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I don’t know if I was ever actually anorexic – luckily I cracked it before a diagnosis – but there was that summer of 1990 when I was trying to make my body disappear, alongside the way other children might run away from home. However, these children eventually got hungry and returned to their family’s dining room table, and I was not satisfied until my bones started protruding from my skin.

It was in college, where I often fought, physically, for my life against a whirlwind of fists tied to skinny wrists. I had developed, and possibly stagnated, an unacceptable body weight for Southern California yearbooks. I stopped being afraid to fight, which was good; the bad news was that I would be fixated on the lanky arms I was being pounded by – so skinny I swear I could break them. There was a fierce confidence inherent in their slender bodies, and I knew I needed that morale even if it was killing me. Undistracted by an ambush once summer hit, I starved myself for days, chewing ice cream for a snack, bolstered by a righteous sense of protest like the Tibetan monks I saw on T -shirts, engulfed in flames; my cheekbones, rib cage, wrists, fingers and legs have become so skeletal that it is as if my flesh has just burned.

It was eighth grade when I returned to school that fall, and I was suddenly popular; a famous quirk with the new malnourished makeover I achieved by any means necessary. I was an overnight magnetic, though some were intimidated by me: a pale, bizarre stickman presence beneath a nest of savage hair dyed blue-black – now the cruel eyes were all mine, gaining wisdom protector of just make it look like you’re crazy, act like you’re crazy. But my mystique would be effortless – when you’ve given in to an eating disorder, your reflection of the world is distorted like a fun mirror and you react like one.

If I hadn’t finally discovered marijuana and learned to embrace a growing boy’s appetite, I wonder how far I could have gone? A decade later, in the early days of the Internet, I could have sympathized in online discussion forums with the contrary support of pro-ana culture. It’s the plan played true to Elle Nash’s faith Gag reflex (CLASH Books), not a novel but a live journal, as Nash calls it. We guess we know this kind of work considering Dennis Cooper the sluts Where Amygdalatropolis by BR Yeager, but Gag reflex is perhaps even bolder in its literal recreation of the online messaging scheme, providing a deeper immersion that tempts you to forget you’re even reading a book.

Nash’s third book is perhaps her most alienating, but she makes it clear from the dedication who she had to write for, first: it’s for me, my younger self, and for my pain; and when writing about alienation, inclusivity is often the last thing we think about. Conversely, nothing is held back here – reading Gag reflex is impulsive like finding someone’s diary, nothing in these entries is left to the imagination; you might even feel wrong to read it. But guilt is the active ingredient here as we follow Lucy (really, we become Lucy) every step forward, two steps back from bulimia/purgation alongside private hunger strikes. Lucy insists on blaming herself for every inch gained.

“Eating disorders are very, very difficult because you have to interact with one of the main triggers of your addiction every day to survive,” Nash recently said. The Observer. It’s a glimpse like this that suggests Gag reflex is a braver and more vulnerable read than any drug novel in which the addict, at least, is rewarded with the euphoria of his vice. Nash reminds us that corners like Lucy’s are much more suffocating, where the only prize is self-denial, self-subtraction; a living nightmare shrinking every time you look in the mirror.

Mirrors can lie, but not before they become temporary portals to other death-warning trajectories, as Chandler Morrison explores in his new short story. #thighgap (My black library). Morrison makes no compromises, and it’s no wonder he chose the coldest paths of the vapid and the grotesque to tackle the fragile delirium of anorexia nervosa. Yet with her portrayal of unlovable people in the eerily familiar metropolitan dystopias that spawn them, a character like Helen Troy is an astonishing trouble doll we find ourselves clinging to, like a deadly grip on your last match.

Model in rigor mortis Los Angeles, Helen has a secret that she carries like a billboard: visibly surrendering to the chaos of weight loss and opioid/benzo addiction, her dysmorphia takes the form of a hallucinating slug (her past) and a thoughtful corpse girl. (his future). They warn it, but distract it, from (its present) decomposition; while the industry denizens and bon vivants of Helen’s Babylon not only permit her decadence, but almost encourage her in cut and detached cynical dialogue of which Morrison is a master from the very first line of the book:

“God, you’re so thin. It’s perfect. You don’t even look like a woman. You look like a little girl.” The director says this from the bed, his eyes watching me from the Vuarnet sunglasses he hasn’t taken off yet.

#thighgap is somehow delightfully cruel and jaw-droppingly empathetic – the latter of which Morrison isn’t exactly a poster boy for – but it works seamlessly here in the drastic contrasts of the high stakes. With every malevolent turn, we fall even more in love with Helen. However, it’s Hal, her lustful narcissistic shrink (who’s also a comedian), who steals most of the show:

“I mean, you ruined everything, didn’t you?” Hall says. ” So what’s the problem ? Crisis averted. It fits you well. You look snappy. You’re a nutcase, baby…” “Oh my God, don’t tell me you’re going to cry again. That’s two consecutive sessions.

Throughout its decline, there’s the painful reappearance of Roxette’s ’90s dance-pop hit “The Look,” a campy but strategic twist that makes Helen’s world stand out as its stumbling track. deeper in our consciousness; a psychic transfusion of trauma echoed in canned laughter to make sure we’re paying attention. In the end, Helen’s gains are her losses and vice versa multiplied tenfold; making management, therapy, partners and the industry itself obsolete Passing out, our angel loses control so much that she succeeds, whispering the last laugh, reserving the right to close her own curtain.

Previously, we’ve seen one of Chandler Morrison’s characters bring more eating disorders; a mode of cruelty to inflict on others in his 2020 neon-noir novel On the way to torment. The novel’s damaged protagonist, Ty Seward, forces a succession of women to eat the inedible: Q-Tips, used paper/tissues, and tinfoil. With no other connection than its prescience of collective consciousness, this concept seemed to ricochet off the cosmos two years later, to land with Leonard Lundell, at the center of Jon Gingerich’s first novel. The factory of appetite, released last August by Keylight Books.

A beleaguered public relations agent in Manhattan during the 2008 financial crisis, Lundell has a strange compulsion to eat junk items and substances: detergent, crayons, hand soap, antifreeze, upholstery and yes, toilet paper. . Lundell can afford to dine at some of New York’s finest restaurants, but only chooses the expensive meals that her obese stalker Patty would die for. He doesn’t really feast until he’s home, where he sprinkles laundry detergent on any canned vegetables he deems appropriate for his advanced tastes. In these private moments of respite and catharsis, Lundell glides into a swirling introspective exaltation, dissecting assertive notes and bold flavors to the reader like a sommelier loves fine wine:

He poured the turquoise stock into the can, stirred, and watched the porridge thicken into an iridescent sauce. The corn was strewn with life now, singing with anise and dill, tones so dizzyingly complex he imagined them lying dormant for a millennium, waiting to be discovered… (he) went straight to the box . Alone, the detergent harbored a simpler composition, an effervescence of cilantro and lime that teased his tongue with earthy notes.

Lundell’s dietary restrictions are so messy he often can’t wait – at the office, he sneaks into the bathroom to sample his antiseptics or steals cleaning supplies from the janitor’s cart; a quick pump here, a quick spray there when no one is looking. Of course, his obstructive habits take their toll on his anatomy, so between bites he gulps down antacids, in it for the long haul, clinging to those scorching clumps and tough textures like he’s addicted to income from his long crisis/public relations strategy.

Contrary to Gag reflex and #thighgapwhich deal more concretely with eating disorders, The factory of appetite uses Lundell’s secret as a larger commentary on the gradual breakdown of our culture. We feel more sympathy/empathy with Nash’s Lucy and Morrison’s Helen, whereas with Lundell we are simply repulsed/repulsed, desperate for a grand analogy to make sense of his more absurd self-destructive urges.

Yet, at the end of Gingerich’s novel, there’s no big reveal other than simple context: how his mother became a hoarder to express her depression, how American banks strategically fuck American consumers to cause their beneficial crash of 2008, the way Lundell his own company ended up orchestrating the crisis to increase the visibility of his clients as he mined the contents of their wallets. When these late-stage American capitalist habits play out so unsustainably, Lundell’s suppressed thirst for poison suddenly comes into its own as a glitchy byproduct of it, despite the inevitable ebb exhaling.


Obtain Gag reflex at Library Where Amazon

Obtain #thighgap at Library Where Amazon

Obtain The factory of appetite at Library Where Amazon