Read Appetites: Why Women Want by Caroline Knapp Online

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What do women want? Did Freud have any idea how difficult that question would become for women to answer? In this text, Caroline Knapp confronts that question and boldly reframes it, asking instead: How does a woman know, and then honour, what it is she wants in a culture bent on shaping, defining and controlling women and their desires?...

Title : Appetites: Why Women Want
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781582432250
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 210 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Appetites: Why Women Want Reviews

  • Thomas
    2019-03-24 10:27

    By the middle of Appetites, I wanted to quote every single word Caroline Knapp wrote. In this memoir, she addresses three of my favorite topics: feminism, eating disorders, and sexuality. Knapp integrates these issues by sharing her own battle with anorexia and analyzing hunger through a psychological and sociocultural lens.Knapp can write. Her writing style is so vivid, so passionate, and so powerful that you can't help but admire her strength, even as she exposes herself and makes herself vulnerable. She hones in on the idea of appetite and how women struggle to fulfill their varying hungers. By defining "appetite" early in the book, she strides forward and discusses how women's desires lead them to focus on pleasing men, how it causes people in contemporary society to value materials instead of themselves, and how the pressure to appease the patriarchy and its expectations can contribute to eating disorders. Here's a passage that pertains to internal and external satisfaction and how society shapes our perception of happiness:If only we lived in a culture in which internal measures of satisfaction and success - a capacity for joy and caring, an ability to laugh, a sense of connection to others, a belief in social justice - were as highly valued as external measures. If only we lived in a culture that made ambition compatible with motherhood and family life, that presented models of women who were integrated and whole: strong, sexual, ambitious, cued into their own varied sources to explore all of them. If only women felt less isolated in their frustration and fatigue, less torn between competing hungers, less compelled to keep nine balls in the air at once, and less prone to blame themselves when those ball come crashing to the floor. If only we exercised our own power, which is considerable but woefully underused; if only we defined desire on our own terms.Appetites isn't a memoir in the typical sense. Instead of centering the book on herself, Knapp supplements her analysis of feminism and eating disorders with anecdotes from her life. She uses her experiences as a springboard to discuss how anxious parenting styles can affect self-esteem, how emptiness or a need for control can lead to an eating disorder, and most importantly, how to heal from a war with one's own burning hungers.Even though Knapp dives deeply into the intricacies of desire and how the world contorts our cravings against us, she ends Appetites on a hopeful note. She reveals how she used rowing to recuperate and how thinking about bigger issues lessened her self-absorption. While I would describe this book with words like painful, poignant, and piercing, I would also use words such as compelling, influential, and mind-changing. Here's a paragraph toward the end of the book that describes what really motivates our desires:Being known. This, of course, is the goal, the agenda so carefully hidden it may be unknown even to the self. The cutter cuts to make the pain at her center visible. The anorexic starves to make manifest her hunger and vulnerability. The extremes announce, This is who I am, this is what I feel, this is what happens when I don't get what I need. In quadraphonic sound, they give voice to the most central human hunger, which is the desire to be recognized, to be known and loved because of, and in spite of, who you are; they give voice to the sorrow that takes root when that hunger is unsatisfied.Highly, highly recommended for anyone even remotely interested in feminism, eating disorders, psychology, or sexuality. If I could I would buy anyone interested a copy of Appetites and send it straight to their home, because this is a book worth reading. Writing this review on my birthday is probably one of the greatest gifts I've experienced yet, and even though Caroline Knapp has passed away, I hope she knows just how much of an impact her ideas will have on society as time passes.

  • Andrea
    2019-02-25 08:22

    Considering how much I loved Knapp's memoir, Drinking: A Love Story, I had high expectations for this memoir-slash-cultural-study about women's relationships with appetite, whether it's for food, sex, or other. But this book (written 5 years after DALS, in 2002, and her last book before she died from cancer) was terribly disappointing. She rants and raves about men, consumer culture, the media, and advertising, blaming them for a host of ills that infect and distort women's images of themselves. Except, for one thing, she pretty much admits her own anorexia was bound to deeper issues with her parents and family, rather than simply to media images... She admits, as she did in DALS, to obsessive love affairs with older men whose qualities she wanted for herself... and then distorts the idea of wanting to feel sexy for another person as some sort of disordered thinking. She RANTS about fashion and beauty, seemingly not understanding at all that some women consider it a healthy habit to take care of their bodies and appearance. And she confuses "goddess worship," with Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue covers. Plus, she seems to think that women's bodies have been vilified in all cultures throughout time. Which = puh-leeze! Poor thing could have used some serious schooling in Tantra and earth-based, female-centered religions. Speaking of which, she mentions spirituality only in the last 1/10th of the book, dismissing it after a paragraph as something she never really understood. Clearly! She comes across as repressed, sheltered, and very unsophisticated, yet overcompensating with a know-it-all stance. Very frustrating to read. Though she includes some statistics for irrelevant information, the bulk of "information" about body image and women's self-hate is based on her own personal assumptions and opinions ~ and I pretty much agreed with none of them. If you're going to say things like, "I feel like this is a widespread sentiment," back it up! Otherwise, I can't take anything you say seriously. In short: not recommended.

  • Tahleen
    2019-03-11 06:14

    This book was very important to me. I'm extremely grateful I read this; it said a lot of things I needed to hear. Caroline Knapp, a former anorexic, delves into why women believe they need to deny themselves those things they desire, and why they shouldn't feel like they should. Women need to not only get in touch with their appetites, but what those appetites are, why they are there. Why do women feel the need to starve themselves? Why do some steal, others shop, others cut, others purge? She goes into all of this, where it might come from, and maybe how to fix it, even if it's just a little bit. This really helped me realize that I had an eating disorder; it also pointed me in the right direction before it became something too serious. I am grateful to Caroline Knapp and to my professor who required us to read it. I would recommend this to any woman who has felt the need to deny herself something because she didn't think she deserved it (be it food, sex, or other things), and to men who want to understand better how a woman's mind works and where some of our insecurities come from.

  • Jeff
    2019-03-22 08:34

    It's unfortunate that this book gets pegged as an "anorexia memoir"--even by a blurb on the cover, because it's also/instead a fantastic analysis of some particular flavors of cultural misogyny, both external and internalized. That said, Knapp does an amazing job of weaving in her personal experience to make most of what she says even more engaging. Combining memoir and analysis can get tricky--oftentimes authors tend to overgeneralize, or get too caught up in the particulars of their own story to make any general critiques at all, but Knapp walks the line in a particularly graceful way (her writing reminds me of bell hooks' Wounds of Passion). I'm only halfway through, but this is one that I will read again and again, and should be on any feminist's bookshelf.

  • KAOS
    2019-03-16 04:23

    my mind wizard recommended this to me and i was suspect, as i am not and have never been anorexic. this book blew me away - it's not so much about anorexia but about what women do to themselves to fill the emptiness that permeates their lives. the theme of hunger is not just about food but about the insatiable needs of love, understanding, respect, good relationships, meaningful work. you might starve yourself, gorge yourself, shop until you're drowning in debt, chainsmoke, be promiscuous, dedicate your life to your job, etc, and it's all just a symptom of the overarching problem of wanting. it's a slow read, but probably because you have to let it sink in. i hadn't read anything so intellectually stimulating since college and i keep recommending it to women i know who will find some truth in at least part of the book. the death of the writer (of lung cancer) before APPETITES' publication is truly sad.

  • Nadia
    2019-03-07 08:35

    this book is really stunning. it took me a little time to get into it, but once I did I was really impressed with the intricate job Knapp does of weaving so much truth into this - about appetite in the largest sense of the word, and how culture shapes it. I loved this passage in particular:"Sorrow is stubbornly resistant to insight. I can put together the puzzle pieces of anxiety and guilt and self-hatred, I can draw neat lines between culture and alienation from body and self, I can trace pieces of my anorexic history to this moment and that one, this lesson and that message. Sorrow is what runs beneath all that, a more mysterious pull that seems at once deep as earth and free-floating, and that casts the matter of appetite in a strong and singular light, all individual and known longings blurred and indistinguishable beneath its glare. . . It simply makes its presence felt, periodically and without obvious cause on a sleepless night or the first waking moment of a bad morning, a sudden pang of hollowness and yearning that seems wholly unrelated to any specific want, that seems instead to speak to a deeper variety of hunger, an oceanic brand from which other appetites merely split off, diverge, reveal themselves to be smaller rivers and tributaries of feeling that always, somehow, lead back to this."

  • Grace
    2019-03-11 11:36

    I had such high hopes for this book after reading Drinking: A Love Story, but I was disappointed. The writing is flowery and self-indulgent. The theme is important but somehow underdeveloped, despite chapter after chapter of rambling on. It would be nice if more actual research had been included rather than most paragraphs starting off with "I think." Is this book a memoir, a social commentary, or a research study? I can't really tell, and if it's trying to be all three, it doesn't work. As it stands, this book would have been better off as an essay, after cutting out about 3/4 of the content, in which the author is essentially repeating the same point over and over again after running it through a thesaurus to find different flowery words to use.

  • Rachel
    2019-03-11 06:31

    Caroline Knapp writes so eloquently (if a bit redundantly) about the conflicting appetites of women. Her willingness to explore her own struggles (with eating disorders and alcoholism) is matched only by the quality of her interviews with other women. She gives name to so many emotions and feelings and beliefs shared by women, it's as if she is speaking for our collective soul. Even if you are one of the lucky ones who has not experienced such turbulence, you will immediately understand and recognize a friend or family member in the stories she tells. The poignancy of the battles described is only underscored by the fact that Ms. Knapp was lost too soon, to cancer, in her early 40s. I read her books and wish I could talk to her, ask her her opinion and advice. I guess these are the next best thing.

  • stephanie
    2019-03-11 11:36

    this is a fairly brilliant book. i have to read it again to give it five stars, but honestly, anything by this author is worth picking up. this book talks about the story of one woman's struggle with eating and appetites, and also the cultural phenomenons that play into women not being "fed". it has been said before, but it is said eloquently and beautifully in this book. i am so sad caroline knapp passed away - she was such a great writer (and person).

  • Roxanne
    2019-03-17 07:33

    I want to assign this book to my younger self and then to all her friends. It touches on appetites of all sorts, from hunger to desire, and how the ways in which femininity is reinforced or policed can constrict women's appetites. The sections on motherhood and modeling intimacy or restraint felt particularly poignant as well.

  • Jo
    2019-03-05 11:37

    "Once upon a time, a "good day" for me meant eating fewer than 800 calories in a twenty-four-hour period: case closed, well-being measured by its absolute inaccessibility. Today, a good day might mean several different things. It might mean that I start the day sculling along the river near my home, an activity that makes me feel competent and strong and alive. It might mean that I put in a solid day's work, that I spend some time laughing on the phone with a friend, that I eat a good meal, that I curl up at night with the two beings I love most in the world, one human and one canine. A good day usually means successfully resisting my worst impulses, which involve isolation and perfectionism and self-punishment; it means striking some balance, instead, between fun and productivity and connection. Finding my way toward good days, and toward a more sustaining definition of well-being, has meant creeping, gradually and often painfully, in Renoir's direction, a sixteen-year crawl toward a kind of freedom to be filled.""During this time, I used to walk home from work along a strip of shops and restaurants on the east side of Providence, a deliberate route that took me out of my way and past a great deal of food. I'd pass women with armloads of groceries. I'd see couples hunched over hamburgers through the windows of a cafe. I'd walk past a delicatessen and a bakery and a Dunkin' Donuts, I'd smell spiced meats and freshly baked bread and the heavy sweetness of honey glaze, and I'd feel virtually transcendent, resisting this bounty while others surrendered. Nothing. No appetite: not for me. The insidious thing is that this felt like a kind of triumph, victory echoed in the deep steady pressing throb of physical hunger, the stomach pulling inward, inward, inward. That hunger was like air to me, I needed the assurance of will it gave me, and I measured its effects with the quiet astonishment of a scientist whose radical experiment is actually working.""The expression here doesn't just trigger a woman's own private denigration about weight and skin and hair; it also externalizes it, gives it a body and a face, provides a constant visual slap to reinforce the internal one. 'Look at me,' the goddess says. 'You're so fat compared to me. You'll never have hair like mine. You'll never be so desirable.' As Wheelock professor Gail Dines puts it, "To men, the look says 'Fuck me'; to women, it says, 'Fuck you."""This is what's insidious about consumerism: It's not that it encourages us to shop but that it encourages us to forget, not that it sparks need but that it dilutes it, shrink-wraps it and flings it into the handiest and most tangible containers.""I knew for many years that my mother made me angry, that whatever its origins, the distance between us made me edgy and restless and full of bile. What took me much longer to unearth until I reached back toward times like that August afternoon in Providence, was the deep current of sorrow beneath that anger, a yearning for connection so acute it defied ordinary words; voiced, it would have come out as a howl, the longest and loneliest keening...to throw all the blame in her direction would be as one-dimensional and simplistic as to point the finger solely at culture or the media. But I do think my relationship with her left me with a particular kind of emptiness, a sorrow-laced brand that's by no means unique to me. The wounds of childhood, deep and pre-verbal and way beyond the grasp of memory, are like footprints covered by new snow; they get hidden with time, sealed over, the traces of felt anguish difficult to perceive, even harder to access. And so the sorrow behind hunger tends to be acted out, described in symbol and code instead of nouns and verbs, a woman's body and behaviour communicating what words can't quite capture.""He chipped and chipped; the rock grew smaller by degrees, which is something that happens not in moments of blinding insight or revelation but in much more gradual and less dramatic ways: baby steps; tiny moves in this direction or that; experiments that seem so petty and small it's almost embarrassing to claim them as victories.""I pictured that tiny infant, nursing hungrily at the body that created and sheltered her and will now guide her into the wider world, and I said a prayer for her, I prayed for change. I whispered to the universe, Let her be filled."

  • Holly
    2019-03-13 10:18

    I found this book incredibly resonant. Female body issues are rampant in our culture, but Knapp's work is the first time I've seen various compulsions linked under the heading of "appetite." Anorexia, alcoholism, bingeing, compulsive shopping, cutting, promiscuity - Knapp asserts these should be addressed as one base issue: females for the first time have the freedom to indulge their appetites, yet the societal message still casts indulgence as unfeminine. This dissonance, she argues, causes women to feel that their vast hunger - for love, acceptance, food, ambition - will never, can never be satiated. Poignantly and personally written, "Appetites" attempts to face the despair of being an appetitive woman, the struggle to feel "full," and potential peace in recognizing that a sense of emptiness may be an inherent part of the human condition."I've watched women do battle with that notion my whole life: agonizing about asserting themselves at work, or debating about whether they 'deserve' a raise, or struggling to subdue the chronic press of worry about other people's feelings, or fighting the urge to apologize for things most men would never think to apologize for (bumping into a chair, overcooking a meal, the weather). This is learned behavior. There is not a shred of compelling evidence to suggest that such impulses are biologically based, that females are genetically more caretaking and less self-seeking than males, that we're hard wired to be accommodating, that we have less natural hunger or aggression. You observe, you follow, live and learn.""As a journalist in Providence, I was particularly drawn toward stories about women's issues: I wrote about discrimination, abortion, violence against women. I wrote about women's health, sexism in the media, cultural imagery. I even wrote about women (other women) with eating disorders. And quietly, privately, I starved myself half to death. There you have it: intellectual belief without the correlary of emotional roots; feminist power understood in the mind but not known, somehow, in the body.""This is a textbook example of what some feminist scholars call the 'missing discourse of desire' among and in regard to adolescent girls. Girls of my generation did not - and girls for the most part still do not - receive a lot of honest information about the body, particularly the female sexual body and the subject of its arousal. This is an old taboo, culturally and academically. Freud never explored the subject of female sexuality, dismissing it in his infamous phrase as 'a dark continent.' Most major theories of adolescent development have ignored it, as though sexual feelings don't play much of a role in the lives of girls. Even feminist theorist have tended to steer clear of the subject, and the silence on all fronts has been both deafening and deeply disconnecting. The French philosopher Michel Foucault first popularized the idea that discourse about sexuality can significantly shape sexual experience, noting that the language and tone we use when we talk about sex, the things we hear (or equally important) do not hear, have a direct impact on the way we register, interpret, and respond to our own bodily feelings. When you hear nothing about the body, he suggests, you stop listening to it, and feeling it; you stop experiencing it as a worthy, integrated entity."-Caroline Knapp

  • Samantha
    2019-02-27 11:10

    Appetites was a particularly insightful commentary and memoir on the feeling many women (including myself) experience on a daily basis: a yearning hunger for something to fill us up. Make us feel whole inside. I thought the way Knapp combined different appetites apart from the physical was fascinating, like a hunger for a strong mother-daughter connection, or compulsive shopping. I also thought she successfully articulated her own experiences within the context of post second-wave feminism, while trying to make a larger point about the forces driving women to act the way they do in regards to eating, sex, shopping, alcoholism etc. While I do completely understand that this book was based on her own experiences, and how she mentioned her decision to exclude these aspects in the beginning, I was disappointed by the prominence of white womanhood. Yes, this is a memoir. But if you're going to talk about "why women want," I think you also need more than an aside in the beginning to discuss the crossroads of race and class in a meaningful way and truly encapture the myriad of ways women want. It wouldn't have to be all-encompassing, but I wish when she mentioned the stories of certain friends she perhaps had those friends talk about their intersectionality. I found this book relatable in the sense that I do ardently agree that there is a universal experience of womanhood that involves wanting something more than society offers and self-sacrifice, but I guess I (selfishly) wish it was catered more to my needs (though the dearth of biracial literature makes this all but impossible).

  • Lissa
    2019-03-08 07:27

    This is a must-read for every American woman who ever has had an unhealthy relationship (calculate THAT percentage...), and every man who cares about such a woman. Caroline Knappy brilliantly and compellingly tells not only her own story of anorexia, but comprehensively outlines our societal and cultural pressures that launch little girls into wobbly adult orbits around food, sex, shopping and other substances. She gives us hope that we can, at last, put ourselves at the center, without guilt or shame.Excerpts:"Appetites, which are selfish and self-serving and aggressive, are scary for many girls, particularly those who've been brought up to believe that such qualities are unfeminine and inappropriate....""... woman's relationship with hunger and satisfaction acts like a mirror, reflecting her sense of place in the wider world. How hungry, in all senses of the word, does a woman allow herself to be? How filled? How free does she really feel, or how held back? Feeding, experiencing pleasure, taking in, deserving - for many women, these may not be matters of life and death, but they are certainly markers of joy and anguish...."I was so saddened to realize, half way through reading this book that Knapp died in 2002, and can't help but wonder what she would have to say about the state of things today.

  • Shawna
    2019-03-16 05:20

    This is the book I needed someone to give me a long time ago, when I first struggled with my needs vs. being full vs. being empty vs. wanting and longing. What I thought I learned long ago and again and again as I age I could finally understand well enough through this book to actually heal and know that there is nothing wrong in wanting, or in how I have tried to navigate unmet longings. This book was an experience to read, the type of book that I ached and angered through, stopped, said I'd never finish, then picked it up again. It was fulfilling in the ways it needed to be. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is not yet sure what it means to be feminine or a woman or long for something that is certain to hurt over and over and no matter how hard you seem to work for it or fashion yourself into the right shape can never be yours by no fault of your own. I recommend this book for anyone who has also fought loss with emptiness only to find it left you lonely rather than strong. I recommend this book for anyone who has been told that what you hunger for is inappropriate or wrong, that you need to apologize for not just what you want, but who you are. I recommend this book to everyone.

  • Terry
    2019-03-22 11:18

    This was a terrific read, especially coming after the terribly disappointing "Composing a Life". Knapp's "Drinking: A Love Story" was one of my favorite books back in the 1990s, and reading "Appetites" was like sitting down with an old friend and having a great talk. I was a little wary because I have finally become a teeny bit tired of "anorexia memoirs"--a term I think is really insulting and depressing at the same time--. But this book really delves deeply into how modern American life has substituted consumerism, in every conceivable form, for any kind of spiritual or intellectual pursuit. Anyone who is interested in, ahem, "anorexia memoirs" will probably be satisfied with this book; anyone who is interested in contemporary women's "issues" (rolling my eyes at myself as I type that) will also really find a great deal of sustenance in this book (pun intended). If you liked Susan Faludi's "The Terror Dream" (or Faludi's other books) or if you like Elizabeth Wurtzel (and I do), you'll like this book too.

  • Deb
    2019-02-26 04:22

    *Hunger to be known*Although Caroline Knapp is no longer with us, her contributions to the understanding of women's appetites live on in this book. Her amazing insight, powerful language, and personal experiences shed light on the unexplored domains of female hunger and desire. The book explores women's tragic quest of attempting to satisfy deeply internal desires by reaching for external and unattainable "fragments of hope that always promise transcendence over pain and longing and always disappoint." Feeling fundamentally incomplete, many women become trapped in an eternal loop of hunger, and repeatedly attempt to fill the voids in ways that only increase the appetite and longing. As Caroline beautifully expressed, the hunger that truly needs to be attended to is the "most central hunger, which is the desire to be recognized, to be known and loved because of, and in spite of, who you are."

  • Ian
    2019-03-11 08:33

    Unlike Drinking: A Love Story, this book is not captivating and gets lost in a series of wandering passages of ungrounded moralizing. Whereas Drinking was an intensely personal gripping story of how alcohol nearly broke her spirit, Appetites suffers from the fact that her addiction to food ... or lack of food as it may be ... was never as strong. Thus she has far less source material to work with, and she covers up for that absence by generalizing, postulating, moralizing, and taking digressions to discuss other things such as compulsive shopping that are interesting asides but do little to advance the central story.In short, this memoir appears to be an attempt to capitalize off the success of Drinking but with inferior material that more often than not misses the mark.

  • Carmen
    2019-03-09 08:34

    I don't know how I came across this book, but I am VERY glad that I did. I initially thought of the women in my life that I have known, who have told me freely that they have had an eating disorder. I myself, have never truly suffered through a full-blown eating disorder, but I realize that we all obsess about food and our bodies to some degree. It's not just about food though - which is why I liked it. It talks in great depth about how we should feel entitled to look into ourselves and feel "full" in our bodies and minds. We all have different appetites, but it's about turning our focus inward - away from commercial THINGS - and looking at what we really WANT and NEED in our lives.I would recommend this book to anyone who has longed for something in thier life or noticed something was missing and no matter how hard they searched EXTERNALLY they weren't able to find it.

  • Holly
    2019-03-14 09:15

    A wonderful book that sheds light on the subject related to women's body image. The author uses her own journey mixed with other women's voices to analyze the subject of body related to experiences, psychology, and self acceptance. The author does an extraordinary job bringing to life this message about loving one's body.

  • Graham Burt
    2019-03-08 08:27

    At first this seemed like an intimate look into the world of eating disorders, but as I pressed on I found an amazing exploration of what it means to be a woman today. The subliminal and overt pressures to uphold a standard that isn't humanly possible are everywhere.I have to credit my guru for discussing the book along the way with me.

  • Stephanie
    2019-03-06 03:28

    One of the best books of feminism I've ever read. My copy keeps on getting loaned out to friends, who have almost all then bought copies of their own for re-reading. Really, really smart, gripping, and emotionally absorbing.

  • Amy
    2019-03-26 10:36

    This was an excellent eating disorder memoir. It wasn't just a day to day "I eat only 2 peas and hate my life"... She really digs deep and discusses a lot of issues related to women's self image such as the mother daughter relationship. It was very well written and thought provoking.

  • Lisa
    2019-03-08 04:25

    remarkable is right. every woman i know is in this book, in one way or another, and i want to make it required reading for every woman i know. a very important book. deeply meaningful, stirring and affecting.

  • Heather
    2019-03-01 06:18

    Caroline Knapp, an amazing writer. This book is beautiful. I identified with so much. Her words became my words. I'm so sad to find out she died before this book was published. She's missed. Can't give this book enough praise.

  • Jill
    2019-03-13 11:20

    Stunningly lucid feminist meditation on the role of culture and the inherent hunger of the human condition, but expecially for women. Knapp died at the age of 42, shortly after this was published, which makes her honesty and yearning for personal satiety of hunger all the more poignant.

  • Phoebe
    2019-03-02 11:19

    I read Drinking: A Love Story by the same author. I find her writing to be lyrical and realistic at the same time. Her struggle is what so many women struggle with.. and she puts substance to it. I am so very sad that she died at age 42. This was her last book.

  • L
    2019-03-26 04:28

    What a FANTASTIC look at feminism, the ugly, subconscious messages of the patriarchy, & how Caroline started re-building her life after addictions.She's a wonderful author. I wish she was still alive so I could meet her & thank her for sharing her ideas.

  • Elise
    2019-03-20 08:27

    This book is much more than an "anorexia memoir"; it weaves together eating disorders and other appetites (drinking, shopping, sex, etc), and then connects these physical appetites to the ultimate human appetite for love and connection. There is something reassuring in the way that Knapp embeds women's struggles with appetite in the broader cultural context: in a time when women are endowed with seemingly unlimited choices but often lack the necessary sense of entitlement to make said choices, physical appetites become a metaphor for women's deepest desires – and their underlying fears that these desires are unattainable.Although Appetites doesn't paint a rosy view of the politics surrounding women's bodies, it left me with a sense of hope: maybe the feeling of being unmoored, of never truly being fed, is a fundamental part of being a woman, or simply of being human.

  • Leanne Hunt
    2019-03-25 08:15

    This wasn't a book I would have chosen myself, but my daughter ordered it on Kindle and I was short of things to do. Evidently, she had ordered it because of her interest in Freud and anorexia, though these only featured incidentally. The book is actually an investigation of appetites in general, from the appetite for food to the appetite for shoes, sex and status. It examines the source of appetite and gives some insight on how to redirect problem desires. While I found the content interesting, the book as a whole did not make a huge impact on me. I would have preferred more autobiographical detail to make me relate to the author and why she wrote the book, since it was clearly born out of personal experience. Even so, it was useful in confirming certain conclusions I had already come to and supplied some new leads to further explore.