is the author of the memoir STRANGER HERE and the young adult novel FUTURE PERFECT. She lives on the unceded traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations (Vancouver, BC) with her wife and a menagerie. Contact her at jen dot a dot larsen @ gmail.com, or come say hey on twitter or facebook!
Larsen’s honesty and insight make for a searing account of precisely what it feels like to be fat and to have complicated relationships with food, family and friends. We understand exactly why one would look to surgery as a solution to not only excess weight, but also fear, loneliness and unhappiness. Larsen eventually lost the weight, and she also moved on from her dead–end job and her bad relationship. But though her life is measurably better, she still reels from the shock that self–acceptance did not come automatically: ‘You lose weight without having to develop self–awareness, self–control, a sense of self. In fact, you go ahead and you lose your sense of self.’
Raw vulnerability and rigorous emotional honesty make this weight–loss memoir compelling and memorable.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Honest, brave and sparklingly funny, Larsen’s memoir reminds us that one size doesn’t—and shouldn’t—fit all.”
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Ashley Perkins is a 17-year-old biracial Latina girl growing up in her grandmother’s house. She’s smart, funny, driven, ambitious — and fat; so far as her grandmother is concerned, that last quality obliterates everything else. Every year, Ashley’s grandmother offers her birthday gifts in exchange for losing weight, and every year Ashley rejects them out of hand — until the year her grandmother offers her full tuition to Harvard in exchange for weight-loss surgery. For the first time, Ashley finds herself seriously considering making the horrific bargain — and the book follows her temptations and resistance, her friendships and soul-searching. A gorgeous, fiercely moving debut.
recommended by Amal El-Mohtar, book critic
“Ashley’s fight to discover what she truly wants, independent of the expectations of others, is an important one that will speak to many.”
“A moving, empowering read.”
“Absorbing. . . will resonate with many.”
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