The Body Tourist: a Memoir

The Body Tourist: a Memoir - Dana Lise Shavin One of the most engrossing memoirs I have ever had the privilege to read. The Body Tourist is a diamond in the rough. Like the anorexic self depreciating narrator tells us, in a round about way, we are all a work in progress. I really enjoyed this tale, the flip flops through time, the honesty and raw truth, looking back everything is so clear and yet necessary.

I found myself completely absorbed in this book. Dana tells about her journey out of the anorexia with humor and truth. She is counting calories and storing them for later. The book, like the title and cover, is very witty and facinating. Her writing is really engrossing and filled with insights into purpose and reason. In the mind of someone who makes a living counseling, she is honest with herself in the retelling enough to make this believable. Dana’s actions of omission in her employment, housing, and affairs of the heart are almost like a car crash. I can’t look away. I can’t stop thinking about her.

Dana starts this story right after getting her BA. She takes employment counseling others out of drugs and alcoholism, and she is not out of the woods herself. Fresh out of rehab she is still unable to even eat in front of other much less give advice about how someone should proceed on their recovery. Her journey is littered with obstacles and she really rises to the challenge. Slowly and surely like any real person coming into their own. Her taste in men, or lack of sex, is jolting. Her struggle for “normal” while ignoring her own needs was heartbreaking. I laughed out loud and wept while reading this book. It is so brutally honest.

This book is so authentic. I don’t struggle with anorexia, but I can relate to the plight of an addiction, to something other than reality. To wanting things that are no good for you, to settling for less than is required for survival. I read this whole book in two days, between hanging Christmas lights, parenting four children, and dealing with sister’s issues. To say I loved this read is a gross understatement. It was so fascinating, I could not put it down. I grateful for the glimpse into Dana’s life. I highly recommend this read.