One cannot readily identify and empathise with masochism. Psychological disorders that manifest in self abuse go against the grain, against our instincts for survival and protection. Hornbacher's memoir shows how a “normal” desire to conform can be kicked into overdrive, how the perception of an imperfect self can lead to gratuitously violent bouts of bingeing, vomiting, and starvation.
An autobiographical account of anorexia and bulimia, Wasted is painful to read; it is painful to watch someone with obvious talent break their body time after time. Anorexia and bulimia have come into the public eye recently, but this account takes us deeper than the Hello! magazine features. The rhetoric leaves you cold, and the book is made even more frightening by the marrying of scientific research to the author's first-hand account. She strips bare the lies told by so many sufferers, the ignorance of the medical profession, and the way in