It’s been far too long since we’ve addressed Dietland! The book is the debut novel by Sarai Walker that was first published on May 26, 2015. So, why haven’t we addressed it? Because we didn’t know about it until recently, of course! Let’s think on why that is…. oh, we don’t know… perhaps because plus size and bbw media doesn’t nearly get the coverage it should! A book like this should have stayed on the bestseller’s list for months. It was, however, selected as one of Entertainment Weekly’s 10 Best Books of 2015. They gave the novel an “A” grade…
“…a thrilling, incendiary manifesto disguised as a beach read.” – Entertainment Weekly
Kirkus Reviews described Dietland as “hilarious, surreal, and bracingly original,” concluding: “Part Fight Club, part feminist manifesto, an offbeat and genre-bending novel that aims high—and delivers.”
The book, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, was exactly designed to be that. Walker, they other, was inspired to write Dietland after watching the film Fight Club. Fight club debuted in 1999 and has been a cult classic, specifically for men, for nearly 20 years.
“I came out thinking that I had to write the female version…”
Walker continued, “social construction of masculinity, of gender, which makes it fascinating from a feminist perspective.”
The novel is all about the beauty industry and society’s obsession with weight loss, which you know we hate. We haven’t finished reading it, but Dietland follwos Plum Kettle, a 300-pound ghostwriter for the advice column of popular teen magazine Daisy Chain. Of course, Walker’s experience working for teen and women’s magazines inspired much of the novel. Plum winds up fantasizing about being thin and after years of failed diet plans (ugh, like too many plus size women in general, especially media). Anyways, she schedules an appointment for weight loss surgery. While waiting, Plum winds up recruited by an underground feminist cabal known as “Calliope House”. Plum soon finds herself at the center of a ridiculous plot with a group known as “Jennifer” who are going after folks who mistreat women!
We’re awaiting some interviews with stars Jen Ponton and Joy Nash. who star in the television adaptation of the novel by Marti Noxon. Premiering on June 4, 2018, on AMC, the show has been running for a few weeks, now. As she struggles with self-image and gets fed up with how she’s treated by her boss and society, Plum sets out on a wildly complicated road to self-awakening. At the same time, everyone is buzzing over news reports about men, accused of sexual abuse and assault, who are disappearing and meeting untimely, violent deaths. We’re excited to the see the next episode and review it!
Walker, the author of the novel Dietland, has written essays that have appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian and the Washington Post. She I earned my M.F.A. in creative writing from Bennington College, and her Ph.D. in English from the University of London.
Her Ph.D. research focused on normative femininity of the body; the fat female body; consciousness-raising and the ‘personal is political’ in feminist practice and as a literary aesthetic; American second-wave feminist history and fiction; ‘chick lit’; critical theory, particularly Michel Foucault. Hmm… maybe we ought to write some research together, Dr. Walker… In the meantime, we’re looking forward to our interview with you, too!
Featured image is of our Bold Model, Mel Mayhem !