Anorexia nervosa as a reading disorder: autobiography, reading and narrative practices in anorexia patients’ life-writing (1970-present)

Year of award: 2015


  • Emma Seaber    

    King's College London

Project summary

This project will initiate a literary examination of the relationship between anorexia nervosa and narrative engagement undertaken via the close reading and critical analysis of anorexia patients’ life-writing. 

I want to understand how narrative engagement and anorexia interact and how anorexia nervosa is narratively constituted, transmitted, shaped and performed. I will show how shifts and differences in anorexia illness experienced within and between anorexia life-writings provide important means to understanding treatment and recovery. I plan to focus on: textual transmission; individual narrative practices and their relation to pathology; the interplay between medical writing; clinical vignettes and archetypes and the anorexia illness experience; the narrative performance of anorexia and the treatment and recovery narratives.