Saturday, February 19, 2011

Passing for Thin: Losing Half My Weight and Finding Myself by Frances Kuffel

This is a memoir by a formerly obese woman who lost 180 lbs in her early 40’s. It’s not a how-to-diet book (there are no recipes) or an inspirational tract (like the popular Women, Food, and God; click to see the Citizen Reader’s take on that book). Rather, it’s about the experiences of (a) completely changing your appearance to the point where you become unrecognizable to friends and family, and (b) carving out new a life in what was formerly uncharted territory – the Planet of Thin, Kuffel calls it. On the Planet of Thin you can buy your underwear in Rite Aid rather than ordering it out of a catalog, you fit in an airplane seat, and most profoundly for Kuffel, you can run through the streets of lower Manhattan to escape the collapsing towers on September 11, 2001. “My weight loss had saved my life,” she says, bluntly and without fuss.

In addition to the Planet of Thin, Kuffel explores the Planet of Girls, another formerly forbidden zone where you can shop for interesting clothes and meet men who flirt with you. This might sound trite but it’s not. Kuffel has her first date and her first sexual experience. Her reactions are decidedly complicated, her descriptions moving. She is shockingly honest and this makes for an interesting read, though sometimes you want to say “It’s okay, Frances, we don’t have to keep talking about this.” This book offers good writing about a transformative life experience. I liked it.

(Book 5, 2011)


Lee said...

This is going on my to read list. Thanks.

Savvyworkinggal said...

I am adding this book to my TBR list. Sounds like a good book for my "Making Women Count" series.

Lina Shabbir said...

I am looking for a book similar to this. It is about a woman who lose weight by exercising and running and dieting, she was working as an adult toy seller. she had a male friend whom she occasionally sleeps with, which she calls her f*** buddy. in the 1st chapter, she talked about how people never tell us that our skin will be flabby after we lost weight.

hope I can get some help here,
many-many thanks in advance!

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