FAT GIRL

Judith Moore

A nonfiction She’s Come Undone, Fat Girl is a powerfully honest and darkly riveting memoir of obsession with food and body image, penned by a Guggenheim and NEA award-winning writer. For anyone who’s ever had a love/hate relationship with food and with how they look, for anyone who’s ever knowingly or unconsciously used food to fill a hole in their heart, Fat Girl is a brilliantly rendered, angst-filled coming-of-age story of gain and loss.

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A nonfiction She’s Come Undone, Fat Girl is a powerfully honest and darkly riveting memoir of obsession with food and body image, penned by a Guggenheim and NEA award-winning writer. For anyone who’s ever had a love/hate relationship with food and with how they look, for anyone who’s ever knowingly or unconsciously used food to fill a hole in their heart, Fat Girl is a brilliantly rendered, angst-filled coming-of-age story of gain and loss.

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  • Plume
  • Paperback
  • 2006
  • 198 Pages
  • 9780452285859

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$13.00

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About Judith Moore

Judith Moore was the recipient of two National Endowments for the Arts and a Guggenheim fellowship, and the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Never Eat Your Heart Out, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Moore worked as the books editor and senior editor for The San Diego Reader, and lived in Berkeley California. She died on May 15, 2006.

Praise

“Brilliant and angry and unsettling—in all the books about weight and the effects it has on the psyche, there has never been a book like Fat Girl.” –The New York Times Book Review

“Searingly honest without affectation . . . Moore emerged from her hellish upbringing as a kind of softer Diane Arbus, wielding pen instead of camera.” –Seattle Times

“Frank, often funny—intelligent and entertaining.” –People (Four out of four stars)

“God, I love this book. It is wise, funny, painful, revealing, and profoundly honest.”
—Anne Lamott

Discussion Questions

Why do you think the author wrote this memoir? Besides trouble with weight, what more universal issues are discussed in the book?

How does Judith’s parent’s abandoning her with her grandmother affect the rest of her life? What damage does her grandmother do to her, both psychologically and physically?

Why do you think Judith’s mother has so much animosity toward her daughter? As a child, Judith believes that her mother would love her more if she were thin. Do you think that is true? Could Judith have done anything to please her mother?

Judith feels ashamed much of the time, even when she is very young. Where do these feelings of shame come from? In what ways does society make people feel ashamed of what they cannot control? In what other situations do we blame the victim?

In what ways do Judith’s mother and grandmother vilify Judith’s father? Why do they try so hard to make her hate him?

Why is Judith easy prey for bullies at school and the pedophile in the movie theater? What about her as a child causes her to be victimized? Do you think she is an easy target? Why or why not?

Discuss the father figures that Judith latches on to throughout her life. What is she looking for in each of these men? Where else does she look for love and affection that she can’t find at home?

Consider Uncle Carl. Why does she tell the story of the chartreuse party? What does it signify? What does Uncle Carl offer Judith that no one else does? Why is his home more comfortable for her than anywhere else she lives?

Judith breaks into two different homes, June’s apartment and the Fisher house. Why does she do this? What does she find in each of these homes that she can’t find in her own?

What does Judith learn about herself when she finally meets her father? Why does her meeting him change her relationship with her mother?

Judith writes that missing her father and feeling unloved by her mother caused her to eat, that she was filling a hole within herself that should have been filled by her parents’ love. Do you agree with that? Besides food, how else does she try to fill that void?

In the introduction, Judith writes, “I know, from being thin and listening to thin people talk about fat people, that thin people often denigrate fat people. At best, they pity them.” Do you agree with this statement? As you read her story, did you pity Judith? Why or why not?

Discuss Judith’s adult relationships with men. Do you think it’s possible for someone with her childhood to ever be comfortable with love? With herself?