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REVIEW: SMALL ACTS OF DISAPPEARANCE: Essays on Hunger by Fiona Wright

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

THE BLURB:

Small Acts of Disappearance is a collection of ten essays that describes the author’s affliction with an eating disorder which begins in high school, and escalates into life-threatening anorexia over the next ten years.

Fiona Wright is a highly regarded poet and critic, and her account of her illness is informed by a keen sense of its contradictions and deceptions, and by an awareness of the empowering effects of hunger, which is unsparing in its consideration of the author’s own actions and motivations. 

The essays offer perspectives on the eating disorder at different stages in Wright’s life, at university, where she finds herself in a radically different social world to the one she grew up in, in Sri Lanka as a fledgling journalist, in Germany as a young writer, in her hospital treatments back in Sydney.

They combine research, travel writing, memoir, and literary discussions of how writers like Christina Stead, Carmel Bird, Tim Winton, John Berryman and Louise Glück deal with anorexia and addiction; together with accounts of family life, and detailed and humorous views of hunger-induced situations of the kind that are so compelling in Wright’s poetry.

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK:

SMALL ACTS OF DISAPPEARANCE is a series of interlinked essays inspired by the author’s struggle with an eating disorder. Fiona Wright is an award-winning poet currently undertaking a doctorate in writing at University of Western Sydney. 

Each essay on its own is superbly crafted and exquisitely written. Some are deeply personal and gut-wrenchingly emotional, while others take her obsession with not eating as a springboard to explore other territories, such as issues of anorexia in Australian literature.  Together they create an utterly extraordinary collection – intelligent, fierce and deeply informative. 

I WOULD LOVE TO GET YOUR FEEDBACK ON THIS COLLECTION OF ESSAYS 


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