With her signature acerbic wit and captivating insight, the
author of the wildly popular "Straight Up and Dirty" offers a
powerful and beautifully stark portrait of adolescence
While she is pregnant with twins, one sentence uttered by her
doctor sends Stephanie Klein reeling: "You need to gain fifty
pounds." Instantly, an adolescence filled with insecurity and
embarrassment comes flooding back. Though she is determined to gain
the weight for the health of her babies--even if it means she'll
"weigh more than a Honda"--she can only express her deep fear by
telling her doctor simply, "I used to be fat."
Klein was an eighth grader with a weight problem. It was a
problem at school, where the boys called her "Moose," and it was a
problem at home, where her father reminded her, "No one likes fat
girls." After many frustrating sessions with a nutritionist known
as the fat doctor of Roslyn Heights, Long Island, Klein's parents
enrolled her for a summer at fat camp. Determined to return to
school thin and popular, without her "lard arms" and "puckered
ham," Stephanie embarked on a memorable journey that would shape
more than just her body. It would shape her life.
In the ever-shifting terrain between fat and thin, adulthood and
childhood, cellulite and starvation, Klein shares the cutting
details of what it truly feels like to be an overweight child, from
the stinging taunts of classmates, to the off-color remarks of her
own father, to her thin mother's compulsive dissatisfaction with
her own body. Calling upon her childhood diary entries, Klein
reveals her deepest thoughts and feelings from that turbulent,
hopeful time, baring her soul and making her heartache
Whether Klein is describing her life as a chubby adolescent
camper--getting weighed on a meat scale, petting past curfew, and
"chunky dunking" in the lake--or what it's like now as a fit
mother, having one-sided conversations with her newborn twins about
the therapy they'll one day need, this hilarious yet grippingly
vulnerable book will remind you what it was like to feel like an
outsider, to desperately seek the right outfit, the right slang,
the best comeback, or whatever that unattainable something was that
would finally make you fit in.
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