A darkly funny, deeply resonant, and exquisitely written literary debut, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl is the story of one woman's journey from fat adolescence to an ex-fat adulthood, as she seeks love and acceptance from everyone except herself.
Growing up in the suburban hell of Misery Saga (aka Mississauga), Lizzie has never liked the way she looks - even though her best friend, Mel, says she's the pretty one. She starts dating guys online, but she's afraid to send pictures, even when her skinny friend, China, does her makeup: She knows no one would want her if they could really see her. So she starts to lose weight. With punishing drive she counts almonds consumed, miles logged, pounds dropped. She fights her way into coveted dresses. She grows up and gets thin, navigating double-edged validation from her mother, her friends, her husband, her reflection in the mirror. But no matter how much she loses, will she ever see herself as anything other than a fat girl?
In her brilliant, hilarious, and at times shocking debut, Mona Awad simultaneously skewers the body image-obsessed culture that tells women they have no value outside their physical appearance and delivers a tender and moving depiction of a lovably difficult young woman whose life is hijacked by her struggle to conform. As caustically funny as it is heartbreaking, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl introduces a vital new voice in fiction.
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- Julie Steeves
Insightful and relatable