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INSIDE OUT by Nadia Shivack Kirkus Star


Portrait of an Eating Disorder

by Nadia Shivack, illustrated by Nadia Shivack

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: July 24th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-689-85216-9
Publisher: Ginee Seo/Atheneum

Shivack hoarded candy in her sock drawer when she was six years old. Her svelte mother, a Holocaust survivor, ate only enough food to stay alive. At 14, when her swimming coach criticized her weight, she plunged into a lifelong eating disorder. Shivack’s stirring memoir, largely illustrated with pictures drawn on napkins when she was in treatment for anorexia and bulimia, creatively chronicles her dangerous, decades-long obsession with food and her exhausting fight for control. Her whimsical cartoons range from adolescent doodlings to vivid, visceral paintings. One piece, captioned “This is what happens when you purge,” shows a girl’s naked pink body with extra, dismembered and split limbs, a finger down a throat and a bright orange head. It is stark and beautiful. Unfortunately, the riveting personal account is punctuated by clinical facts about eating disorders (in all caps!) that somewhat detract from the work’s raw artistry. But, no matter. This intimate, often brutal portrait of an enduring illness will be eye-opening for the uninitiated, and painfully familiar to those in its clutches. (afterword, eating disorder resources) (Nonfiction. YA)