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Stick Figure

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About the Author

Lori Gottlieb is author of the national bestseller, Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self, an American Library Association "Best Books 2001" selection and a Borders "Original New Voice" title. Based on her childhood diaries, Stick Figure was optioned for film by Martin Scorsese, who described Lori's quirky teen narrator as "Holden Caulfield goes on a misguided diet." Lori is a regular commentator for NPR's All Things Considered, and her radio features have aired on public radio's This American Life, Weekend Edition, The Tavis Smiley Show and Marketplace. As a journalist and columnist, Lori has written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Time, People, The Atlantic, Elle, Glamour, Redbook, Slate, Salon, Seventeen, CosmoGirl!, The L.A. Weekly, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The New York Post. She also penned the monthly "Brunch With" relationships column for Mademoiselle.


After happening upon the diary she kept when she was 11 years old, Gottlieb was moved to publish this chronicle of her struggle with anorexia nearly 20 years after she wrote it. In the late 1970s, she lived with her parents and brother in Beverly Hills, where Gottlieb's loneliness and concern about looking attractive to boys swiftly transformed into an obsession with dieting, although she had never been overweight. In her diary entries, she presents her father as a successful but emotionally withdrawn stockbroker, and her mother as a controlling airhead whose major concerns were her appearance and shopping. Gottlieb's parents became very alarmed, however, when their daughter, who believed that even smelling food would make her gain weight, kept refusing to eat. They took her to their family physician and then to a therapist who hospitalized her for several months when her condition continued to deteriorate. Though it is clear that Gottlieb, who is a regular contributor to Salon, has polished her childhood diary, her descriptions of preteen vulnerability and self-consciousness ring true--for example, when she recounts how, at lunchtime one day, her popularity skyrocketed because she could figure out a diet plan for every girl. In the context of the daunting (though unfootnoted) statistic Gottlieb cites, that "50% of fourth grade girls in the United States diet, because they think they're too fat," her diary offers haunting evidence of what little progress we have made. Agents, Jill Grinberg and Laurie Fox. First serial to YM; BOMC and QPB alternates; 3-city author tour; foreign rights sold in Germany, Finland and Portugal. (Mar.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

YA-A powerful memoir about growing up in Beverly Hills in the 1970s. At age 11, Gottlieb decided that she needed to lose weight because, after all, "you can never be too rich or too thin." Buying every diet book available, she became obsessed with calories. When she reached 60 pounds, she was hospitalized for anorexia even though she herself found nothing unusual about her revulsion to food. Written in diary format, Stick Figure questions society's view of female beauty and the lengths young women will go to achieve it. YAs will relate to Lori's story, which weaves in common issues of body image, being popular, peer pressure, and a less-than-harmonious relationship with parents. While the author deals with serious subjects, the overall tone of the book is upbeat, often even humorous. She survived her ordeal with an eating disorder and in telling her story, she brings hope to others.-Katherine Fitch, Rachel Carson Middle School, Fairfax, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Before she was a Hollywood executive, Gottlieb was an anorexic teenager. This account of her "former self" has been optioned by Martin Scorsese's De Fina/Cappa Productions. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Martha Manning author of Undercurrents: A Life Beneath the Surface Lori Gottlieb's approach is compassionate, and very, very funny. More than just a book about anorexia, Stick Figure is an entertaining and thoughtful coming-of-age story that deals with an almost universal theme -- negotiating the minefields of early adolescence and living to tell the tale. Sarah Saffian author of Ithaka: A Daughter's Memoir of Being Found Lori Gottlieb's eleven-year-old self is a singular storyteller of unblinking candor and precocious insight. As rife with wry humor as it is lacking in self-pity, this fast-paced chronicle of late-1970s adolescent anorexia is narrated with a light touch, and yet is chilling and poignant in its straightforward simplicity. Peggy Orenstein author of School Girls: Young Women, Self-Esteem, and the Confidence Gap By turns earnest and funny, hopeful and tragic, eleven-year-old Lori is a latter-day Alice: She takes us through the distorted looking glass that's held up to young girls and into the harrowing land of eating disorders. There is no other word for it: You will devour this book -- and, hopefully, keep right on eating.

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