An understanding and dissection of young women’s emotions, friendships and rivalries
by Diana Clarke
HarperCollins, Publication summer 2020
Diana Clarke is a recent MFA graduate of Purdue, where Roxane Gay was her advisor.
“Diana Clarke is a fiercely intelligent writer who wields words like weapons and tells stories of great importance. THIN GIRLS is a deeply necessary novel, its subject troubling and true, but Clarke’s wit and humor keep this tale from sinking, and instead make it an engrossing, beguiling delight to read. We are witnessing the start of a long, successful career.” Roxane Gay
Rose and Lily Winters are twins. Born to disinterested, uninvolved parents they rely on each other even more than twins usually do. They’re so close their bond is almost magical – they can taste each other’s emotions, and have a fierce need to protect and balance each other…when Rose stops eating, Lily starts… when Lily starts eating, Rose stops… But when their social standings at school start to differ, Rose becomes anorexic and Lily continues eating—overeating—everything that Rose wouldn’t and couldn’t. At the start of the story, Rose is living in a rehabilitation clinic and Lily is her sole visitor and the only connection to a normal life. But Rose has no desire to make real progress in her recovery or live that normal life, it’s as if she were waiting to die. When Lily joins a bizarre dieting cult Rose realizes that she is the only person who can help her and to do that she finally must get better herself.
THIN GIRLS powerfully depicts the world of eating disorders and what it means to recover from them but at its center it is first and foremost a story about sisterhood, love, and lifelong friendships. It is a dark, visceral, painful and truly beautiful.