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Sarai Walker

Forfatter af Dietland

5 Works 933 Members 60 Reviews

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Værker af Sarai Walker

Dietland (1605) 697 eksemplarer
The Cherry Robbers (2022) 233 eksemplarer
(In)visible (Série noire) (2017) 1 eksemplar

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Compelling plot, binged it since I really wanted to find out what happened to the protag's sisters. Enjoyed the imagery. Punched me hard in the feeling since my own mom had some similar problems as the protag's.
cactuscat | 12 andre anmeldelser | Dec 31, 2023 |
I'm not sure what to say other than "WOW"! I personally got where the author "was going" and why, but wow, what a concept!
schoenbc70 | 46 andre anmeldelser | Sep 2, 2023 |
I found Dietland an easy and compelling read, but I'm still a little unsure how I feel about it in terms of who its intended audience is and what it was designed to do.

It's hard to take Dietland out of the context of its author -- Sarai Walker has a PhD in gender studies, with a thesis focusing on how body weight policing intersects with feminism. Dietland clearly arose out of that interest and is done with an extremely scholarly bent.

There are two intertwining narratives: Plum (Alicia)'s self-discovery narrative, where she emerges from a spiral of self-hate, yoyo dieting and living in the future. This part is beautifully done -- even as a woman who has never been overweight, I'm embarrassed to admit how much Plum's hoard of clothing that didn't fit (yet) and delay of activities until she could be her ideal (thin) self resonated. I think everyone puts off things until the time is right/they are better people/there is more money, but for women, the synonymy of ideal self and thinner self seems persistent. I felt that this was a really important area to explore. The narrative especially focuses on Plum's use of the "Baptist" diet plan (a thinly veiled Jenny Craig clone) and the way that this diet plan keeps women addicted and prevents them from really slimming down. Verena Baptist, the daughter of the founder of the Baptist plan is a health at every size advocate who shows Plum that she can be her "real self" while being fat. In the meantime, she also inducts Plum into a feminist collective.

The second narrative is about a group of female vigilantes who retaliate against sex criminals and the sexualization of women. Many people seem to feel repulsed by this part of the narrative, but Walker's main focus seems to be the thought experiment about if people were truly punished for the objectification of women, would that then empower women to speak out? In the process, Walker highlights the many daily ways in which women are degraded. Although I consider myself a staunch feminist, I was shocked about the things to which I've become enured: the commercialization of making women feel self-conscious about their bodies and the double standard of the use of the female body for advertising in particular.

My uncertainty is this: Walker, it seems, set out to write an Important Feminist Novel. Dietland is also fun and easy to read. However, I'm not sure it has much of a voice beyond the feminist community, where it's kind of preaching to the choir. It's hard to imagine someone who didn't already identify with Walker's message getting through even the first 100 pages of Dietland. Perhaps it will hit home to "choice feminists."
In addition, I thought the fictionalization of the Baptist Plan really trivialized the many important criticisms of the weight loss fascination in America. I wish that Walker had used a real example (as she did with the lingerie store V------ S-----). In particular, I was really disappointed that in the "suggested reading" section Walker listed many fictional resources, but no non-fiction ones.
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settingshadow | 46 andre anmeldelser | Aug 19, 2023 |
The Cherry Robbers is the story of Sylvia Wren, a world-famous artist. Or maybe it’s the story of Iris Chapel, the fifth of the six Chapel sisters, heiresses and all doomed from birth. The two tales, set on different timelines, entwine in the diaries Sylvia decides to write, unhearting secrets that have been kept under wraps for decades.

[Keep reading @ Bookshelves & Teacups]… (mere)
TissieL | 12 andre anmeldelser | May 3, 2023 |



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