"I'm fat," I hear myself saying. I look in the mirror. My face has gone hot and red; I feel like I'm going to explode. "I'm fat." It sizzles under my skin, puffing me up, pushing me out, making me massive.
Weight has always been a big issue in Carmen's life. How could it not? Her mom is obsessed with the idea that thin equals beautiful, thin equals successful, thin equals the way to get what you want. Carmen knows that as far as her mom is concerned, there is only one option: be thin.
When her mother sweeps her off to live in the city, Carmen finds that her old world is disappearing. As her life spirals out of control Carmen begins to take charge of the only thing she can -- what she eats. If she were thin, very thin, could it all be different?
Julia Bell used to be a DJ before "becoming a proper person and getting a job." She is now a writer, editor, and tutor based at the University of East Anglia where she has also established Pen & Ink., a small press. She is coeditor of Hard Shoulder (Trindal Street Press,1999) and England Calling (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2001) with Jackie Grey, and coeditor of The Creative Writing Coursebook (MacMillan, 2001) with Paul Magrs.