Out on 04 April 2024

Dead Weight

Emmeline Clein

04 April 2024
288 pages


'Sharply intelligent . . . a consoling and enraging book' - Sarah Moss, author of The Fell
'Electric with insight' - Leslie Jamison, author of The Recovering

In Dead Weight, Emmeline Clein fuses her own experience of disordered eating with social commentary told through the stories of other women – famous figures from across time and popular culture, and girls she's known and loved – and traces the medical and cultural history of anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia and binge eating disorder.

In writing that’s electric, fierce and endlessly curious, Clein investigates the economic conditions underpinning our eating disorder epidemic, grapples with the myriad ways disordered eating has affected her own friendships and romantic relationships, and illuminates how today's feminism has been complicit in disordered eating culture. Through it all, she challenges the accepted narratives women absorb every day about themselves, revealing the dangerous messages that connect female worth to inhabiting an ever-smaller form.

Galvanizing readers against disordered eating, Clein imagines a world where we allow ourselves to listen to our appetites and fight back against these diseases of self-destruction. In an age of appetite suppression, it is far past time for a book like Dead Weight.

It’s a joy to read such sharply intelligent writing on a subject where critical thinking is rarely found; a consoling and enraging book in which thoughtful readers will find fellowship.
A compassionate dive into the disordered eating . . . enters the ED discourse like a red-bound blaze of light'
With fierce wit, excavating curiosity, and a heart fully surrendered to her subject, Clein writes about eating disorder culture from the inner reaches of what this culture has wrought. This book is electric with insight, and suffused with a strange, stubborn tenderness - a deep regard for what intimacy, hope and resistance might look like in a world where women are taught to devote their lives to destroying themselves.