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Interview: Sarah Darer Littman

June 15th, 2009 (09:38 pm)

Current Mood: thirsty
Current Song: Lie to Me score music

When I informed Sarah Darer Littman that her most recent novel, Purge, was included in this month's issue of readergirlz, she was quite excited - and so was I! She then offered more backstory, and shared this:

I can't tell you how thrilled I was when I heard that the postergirlz recommended my most recent novel, Purge, to accompany Sara Zarr's Sweethearts. I'm a huge fan of Sara Zarr, both as a writer and as a person. As someone who is passionate about the subject of body image, her blog post on being unwillingly Photoshopped by a photographer is a must read.

Like Jenna in Sweethearts, Janie [the protagonist in Purge] has a complicated relationship with food, and there is a strong emotional component to her eating - when she is bingeing she is eating without enjoyment, but rather to fill what she calls "the black hole" inside.

My mom was taking her old pictures out of albums and scanning them onto the computer and she sent me this picture of myself on a Caribbean holiday when I was 14.

Looking at it as a woman with two kids in my mid-forties, my first thought was: "Wow, I had a nice figure!" But it only took a second for the voice of the girl in the picture to start up in my head - the one that told me she was fat and ugly. I started thinking about how throughout my life how much time and energy has been wasted obsessing about food and body image and feeling bad about myself - and, ultimately, being bulimic for six years as an adult - and I wanted to write a story that might help others avoid making that same mistake.

I'm so excited and grateful to be in such great company. I know E. Lockhart from our NYC Teen Author Drinks Nights and adored The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks and now have a great list of other books on my always growing "must read" list.

Thank you, readergirlz and postergirlz!

~ Sarah Darer Littman

Purge is one of the additional titles recommended in the June issue of readergirlz, and it gets a very strong recommendation from me. In fact, I paired Sweethearts and Purge together in a column for SparkNotes I wrote back in November.

Read my 2008 interview with Sarah.


Posted by: Morgan (morganlight)
Posted at: June 16th, 2009 05:07 am (UTC)

I could be a mongoloid, but wasn't PURGE supposed to be about a boy?
Or did the publisher/editor make her change it?

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: June 16th, 2009 05:13 am (UTC)

Hey Holly! How are you?

Nothing by Robin Friedman is about a bulimic boy. It would have been called Purge, but Robin and Sara actually bonded over their titles, and one changed hers so the other could keep it. Isn't that sweet?

Posted by: Morgan (morganlight)
Posted at: June 16th, 2009 05:15 am (UTC)

Awww! I stand corrected. Awesomeness.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: June 16th, 2009 05:18 am (UTC)

Not at all corrected - informed! The fact that you remembered me telling you about Robin's book, much less that was to be called Purge, gets you points.

Pssst... Adam Lambert's Ring of Fire arrangement = based on a version by Melissa Kaplan of Universal Hall Pass, which was used at readergirlz in October 2008. :)

Posted by: Morgan (morganlight)
Posted at: June 16th, 2009 05:19 am (UTC)

Oh yes, he mentioned that in an interview I watched once. ;) readergirlz = awesome.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: June 16th, 2009 01:12 pm (UTC)

Yes, indeed! Did you read Sweethearts by Sara Zarr? That's our pick this month. Next month, we're discussing The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg. It's a graphic novel with a lot of fantastic things to say about art and activism. It's also a quick read. I think you'd like it. Super secret: We're also doing an artistic project related to it - Let me know if you want to know more!

Posted by: Kate Messner (ex_kmessner)
Posted at: June 16th, 2009 11:23 am (UTC)

Great interview - and PURGE is a fantastic book. Would also be perfect paired with WINTERGIRLS.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: June 16th, 2009 01:10 pm (UTC)

Yes, indeed.

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