Body Story
by Julia K. Depree
Ohio University Press, 2004
Cloth: 978-0-8040-1063-4 | eISBN: 978-0-8040-4017-4 | Paper: 978-0-8040-1064-1
Library of Congress Classification RC552.A5D43 2004
Dewey Decimal Classification 362.196852620092

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Something other than a memoir of a life well lived, Body Story conveys Julia K. De Pree's troubling journey from adolescence to adulthood and from anorexia to health.

For De Pree, between being a girl and being a woman, there was starvation. Body Story is her intimate account of girlhood, virginity, anorexia, and motherhood. De Pree's prose is spare and unguarded, revealing in vivid flashbacks and poignant vignettes the sources of her inner pain.

In high school, the five-foot-ten De Pree weighed as little as 114 pounds. She was too weak to raise her arms above her head. “In a paradoxical way, I starved my body in order to understand my life,” she writes. “I had to place my body in suspension before I could move physically into sexuality. Starving allowed me to create an interim space between innocence and experience.”

De Pree renders the starkness of anorexia along with the process of recovery, relapse, and, ultimately, redemption. She also tells the story of the physical landscape, from her origins in the Midwest to the American South, Paris, and the vast New Mexican desert, as well as the psychic landscape of her body as it encounters the joys and challenges of maturation, childbirth, and motherhood.

De Pree offers readers a new way of understanding women¿s bodily experience, as she writes about the mystery and the meaning of her illness. As many as eight million Americans suffer from eating disorders. Body Story, unlike clinical reports or news accounts, illuminates the complexity of anorexia as the narrative moves toward a subjective and deeply personal truth.

This evocative and often radiant vision is a unique window into womanhood and selfhood in middle-class, contemporary America.

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