Appetites: Why Women Want (2003) Following her courageous 1996 memoir, "Drinking: A Love Story," Knapp explores eating disorders with equally unblinking honesty in Appetite: Why Women Want . Knapp, who… 2003-04-15 Nonfiction
Book Review

Appetites: Why Women Want (2003)

Appetites: Why Women Want | 'APPETITE' FOR DESTRUCTION Knapp's last book is full of wisdom and grace
'APPETITE' FOR DESTRUCTION Knapp's last book is full of wisdom and grace

Details Release Date: Apr 15, 2003; Writer: Caroline Knapp; Genre: Nonfiction

Following her courageous 1996 memoir, ''Drinking: A Love Story,'' Knapp explores eating disorders with equally unblinking honesty in Appetite: Why Women Want. Knapp, who completed the manuscript shortly before dying of lung cancer last June at age 42, recounts her battle with anorexia in her 20s, deftly interweaving stories of other women's experiences. Her personal details, as when she recalls slicing a cube of cheese into slivers for dinner, are more compelling than her stale, second-wave feminist theorizing on the dispiriting messages society sends women. Still, Knapp's prose is so luminous -- ''moments of contentment...come in the simplest packages: in a look of love from the dog, a joke shared with a friend, a spark of affection here or understanding there'' -- that her final book emerges as one of compassion, wisdom, and grace.

Originally posted May 02, 2003 Published in issue #708 May 02, 2003 Order article reprints