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.