Holy Hunger

The dutiful daughter of an esteemed Harvard Professor of English and a pious Radcliffe trustee, Margaret Bullitt-Jonas seemed groomed for success. But while she was a superachiever in her academic life, the author was eating herself to death. In this wrenchingly honest, eloquent memoir, Bullitt-Jonas describes a childhood darkened by the repressive shadows of her alcoholic father and her emotionally reclusive mother, whose demands for excellence, poise, and self-control drove Bullitt-Jonas to develop an insatiable hunger. What began with pilfering extra bread slices at her parents’ dinner table turned into binges with cream pies and pancakes; she often gained as much as eleven pounds in four days. When the family urged her father into treatment for alcoholism, the author recognized her own addiction, and embarked on an arduous path to recovery by discovering the spiritual hunger beneath her craving. ‘Holy Hunger’ is a brave and perceptive account of compulsion and the healing process.

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