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Rebecca J. Lester

Dec 21, 2021

Famished

Eating Disorders and Failed Care in America

University of California Press 2019

When Rebecca Lester was eleven years old--and again when she was eighteen--she almost died from anorexia nervosa. Now both a tenured professor in anthropology and a licensed social worker, she turns her ethnographic and clinical gaze to the world of eating disorders--their history, diagnosis, lived realities, treatment, and place in the American cultural imagination.

Famished: Eating Disorders and Failed Care in America (U California Press, 2019), the culmination of over two decades of anthropological and clinical work, as well as a lifetime of lived experience, presents a profound rethinking of eating disorders and how to treat them. Through a mix of rich cultural analysis, detailed therapeutic accounts, and raw autobiographical reflections, Famished helps make sense of why people develop eating disorders, what the process of recovery is like, and why treatments so often fail. It's also an unsparing condemnation of the tension between profit and care in American healthcare, demonstrating how a system set up to treat a disease may, in fact, perpetuate it. Fierce and vulnerable, critical and hopeful, Famished will forever change the way you understand eating disorders and the people who suffer with them.

Galina Limorenko is a doctoral candidate in Neuroscience with a focus on biochemistry and molecular biology of neurodegenerative diseases at EPFL in Switzerland. To discuss and propose the book for an interview you can reach her at galina.limorenko@epfl.ch.

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Galina Limorenko

Galina Limorenko is a doctoral candidate in Neuroscience with a focus on biochemistry and molecular biology of neurodegenerative diseases at EPFL in Switzerland.

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