When it comes to potentially lethal eating disorders, adolescent girls are the highest
risk category. Many simply don't survive.
And while 28-year-old-Basquewriter Espido Freire lived to tell the story - literally - of
her seven-year-fight with the binge-and-purge eating disorder bulimia, the experience has left
her scarred for life.
In her new bookCuando comer es un infierno, released yesterday, Freire painfully
retraces those seven long years because, as she says, "if a writer isn't able to lend a voice to
those who aren't capable ofexpressing themselves, then part of their vocation has been lost."
According to Freire, Cuando comer es un inferno "offers a realistic and personal view of
bulimia - the seven years of suffering and thestrength it took to get over them." Arriving at
Barajas Airport earlier this week from Scotland, where she has spent the last two months as a
visiting writer to various universities, Freire headedstraight for her home in Madrid but
couldn't avoid noticing the billboards filled with skinny models advertising next season's
fashion on the road home
They immediately reminded her of her book and theexhaustion she felt after writing
about the darkest period of her life.
Freire has a strong desire to tell her story - but still, she warns, she doesn't want to
become a poster girl for bulimia.She doesn't just have that story to tell, she stresses. As a
writer, she was the youngest-ever winner of the Planeta Award with her second novel
Melocotones helados in 1998.
Her first two books wereworks of fiction but now, in Cuando comer es un infierno, she
has gone down the autobiographical road to recount, with some bitterness, her difficult
adolescence - cataloguing her terrible dailybattles with the weighing scales.
( EL PAIS English edition with the International Herald Tribune, March 7, 2002)
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