About the book


About the author

Fiona Wright


Judges' report


Small Acts of Disappearance is a collection of essays on anorexia, a disorder as disturbing as it is mysterious, even to its own sufferers. Documenting Fiona Wright’s experience from the beginning of her affliction, when she was a student, to her hospitalisation with a life-threateningly extreme version of the illness, the essays display a candour and an intelligence that describe the course of illness with great precision and illuminate the sufferer’s motives and actions over time.

The narrative is crosshatched with other experiences and subjects: travel, autobiography, and literature – in particular writers who have used their art to anatomise the extremity of compulsion. The range of Wright’s research, from contemporary neurobiologists to old school modernists, and the quality of her insights make Small Acts of Disappearance a valuable book. Wright brings a sometimes melancholy, sometimes comic, well-informed honesty to an important subject.

Further reading


Reviews:

‘Small Acts of Disappearance proves once again that Fiona Wright is a writer possessed of a thoughtful voice and a keen subtlety, and a memoirist whose time is now.’ James Tierney, Kill Your Darlings

‘It seems depraved to describe a collection of essays about hunger as a pleasure to read. Yet the craft and clarity of Small Acts of Disappearance: Essays on Hunger make it so, despite its brutal subject.’ Katherine Wilson, Sydney Morning Herald

‘The essays of Small Acts of Disappearance thematise the difficulty of showing oneself while still in the process of finding oneself, but in doing so, they establish both gestures as worthy goals. In this, Wright’s essays move haltingly towards a public intimacy, an assertion that, unlike hunger, writing’s mediating role may be used to draw connections and thereby mime, not isolation, but love.’ Alys Moody, Sydney Review of Books

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