Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Essayist Judith Moore Dies in Berkeley

Judith Moore, an editor and essayist whose 2005 memoir "Fat Girl: A True Story," was a frank assessment of the pain of growing up overweight, has died.

Moore died after three years of colon cancer on May 15 at Alta Bates Medical Center in Berkelely, according to her daughter, Rebecca Moore. She was 66.

"Fat Girl" was a thin book, deliberately designed to be consumed in an afternoon.

In it, she described a childhood in Oklahoma with a stick-thin mother who despised her husband and daughter for becoming fat. Moore weighed 112 pounds by the second grade.

She called the book "a story about an unhappy fat girl who became a fat woman who was happy and unhappy."

Praised for its revelations about the hidden physical problems fat people face, it is also full of sumptuous stories of cooking and eating.

"Some fat women (and men) eat breakfasts that fairytale giants might eat," she wrote in the opening chapter, "sunny-side up eggs, thick bacon slices and spicy sausage patties, pancakes and butter and puffy french toast and maple syrup and fresh-squeezed orange juice and homogenized milk."

She wrote two other books: a 1987 essay collection called "The Left Coast of Paradise: California and the American Heart" and a 1997 collection of food writing, "Never Eat Your Heart Out."

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