The Weight of It: A Story of Two Sisters

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9780805077728: The Weight of It: A Story of Two Sisters

A "candid, funny, and altogether un-putdownable" (Glamour) memoir about the bond between two sisters—and the 150 pounds that nearly separated them

As young girls, a year apart in age, Alison and Amy Wilensky were almost indistinguishable, and they were inseparable. But during elementary school, Alison began gaining weight, and by the time she was sixteen was morbidly obese. The sisters remained close, but over the years the daily indignities and affronts that Alison endured took their toll, reshaping her identity indelibly and affecting the sisters' relationship in unanticipated ways.

Then, in her late twenties, Alison underwent gastric bypass surgery and lost 150 pounds. Everyone who knew her-and particularly Amy-would have to confront the many dimensions of this transformation and acknowledge that the person who emerged was, to some degree, a stranger. The Weight of It is a universal story of how we discover who we are and who we want to be.

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About the Author:

Amy Wilensky is a graduate of Vassar College and of Columbia University's M.F.A. writing program. Her first book, Passing for Normal, was received with critical acclaim and nominated for a National Book Award. A native of suburban Boston, she lives in New York City.

From Publishers Weekly:

With wisdom, humor and surprising candor, Wilensky (Passing for Normal) shares the story of two sisters (one year apart) from earliest memory into adulthood. The relationship's bonds and boundaries take on increasing complexity as Wilensky charts her older sister Alison's journey from morbid obesity to thinness following gastric bypass surgery in her late 20s. "Your siblings are the only other citizens from a country nobody else will ever visit," the author observes, but it becomes apparent that these two sisters-despite their closeness-lived in very different places; while they could be strong allies, they were also formidable antagonists. The author's empathy for Alison is stronger now that they are adults. "Alison's weight was and remains so far down on my list of how I would describe her that it would come after `master Othello player,' `makes her own fruit-infused vodkas,' and `has an uncanny ability to find a parking spot in any city in the country,' " declares Wilensky. But this blind spot also meant she was unable to offer comfort to Alison as she encountered the subtle and overt discrimination faced by the obese, affronts detailed in the book. And Wilensky admits she was not above taunting her sister for putting too much butter on a baked potato. The author's recollections shine with love and offer the insights afforded by the passage of time. Wilensky masterfully tells a story that she recognizes is not truly hers to tell.
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Amy Wilensky
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