New Teen Book Tackles Eating Disorder

Laurie Halse Anderson is the reigning queen of teen tumult. Beginning with her first novel, Speak, about a girl raped at a party, she has unearthed deep sources of angst in suburban adolescent life. Her talent is to capture the peculiar lost quality of American teenagers who, to an outside observer, would appear to have little to complain about. She makes their pain palpable and has been rewarded with a large fan base.

In Wintergirls, Anderson takes on the thorny problem of eating disorders, and the fierce novel that emerges might actually make a few girls examine themselves rather than just study the text for tips on weight loss. Lia’s best friend, Cassie, has died from bulimic excess, alone in a motel room. In an unusually effective typographical experiment, Anderson shows the struggle between Lia’s healthy self and her anorexic self by printing the character’s healthy thoughts in strike-through type; her anorexic self ”corrects” the thought with another. Thus every reference to ”Mom” is crossed out and followed by the chilly ”Dr. Marrigan” — Lia’s way of distancing her physician mother, who might or might not be as narcissistic as Lia imagines her. Every reference to eating strikes out the words that make food seem appealing and replaces them with words that make it seem repulsive.

Eating Disorder Self Test. Take the EAT-26 self test to see if you might have eating disorder symptoms that might require professional evaluation. All answers are confidential.

Find a Treatment Facility Near You

Click on a state below to find eating disorder treatment options that could be right for you.

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) could be forwarded to SAMHSA or a verified treatment provider. Calls are routed based on availability and geographic location.

The helpline is free, private, and confidential. There is no obligation to enter treatment. In some cases, could charge a small cost per call, to a licensed treatment center, a paid advertiser, this allows to offer free resources and information to those in need by calling the free hotline you agree to the terms of use. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses.

CALL NOW FOR IMMEDIATE HELPCALL NOW FOR IMMEDIATE HELP800-568-9025Response time about 1 min | Response rate 100%
Who Answers?