Food and Loathing: A Lament In a culture in which even Weight Watchers ads proclaim that "food is life, food is love," being overweight and being depressed often go hand… Nonfiction
Book Review

FOOD AND LOATHING: A LAMENT (2014)

Details Writer: Betsy Lerner; Genre: Nonfiction

In a culture in which even Weight Watchers ads proclaim that ''food is life, food is love,'' being overweight and being depressed often go hand in hand. In this razor-sharp memoir of her struggle to control compulsive eating and manic depression, Lerner also grapples with Overeaters Anonymous, a sadistic therapist, and a six-month stint in a psychiatric hospital. She succinctly recounts her confidence-crushing agonies -- from grade-school weigh-ins to grad-school writing workshops -- with warmth, wit, and not a trace of self-pity. Even a thwarted attempt to throw herself off a bridge becomes a self-deprecating joke: Startled (and saved) by a guy masturbating in the bushes nearby, she archly observes that the scene was ''not exactly It's a Wonderful Life.''

Originally posted Mar 07, 2003 Published in issue #699 Mar 07, 2003 Order article reprints