"The smartest anorexia memoir ever written and a fascinating journey along the torturous pathways of female desire."-Salon. With a new discussion guideWhat do women want? Did Freud have any idea how difficult that question would become for women to answer? In Appetites, Caroline Knapp confronts that question and boldly reframes it, asking, instead: How does a woman know, and then honor, what it is she wants in a culture bent on shaping, defining, and controlling women and their desires?Knapp, best-selling author of Drinking: A Love Story and Pack of Two: The Intricate Bond Between People and Dogs, has turned her brilliant eye towards how a woman's appetite-for food, for love, for work, and for pleasure-is shaped and constrained by culture. She uses her early battle with anorexia as a powerful exploration of what can happen when we are divorced from our most basic hungers-and offers her own success as testament to the joy of saying "I want. "Provocative, important, and deeply familiar, Appetites beautifully-and urgently-challenges all women to learn what it is to feed both the body and the soul.
The final and remarkable book of best-selling author Caroline Knapp underlines her gift of leveraging her life experiences into provocative lessons. On the surface, Appetites may appear to be about eating—-complete with Knapp's unflinching account of her anorexia. In fact, Knapp is writing about how every woman can decipher her hunger and loneliness by connecting with her desire to experience pleasure. She illuminates the ways in which cultural taboos about women who desire create vulnerability to disorders of appetite including food and alcohol addictions, compulsive shopping and promiscuous sex. In this expansive view, "one woman’s tub of cottage cheese is another woman’s maxed-out Master Card." Readers will nod in recognition as the author seamlessly weaves autobiography and anthropology, describing her family of origin, profiling women of appetite and countering what she calls "the culture of No!" that curbs and disguises women's desires. Knapp gets to yes by urging readers to ask: "What gives me delight and fully engages me?" Knowing that 42-year-old Knapp died of lung cancer makes this question all the more poignant. Such questions suggest Knapp’s brave and generous legacy. --Barbara Mackoff