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What Are You Looking At?: The First Fat Fiction Anthology
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What Are You Looking At?: The First Fat Fiction Anthology

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3.28  ·  Rating Details ·  82 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
This anthology of thirty works by some of our best contemporary American writers looks at our perennial American obsession: fat. It's everywhere, all around you, and maybe even on you. Now, America's consuming passion at last has its own anthology. From Andre Dubus's delicious story of a young woman more comfortable in her fat body than her thin one
("The Fat Girl"), to Tob
...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 8th 2003 by Mariner Books (first published September 2003)
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Laura Cushing
May 08, 2013 Laura Cushing rated it liked it
I wanted to like this way more than I did. The collection of short stories and poems have the theme of fat in common, but it's far from size empowerment or body positive. Most of the stories are about how miserable people are, and how they struggle with wanting to be thin or with how the world treats them because of their size.

The gems in this otherwise so-so anthology are The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao, and Waltzing the Cat. They are really the only two that stand out in an otherwise ho-
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Alana Muir
Jun 20, 2014 Alana Muir rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book. The intro was so promising. I believe that the editors truly tried to make a collection to highlight fat representation. Unfortunately, they kind of failed.

I want to start by saying that the poetry in the book is actually pretty good. The poetry is the reason this book gets 2 stars from me instead of 1. Where the book fails is the short stories. It's an endless parade of terrible fat stereotypes. Every fat character is a miserable loser who only gets redemption by los
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Zen Cho
Aug 17, 2013 Zen Cho rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shortstories
I thought it was OK, I guess? A lot of it was about food ... I dunno, I guess I kinda disapproved of how so many of them were about food, because you're not always fat just because you eat a lot. Lots of fat people eat like anyone else does! The stories felt v. American, but perhaps that was only to be expected, since the editors are American.

The stories I liked best were the ones by Peter Carey (creepy story about a fat men's conspiracy that turns out to be about an experiment on fat men in an
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Melanie Page
Jun 19, 2013 Melanie Page rated it really liked it
The stories in this collection were really great. When I read the title of the anthology, my first thought was the Raymond Carver story "Fat," and it was in there. BUT! I kept wondering...is this all there is out there in terms of "fat-fiction"? No one else writes any? Makes me want to write more of it...also makes me wonder if people don't really want to read it and that is why I can't get any published. Also, I'm really surprised that most of the reviews of this book comment that the reader ...more
Kendal
Sep 30, 2014 Kendal rated it it was ok
Really disappointing. I'm always looking for fiction about fat people and thought that I'd have some luck here, unfortunately almost every story was about self-loathing and fat shame. I'm not saying that stuff isn't real and there shouldn't be stories about it, but if you're selling yourself as fat fiction it'd be nice if there was a broader spectrum of fat experiences represented, especially since that's a central point of fat politics--that there isn't one universal fat experience of self ...more
Kevin
May 04, 2011 Kevin rated it it was ok
"The Brief Wonderful Life of Oscar Wao" is likely the diamond in the rough here; I believe I will read that at novel length, because it's fucking great. The other fiction I've read are character pieces, none of them bad, but nothing too memorable. The Raymond Carver story was sort of a dud, which is a shame; he is after all a master of the short story form. Editor Donna Jarrell's story reminds me of terrific story "Job History" from "Wyoming Stories", except it was more bitter and less poignant. ...more
Nicole Bunge
Sep 08, 2009 Nicole Bunge rated it did not like it
I made it through the first 3 stories, and gave up. This is not even remotely a 'fat positive' book. It's DEPRESSING.
Stupid me for believing the book jacket and introduction.
It would be better marketed as 'depressing short stories about fat people - the kind of obnoxious scholarly work you had to read in college literature classes that your professor made you dissect to death because the stories were boring but written by snobby lit professors who write MEANINGFUL SERIOUS work that no one wants
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Donna LaValley
As in any anthology, some stories are memorable and are not. This volume includes poems too, and the same comment applies. The best of the lot were by Junot Diaz and Monica Moon. In fact, "Disappearing" by Monica Moon is a story I'd read at least 10 years ago in an anthology entitled "Sudden Fiction," and I liked it then as well.

I would actually give this 3.5 stars, and I recommend it for readers interested in the topic generally or personally, with the caveat that some are crude, or have viole
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Emily Smiltneck
Feb 02, 2008 Emily Smiltneck rated it really liked it
A good bunch of stories that feature main characters of size. A good read for anyone, really, though, not just the plus-sized. It's good to see main characters who are not just like everyone else. Some of the stories are depressing, some are uplifting, some just are.
Carly Berg
Jul 21, 2014 Carly Berg rated it really liked it
I enjoyed it, some stories more than others as usual with a collection. I recognized a few of the stories from other publications, such as "Crash Diet" by Jill McCorkle, which I liked a lot so didn't mind reading again. I also especially enjoyed "Waltzing the Cat" by Pam Houston.
Mindy
Dec 04, 2008 Mindy rated it really liked it
i got this book because i wanted to read the story the wonderous life of oscar wao and it wasn't ava but this came up in my library search. wonderfully touching short stories.
Julie
Oct 16, 2007 Julie rated it it was ok
Not the best fiction anthology I've ever read. I preferred Jarrell's compendium of fat non-fiction.
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