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Laurie Halse Anderson

El Templo #49 (diciembre 2015) por Hermochi

Wintergirls is a novel that gets into the head of a character with a psychological disorder. What helped you portray anorexia and bulimia in your story?

I have struggled with my own body image and eating habits for years, though the writing of Wintergirls helped me become much healthier. In addition to my own experience, I consulted with physicians and psychologists as well as survivors of eating disorders. My goal was to write a book that would help people understand that eating disorders start out as a symptom, a sign that a person is struggling with emotional pain. What makes treating eating disorders so hard is that they create severe medical problems in addition to greatly compounding the emotional difficulties of the affected person. In the United States, anorexia has the highest fatality rate of all mental illnesses. Eating disorders are serious conditions that we must all learn about and respond to in a constructive way in order to help the sufferers and their loved ones.

Your books are known for dealing with tough and risky issues. In Wintergirls you wrote about anorexia, in The Impossible Knife of Memory, drugs, and in Speak you showed a girl who has stopped talking for a reason she hides. Why do you think these topics need to be discussed in young adult literature?

The journey from childhood to adulthood in the modern world is filled with difficulties. Part of this is because so many teens do not have access to close-knit extended families (at least this is true in the United States). Literature is one place where teens can explore the harder truths of the world. I have heard from countless readers who found comfort in my books, who have learned some things that they needed to learn. Our teenagers have to deal with these tough and risky issues every single day. Adults must be open-minded and responsible enough to help them make their way safely past these challenges. Books can be an important part of that earning process.

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