Stick Figure: A Diary of my Former Self by Lori Gottlieb

Stick Figure by Lori Gottlieb is the true story of young Lori’s experience of living with anorexia. The novel is made up of journal entries from Lori’s youth that she collected, put in order, and then published in an attempt to let an everyday person gaze into the thought process of an anorexic girl. The book reveals some causes of anorexia in modern society as well as shows the slow progression of Lori being a self-conscious pre-teen girl to becoming a severe case of anorexia.

First of all, this is definitely one of the love/hate books. You either love it or you hate it. There doesn’t seem to be much of an in between. I am, for my own reasons, part of the “I love this book” category. I really enjoyed this book. It really lets you get a fuller understanding of what anorexia is and why it is so hard to cure.

Anorexia is as much a mental disease as it is a physical disease. Most people don’t know that though. This book clearly reveals the mental aspect of it because it is told in journal entries. The author is literally just writing down her thoughts and what happens to her daily. This really lets you step into the character’s shoes and walk around in them.

Before you start reading this book, you should become familiar with some of the signs of anorexia (other than not eating). There are a myriad of ways to detect the beginnings of anorexia before the person completely stops eating. If you know what they are in advance, then you are better able to identify them early on in the book. Also, if you know the signs, then you can notice that some of the causes of anorexia are actually in modern media. The pressure to be thin can drive people to the point of being anorexic.

One of the things about this book that I believe scares people is that sometimes, you notice that you yourself think in the same way that Lori does. You realize that even though you aren’t anorexic, sometimes you skip a meal, or try to lose weight by going on a diet, or keep track of calorie consumption. This doesn’t mean you're anorexic too, but it does make you think. Am I so different from Lori? If I’m not careful, could I develop anorexia too? These thoughts may be haunting, but they are what make the book so powerful.

I highly recommend this book.

5 out of 5 daggers.

Well-fed, but thinly yours,

Gabriel Gethin

1 comment:

Sadako said...

Ohh, thanks for this post. This just reminded me to try and find this book. I had it on a long list but for some reason couldn't find it at my library, but now I'm going to make another attempt to!