband’s perspective on some of the things she’s been dealing with since its publication.

  3. 3 On August 23rd, 2007, Rachel said:

    Thanks for the link Heather. It’s just as I suspected. You see, I didn’t get an optimistic vibe upon the ending of Wasted. In fact, the perception I got was that the disease was still very much a lure for her, and that Marya was simply trying to consciously resist it.

    Marya disorder started long before she ever received treatment and as the statistics show, the more entrenched a disorder, the more difficult it is to treat it. Unfortunately, it seems Marya is one of those sad statistics for whom treatment isn’t all that effective.

    I’m glad she has a support system (her husband) in place who seems to understand the disorder.

  4. 4 On August 27th, 2007, Jegra said:

    I just visited Marya’s website the other day for the first time in a long time, and was very excited to read about her upcoming book. I hope she does a more extended author tour than she did for Center of Winter, as I would love to hear her speak and possibly even meet her at a signing.

    I found Wasted to be extremely triggering (but of course I read it-and re-read it- while I was in the throws of an e.d.). I do however appreciate Marya’s obvious brilliance and scribal talents.

    Wasted is definitely the most honest (brutally, painfully honest) book about e.d.’s. There is no clean happy ending. Marya might have been NOS at the time of the book’s writing, but it was clear that the years she spent afflicted with her ed took their toll and she will never be physically healthy, or 100% cured psychologically. I have been following news about Marya online, and i came across the article cited in the above posting, as well as others which state that she is now infertile and slowly dying of heart problems. I hope- well, I hope that there is still hope for her, physically speaking. But also I hope that she and everyone who has to endure the mental torture of an eating disorder can one day find freedom.

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