and Victoria Scotti
's Low-Fat Love Stories
(Sense Publishers, 2017) is a collection of short stories and artistic portraits focusing on women’s dissatisfying relationships. What makes these stories different from conventional fictions is that all the stories are based on extensive interviews with women of different ages and from different racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds across the United States. In the book, readers will read extremely candid and moving personal stories, identity struggles, and painstaking self-reflection. As a product of art-based research, the book also critically interrogates how popular culture shapes women’s self-perception, influences their understanding of romantic relationship, and eventually contributes to their sufferings of low self-esteem, depression, or anxiety. A methodological conversation and an interview guide are attached at the end of the book to reflect on the rigorous research that the authors have conducted.
The book is very versatile in the sense that it will attract not only social science researchers but also general audience. In addition, the authors provide several innovative approaches to engage with the stories and encourage course instructors from various social science disciplines to use this book as teaching material.
Pengfei Zhao holds a doctoral degree in Inquiry Methodology from Indiana University-Bloomington. Among her research interests are qualitative research methodology, youth culture, identity formation, and comparative sociological and educational studies. She is currently working on a book manuscript studying the coming of age experience of rural Chinese youth during and right after the Cultural Revolution.