Anorexia and the City: Special Significance of the Urban Environment in Eating Disorder Memoirs Cover Image
  • Price 1.00 €

Anorexia and the City: Special Significance of the Urban Environment in Eating Disorder Memoirs
Anorexia and the City: Special Significance of the Urban Environment in Eating Disorder Memoirs

Author(s): Nina Augustynowicz
Subject(s): Social Sciences, Language and Literature Studies, Studies of Literature, Sociology, Comparative Study of Literature, Other Language Literature, Health and medicine and law, Rural and urban sociology, Theory of Literature
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
Keywords: anorexia; eating disorders; city
Summary/Abstract: The article examines a book of memoirs belonging to a larger group of textual representations of individual struggle with anorexia in order to shed light on the city as a crucial character in the account of the disease. “Kid Rex: The Inspiring True Account of a Life Salvaged from Anorexia, Despair and Dark Days in New York City” (2008) by Laura Moisin is one of many recent publications touching upon the subject of eating disorders penned by and depicting the life of young upper middle class big city women. First notable books of this kind appeared around 1980, while since the beginning of this century we have been observing a steady increase in this respect, resulting in the proliferation of these personal narratives in popular culture. In accordance with the research suggesting that the incidence of eating disorders is higher in urban areas, publications of this kind all seem to refer to such environments; however, the aforementioned book could be considered special here as it portrays the deep-reaching relations between witnessing the events of September 11 attacks and the development of the disease. Even though it remains unclear which elements of cityscapes are responsible for the higher incidence of the anorexia, the acute experiences offered by NYC around the time of the attack highlight the probable causes. Employing the interdisciplinary perspectives offered by psychogeography, food studies and sociology of medicine, the article analyses how the influence of the city on female victims of anorexia is presented in the memoir to show that urban spaces may function both as a symptom of and as a factor contributing to the disease.

  • Page Range: 155-170
  • Page Count: 16
  • Publication Year: 2015
  • Language: English