Empty by Susan Burton audiobook

Empty: A Memoir

By Susan Burton
Read by Susan Burton

Random House Audio 9780812992847
9.86 Hours 1
Format : Digital Download (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9780553550900

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An editor at This American Life reveals the searing story of the secret binge-eating that dominated her adolescence and shapes her still. Growing up, Susan Burton had never heard of binge-eating. She just knew she felt her best when she was empty, "like a straw", as she says "something you could blow through." For almost thirty years, Susan Burton has hidden her obsession with food and the secret life of compulsive eating and starving that dominated her adolescence. This is the relentlessly honest, fiercely intelligent story of living with both anorexia and binge-eating disorder, moving past her shame, and learning to tell her secret. When Burton was thirteen, her stable life in suburban Michigan was turned upside down by her parents' abrupt divorce, and she moved to Colorado with her mother and sister. She seized on this move west as an adventure and an opportunity to reinvent herself from middle-school nerd to popular teenage girl. But she hadn't escaped unscathed, and in the fallout from her parents' breakup, an inherited fixation on thinness went from "peculiarity to pathology." She entered into a painful cycle of anorexia and binge eating that formed a subterranean layer to her sunny life. She went from success to success--she went to Yale, scored a dream job at a magazine right out of college, and married her college boyfriend. But in college the compulsive eating got worse--she'd binge, swear it would be the last time, and then, hours later, do it again--and after she graduated she descended into anorexia, her attempt to "quit food." Binge eating is more prevalent than anorexia or bulimia, but there is less research and little storytelling to help us understand it. In tart, soulful prose Susan Burton strikes a blow for the importance of this kind of story; brings to life an indelible cast of characters; and tells an exhilarating story of longing, compulsion and hard-earned self-revelation.

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Summary

Summary

A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice of the Week

An editor at This American Life reveals the searing story of the secret binge-eating that dominated her adolescence and shapes her still.

Growing up, Susan Burton had never heard of binge-eating. She just knew she felt her best when she was empty, "like a straw", as she says "something you could blow through."

For almost thirty years, Susan Burton has hidden her obsession with food and the secret life of compulsive eating and starving that dominated her adolescence. This is the relentlessly honest, fiercely intelligent story of living with both anorexia and binge-eating disorder, moving past her shame, and learning to tell her secret.

When Burton was thirteen, her stable life in suburban Michigan was turned upside down by her parents' abrupt divorce, and she moved to Colorado with her mother and sister. She seized on this move west as an adventure and an opportunity to reinvent herself from middle-school nerd to popular teenage girl. But she hadn't escaped unscathed, and in the fallout from her parents' breakup, an inherited fixation on thinness went from "peculiarity to pathology." She entered into a painful cycle of anorexia and binge eating that formed a subterranean layer to her sunny life. She went from success to success--she went to Yale, scored a dream job at a magazine right out of college, and married her college boyfriend. But in college the compulsive eating got worse--she'd binge, swear it would be the last time, and then, hours later, do it again--and after she graduated she descended into anorexia, her attempt to "quit food."

Binge eating is more prevalent than anorexia or bulimia, but there is less research and little storytelling to help us understand it. In tart, soulful prose Susan Burton strikes a blow for the importance of this kind of story; brings to life an indelible cast of characters; and tells an exhilarating story of longing, compulsion and hard-earned self-revelation.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“A smart, brave gift to the world. Bravo!” Mary Karr, New York Times bestselling author
“Empty is a tour de force of both vulnerability and strength, a memoir so unflinching and brave that it forces us to peer into our own dark places with newfound honesty and compassion.” Lori Gottlieb, New York Times bestselling author
“Readers who see themselves in these pages will find invaluable identification and even comfort…All memoir lovers will be taken by Burton’s elegant prose, rare self-insight, and layered, superconfessional storytelling.” Booklist (starred review)
“Burton’s memoir of anorexia and binge eating is fueled by anger and honesty. This fearsomely intimate story brings perfectionism into tight focus and provides an unforgettable portrait of a different kind of addiction.” New York Times Book Review

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Susan Burton

Author Bio: Susan Burton

Susan Burton‘s writing has appeared in Slate, Mother Jones, New York magazine, The New Yorker, and The New York Times Magazine. She is a former editor of Harper’s and a producer of This American Life. Her radio documentaries have won numerous awards. The film Unaccompanied Minors is based on one of her radio essays. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their two sons.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Nonfiction/Biography
Runtime: 9.86
Audience: Adult
Language: English