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Reading the eating disorder memoir as food writing
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 authored by Donna BrienDonna Brien
As examples of popular literature, food writing texts are more than practical manuals of culinary education. They are important but relatively unexplored narratives, which serve a range of purposes and contain significant cultural insights. These narratives can reveal what factors were shaping a society, how social roles have changed (and what was driving that change), as well as the personal stories of the individuals who wrote these texts. Memoirs of anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders have attracted considerable popular, critical and scholarly attention as life writing, and these memoirs have also been noted by, and incorporated into, the medical and psychological discourse on eating disorder. Rarely, if ever, however, have these memoirs been read, categorised or discussed as a form of food writing. Surveying the eating disorder memoir in this way contributes to our understanding of food writing as well as the production of these texts.