“A memoir that resonates with unflinching candor and ironic wit, Wasted is a book that can save lives. The courage that prompted it awes me.”
— Dorothy Allison
In 2014, Marya wrote a new afterword to her classic work in which she argues that recovery from eating disorders is not only possible, it is necessary. Author Jenni Schaefer (Life Without Ed) interviewed Marya about the new afterword and making a full recovery from eating disorders. Jenni said,
"There is nothing triggering about her afterword except that it might lead you to make a drastic change in your life, for the better. Marya’s words are authentic and to the point. While she doesn’t sugarcoat the hard work of recovery, she does assure that healing is attainable and within reach."
You can read Jenni's three-part spotlight on Marya here.
Why would a talented young woman enter into a torrid affair with hunger, drugs, sex, and death? Through five lengthy hospital stays, endless therapy, and the loss of family, friends, jobs, and all sense of what it means to be "normal," Marya Hornbacher lovingly embraced her anorexia and bulimia -- until a particularly horrifying bout with the disease in college put the romance of wasting away to rest forever. A vivid, honest, and emotionally wrenching memoir, Wasted is the story of one woman's travels to reality's darker side—and her decision to find her way back on her own terms.
“A gritty, unflinching look at eating disorders....written from the raw, disintegrated center of young pain....Hornbacher describes [such phenomena] with a stark candor that captures both their pain and underlying purposes....She is wise beyond her years.”
— New York Times Book Review
“A scary but tentatively triumphant memoir....[Told] with grace, sharp humor and candor.”
— San Francisco Chronicle
“An unsparing, terrifying, razor-edged self-portrait that cuts right into the heart of this most paradoxical of psychological disorders.”
— Patricia Chao
“Hornbacher writes like an artist, shaping her themes without self-pity or self-importance, wondering with intelligence why the dissatisfaction everyone feels with life is so often blamed on the female body.”
— Village Voice
“Powerful, compelling, intelligent...A memoir that has the tension and movement of a well-paced novel...You simply cannot put Wasted down.”
— San Diego Union-Tribune
“This is a terrifically well-written book, completely devoid of self-pity.”
— Entertainment Weekly