THE READING CURE
JERSEY ARTS CENTRE / SUNDAY 30 SEPTEMBER / 16.30
A luminous memoir about recovery and how one woman discovered an appetite for food and life through reading.
At the age of fourteen, Laura Freeman was diagnosed with anorexia. She had seized the one aspect of her life that she seemed able to control and struck different foods from her diet one by one until she was starving. But even at her lowest point, the one appetite she never lost was her love of reading. This is not a book about an eating disorder; it is about recovery and what happens afterwards: ‘the pouring in of sunlight after more than a decade of darkness and hunger’.
As Laura battled her anorexia, she gradually re-discovered how to enjoy food – and life more broadly – through literature. Plum puddings and pottles of fruit in Dickens gave her courage to try new dishes; the wounded Robert Graves’ appreciation of a pair of greengages changed the way she thought about plenty and choice; Virginia Woolf’s painterly descriptions of bread, blackberries and biscuits were infinitely tempting. Book by book, meal by meal, Laura developed an appetite and discovered an entire library of reasons to live. The Reading Cure is a beautiful, inspiring account of hunger and happiness, about addiction, obsession and recovery, and about the way literature and food can restore appetite and renew hope.
Laura Freeman is a freelance writer and critic and writes for the Spectator, The Times, Sunday Times, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, TLS, Evening Standard, Slightly Foxed and Standpoint. She was shortlisted for Features Writer of the Year at the 2014 British Press Awards. She read history of art at Cambridge, graduating with a double first in 2010. The Reading Cure is her first book.
Laura Freeman will be in conversation with acclaimed writer Cathy Rentzenbrink.Go back