The Elephant in the Room

One Fat Man's Quest to Get Smaller in a Growing America

About The Book

A “warm and funny and honest…genuinely unputdownable” (Curtis Sittenfeld) memoir chronicling what it’s like to live in today’s world as a fat man, from acclaimed journalist Tommy Tomlinson, who, as he neared the age of fifty, weighed 460 pounds and decided he had to change his life.

When he was almost fifty years old, Tommy Tomlinson weighed an astonishing—and dangerous—460 pounds, at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke, unable to climb a flight of stairs without having to catch his breath, or travel on an airplane without buying two seats. Raised in a family that loved food, he had been aware of the problem for years, seeing doctors and trying diets from the time he was a preteen. But nothing worked, and every time he tried to make a change, it didn’t go the way he planned—in fact, he wasn’t sure that he really wanted to change.

In The Elephant in the Room, Tomlinson chronicles his lifelong battle with weight in a voice that combines the urgency of Roxane Gay’s Hunger with the intimacy of Rick Bragg’s All Over but the Shoutin’. He also hits the road to meet other members of the plus-sized tribe in an attempt to understand how, as a nation, we got to this point. From buying a FitBit and setting exercise goals to contemplating the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas, America’s “capital of food porn,” and modifying his own diet, Tomlinson brings us along on a candid and sometimes brutal look at the everyday experience of being constantly aware of your size. Over the course of the book, he confronts these issues head-on and chronicles the practical steps he has to take to lose weight by the end.

“What could have been a wallow in memoir self-pity is raised to art by Tomlinson’s wit and prose” (Rolling Stone). Affecting and searingly honest, The Elephant in the Room is an “inspirational” (The New York Times) memoir that will resonate with anyone who has grappled with addiction, shame, or self-consciousness. “Add this to your reading list ASAP” (Charlotte Magazine).

About The Author

(c) Jeff Cravotta

Tommy Tomlinson has written for publications including EsquireESPN the MagazineSports IllustratedForbesGarden & Gun, and many others. He spent twenty-three years as a reporter and local columnist for the Charlotte Observer, where he was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in commentary. His stories have been chosen twice for the Best American Sports Writing series, and he also appears in the anthology America’s Best Newspaper Writing. He is also the host of the podcast SouthBound in partnership with WFAE, Charlotte’s NPR station. He has taught at Wake Forest University, the University of Georgia, and at workshops and conferences across the country. Tommy and his wife, Alix Felsing, live in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Elephant in the Room is his first book.

About The Reader

(c) Jeff Cravotta

Tommy Tomlinson has written for publications including EsquireESPN the MagazineSports IllustratedForbesGarden & Gun, and many others. He spent twenty-three years as a reporter and local columnist for the Charlotte Observer, where he was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in commentary. His stories have been chosen twice for the Best American Sports Writing series, and he also appears in the anthology America’s Best Newspaper Writing. He is also the host of the podcast SouthBound in partnership with WFAE, Charlotte’s NPR station. He has taught at Wake Forest University, the University of Georgia, and at workshops and conferences across the country. Tommy and his wife, Alix Felsing, live in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Elephant in the Room is his first book.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio (January 15, 2019)
  • Length: 256 pages
  • Runtime: 7 hours and 25 minutes
  • ISBN13: 9781508278870

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