I am so ashamed. Because there is absolutely noble about my preoccupations. My pursuit of getting as close as I can to the bones of my body is so horribly self-involved, self-obsessed.
But if I can just feel the sharpness of bone it will be all right. I just have to get through today and I will be all right.
I can do it. I must.
So go the tortured thoughts of the food-obsessed, self-starved young woman who is at the heart of Lisa de Nikolits novel The Hungry Mirror. She’s intelligent, successful, savvy, and completely enslaved by her addiction to starvation and thinness.
This was not an easy novel to read. It was well written and engaging, it’s short chapters and first person perspective making it almost journal like in quality. But it’s difficult to reconcile the amount of pain and suffering this woman puts herself through just to maintain some fractured ideal body image. Not that I don’t understand the compunction to be thin, the societal imperative that thinness equals happiness and beauty. It’s just painful to watch someone destroy their body in such a vicious way. Denying oneself not only the value of nutrition but also the pleasure of food itself is utterly cruel. To care so little about yourself that you can do this for years on end… frightening and sad.
Lisa de Nikkolits cuts right to the bone in writing this novel. She creates a character we can really care about, and goes deeply into the heart of eating disorders in such a way that we cannot ignore them. It behooves all of us who are even the tiniest bit diet-obsessed to read The Hungry Mirror– you’ll never look at your reflection or your dinner in quite the same way again.