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Fat Girl in a Strange Land

3.58  ·  Rating Details  ·  66 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
For every supermodel, there are thousands of women who have heard "Why don't you just eat less?" far too often. Except as comic relief or the unattractive single BFF, those women's stories are never told. Crossed Genres Publications presents Fat Girl in a Strange Land, an anthology of fourteen stories of fat women protagonists traveling distant and undiscovered realms. Fro ...more
Paperback, 125 pages
Published February 17th 2012 by Crossed Genres Publications (first published February 14th 2012)
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Jan 21, 2014 Miranda rated it really liked it
I think I can echo a lot of the previous reviews in that some of these stories were not as fat-positive as I might have liked, and a few were actively fat-shaming. I had hoped to read a book about big girls having adventures where their bigness, while a part of who they were, was not what their stories or their self-images revolved around. Some of the stories gave that to me, some didn't *quite* make it, and a few missed the mark entirely and plunged straight into fat-hating. (The Tradeoff being ...more
Aug 05, 2013 Tammy rated it liked it
I would have rated this book higher but the collection was uneven, with a few of the stories being excellent and many being not very good at all. Some of the not very good stories were that way because I didn't think they were fat-positive, as I thought this anthology was supposed to be, and some stories didn't seem to be about fat girls at all.

La Gorda & the City of Silver by Sabrina Vourvoulias was my absolute favorite story. It was powerful and uplifting and left me smiling, both because
Dawn Albright
Jul 05, 2014 Dawn Albright rated it really liked it
I had this for a long time without reading it because I wasn't expecting much. But I was pleasantly surprised when I finally picked it up. All of the stories are readable and interesting, and there is a good variety. Sometimes narrowly themed anthologies get boring by the end because there isn't enough variety in the stories, but there was a great range in settings and styles. I was surprised at how often being overweight was worked into the speculative element -- the protagonist's weight was pl ...more
Erin (PT)
I rated this a 3 largely for the two really good stories in the anthology. Overall, though, Fat Girl In a Strange Land is an incredibly disappointing book. Both because it's largely not what it sets out to be, in terms of positively featuring fat women and because many of the stories just aren't very good.

This interview, where they say:
Crossed Genres has always been a publisher that supports underrepresented groups. Fat women have always been hidden in literature and film, or represented as ex
Beth Cato
Apr 11, 2012 Beth Cato rated it it was amazing
Despite enjoying Crossed Genres's past anthologies and having some of my own stories in their magazine, I admit that I had reservations about this anthology. I've been overweight or obese much of my adult life and it's a sensitive subject for me. On one hand, I thought, "Wow, how great to have stories with plus size women in charge!" and on the other I cringed, worried about that fat issue being an overbearing part of the stories and the characters' personalities.

That said, I was pleasantly surp
S.T. Rucker
Dec 13, 2013 S.T. Rucker rated it liked it
There were stories in the anthology that I liked more than others. One of the huge issues is that I was under the impression that the book was about fat positivity but more than one of the stories relied very heavily on harmful idealizations of fatness and fat bodies, particularly fat women's bodies.

(view spoiler)
Jessica Strider
Aug 14, 2012 Jessica Strider rated it really liked it
This is a short story collection dealing with two things: overweight women and fantastical locations. Aside from those criteria, the collection is quite diverse. The stories are a mix of fantasy and science fiction, in some the women are comfortable with their weight, in others they aren't. The stories that take place on earth are situated all over (Guatamala, Australia, New York City), and though most of the authors are American, there are several from other countries as well. The quality of st ...more
Jennifer Osterman
Feb 09, 2012 Jennifer Osterman rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this selection of short stories. The subjects varied in style from sci-fi to fantasy as might be expected from the title's homage. Many of the stories stayed with me after reading, which to me is always a sign that I enjoyed the book. The protagonists in each story were larger-sized women, which in some cases was completely irrelevant to the story, and in some cases details about the character's weight seemed to be added in to the story simply so the story could be included in t ...more
Tyrannosaurus regina
While it evened out to a middling-good rating in the end, the truth is that I really liked some of the stories and really disliked some of the others. I came to the anthology believing that it would be fat-positive, which in retrospect I guess I was never promised, and in some cases it definitely wasn't. I was taken aback by the fat-shaming and fat-hatred in some of the stories, and the unexamined stereotypes that formed the foundations of some of the plots. But then, a couple of the stories wer ...more
Oct 17, 2015 Paul rated it really liked it
Many science fiction stories are about tall, square-jawed adventurers boldly exploring the galaxy. The women in such stories are the female equivalent of tall and square-jawed. This anthology looks at a very under-served part of the population - fat women.

A woman in Guatemala dreams of becoming the first female luchador, until she discovers a greater calling that is much closer to home. A midwestern soccer mom, nicknamed Flux, refuses to wear the new spandex outfit given to her by her superhero
Feb 02, 2014 Terri rated it really liked it
I picked this up at a convention and I just flew through it in two days. LOVED this anthology - I enjoyed every story in it, loved that there were multi-cultural voices/stories in here and enjoyed the way the theme was handled. Many reviewers have noted that they were distressed by stories that seemed to include fat-shaming or fat-hatred. I'm not sure which stories they meant, because I didn't get that from any of the stories. Instead, there were a multitude of views, as you get with any complex ...more
Feb 15, 2012 SantosGray marked it as to-read
"Fat girl in a strange land" - sounds like me at the gym. But seriously, looking forward to this one.
Apr 07, 2016 Tiakall rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I read this one quite a while back, and I still remember how the first story about La Gorda made me feel. This anthology is worth it for that story alone. Not only does the story focus on a marginalized group (a fat woman), it also highlights a lesser-known culture by thrusting the reader into the world of luchadores. Best of all, it was a story about a woman who is fat, but whose struggle is not defined by her fatness--it's just a part of who she is. If the whole anthology had been like this, I ...more
Julia Dvorin
Feb 19, 2014 Julia Dvorin rated it really liked it
I picked up this anthology because I’m someone who is greatly interested in speculative stories about/from historically marginalized perspectives. Plus, as a woman who has been solidly (see what I did there?) on the “fat” side of the weight spectrum her entire adult life, I was intrigued by the title and concept of this collection, described as “an anthology of fourteen stories of fat women protagonists traveling distant and undiscovered realms.” Would the experiences and attitude of these fat h ...more
Sean Silva
Nov 06, 2012 Sean Silva rated it liked it
I was pleasantly surprised by this anthology. Admittedly, the title grabbed my attention. I grow tired of stories with the same heroes and heroines used over and over again, and I've yearned for something different. Even though this anthology was uneven (as most collections tend to be) I still enjoyed it, skipping over only two stories. Those being "The Right Stuffed" and "Blueprints" because I didn't care for the pacing or the plots. Overall, most of the stories were well written and there were ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I found this collection extremely uneven. There were several stories I absolutely hated, which is unusual for me in short fiction: "The Tradeoff," "The Right Stuffed," "Nemesis," and "Sharks and Seals." But there were also several that I loved deeply, passionately, without reservation: "Cartography, and the Death of Shoes," "Flesh of My Flesh," "Davy," and "Lift." What surprised me even more was how my tastes broke down by genre: I found all but one of the fantasy stories good to great, and disl ...more
Mar 20, 2012 Sabrina added it  ·  (Review from the author)
My story is in this anthology, so I can hardly be impartial, but I think it's a pretty strong collection of stories.

AJ Fitzwater and Brian Jungwiwattananporn deliver stylistically ambitious pieces; Rick Silva and Jennifer Brozek offer up what seem tantalizing segments of longer stories; Barbara Krasnoff's is a quintessential urban fantasy, Katharine Elmer's is a quintessential fairy tale and yet both are fresh and uniquely memorable. Teffeau, Roseman, Ferrante, Caro and Alberti all do Sci Fi wi
Hattie M
Jun 27, 2013 Hattie M rated it liked it
The first and last stories of this collection really made it for me. They are wonderful and solid anchors for the anthology. They let the book open and end on a good note. I feel an anthology about large women should be body positive or at least not hostile; these stories celebrated the protagonist and let her size be a characteristic but not her only one.

That said, the rest is a very diverse collection. They all make some mention of large not being the ideal size, and some handle it better than
Jun 26, 2015 Daphne rated it liked it
A decent collection of short stories, some were really great, but most of them were just ok.

I really enjoyed the following stories:
- La Gorda and the City of Silver
- Cartography & the Death of Shoes
- Tangwystl the Unwanted
- Blueprints

- Survivor
- How do you want to die?
- Lift
were also pretty good
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Feb 21, 2014 Jenny (Reading Envy) marked it as to-read
Saw a review on the Heroines of Fantasy blog. Should check out other themed anthologies from same crew
Apr 29, 2015 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this. A great idea to have an entire book about fast women and girls being amazing.
Oct 24, 2012 Karin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the idea of this collection of stories, fat girls having adventures. I'm not going to claim that all stories were equally good nor equally skillful at handling the topic, but there were three or four really awesome short stories, a lot of good ones, and only one really bad one (and it was bad because the concept was so cool and the protagonist's body loathing was irritating and contrary to the theme of the collection).
Mary-Michelle Moore
Nov 27, 2013 Mary-Michelle Moore rated it really liked it
A good collection overall - my favorites were "Cartography, and the Death of Shoes," "Tangwystl the Unwanted," and "Lift." They did a good job of giving the protagonists a variety of backgrounds and interests. Everyone is fat but not everyone is upset at being so which is a nice change from some other fat central character stories. Worth buying, I hope there's a follow up.
H Lynnea
Apr 13, 2015 H Lynnea rated it liked it
Shelves: to-sort, temp-read, tpb
3.5 out of 5 stars. A very mixed bag of stories. I loved "Nemesis" and "Lift", and quite enjoyed "Cartography, and the Death of Shoes", "Tangwystl the Unwanted", and "How Do You Want to Die?". However, "The Tradeoff" soured much of the experience for me, and I was very disappointed to see such fat shaming in an anthology ostensibly about body-positivity.
Julie Williamson
May 03, 2012 Julie Williamson rated it it was ok
The premise of the anthology is intriguing (don't all of us fat girls feel like we're in a strange land?), but the stories are disappointing. One story was good, a couple more were almost good -- but the rest were amateurish and forgettable. (The Kindle version has a lot of editing and formatting mistakes, which is distracting.)
Apr 28, 2012 Ash rated it did not like it
None of these stories are capable of rising above the poor editing throughout. I had hopes for the Vourvoulias tale, but in the end it merely ended. The stories that followed seemed to be culled from a high school essay contest. They were exhausting to read (even in their brevity) and barely a C+ in the lot.
Jan 19, 2014 Susan rated it it was ok
disappointing....overuse of fantasy-science fiction themes took away from what I saw as the potential for real exploration of the issues around weight and societal expectations...felt repetitive and didn't explore the territory with much depth.
Aug 23, 2012 Michelle☆Elizabeth rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012
Received for free through Goodreads First Reads program.

A bit of a mixed bag, but worth it for the first story alone; an inspiring story of a avigilante who not only learns to accept her weight, but uses it to her advantage.
May 01, 2013 Ted rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the different perspectives offered by the authors. Quite entertaining and all in all a very good read
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