Caroline Knapp is the author of Appetites: Why Women Want and the best–selling books, Drinking: A Love Story and Pack of Two: The Intricate Bond Between People and Dogs. She died in June 2002 at the age of forty–two.
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From the best–selling author of Drinking: A Love Story and Appetites: Why Women Want comes this unforgettable collection spanning fifteen years of observations on modern culture and women's lives. Caroline Knapp's readers are known not just for their number, but for their intense connection to her work. Knapp connected so well in part because of the intense focus she brought to her subjects. Now, with The Merry Recluse: A Life in Essays, Knapp shows us that her vision through a wider lens is as brilliant as through a narrow one. These essays paint the fullest picture of this wonderful writer that we've yet seen, but they are also a full portrait of a writing life, showing how the same themes can engage––and expand––a writer over a lifetime. Knapp, who died in 2002, was considered one of the country's more intelligent and graceful voices in memoirs. This collection also shows her to be a witty, provocative observer of the world around her.
In Appetites, Caroline Knapp confronts Freud's famous question, "What do women want?" and boldly reframes it, asking instead: How does a woman know, and then honor, what it is she wants in a culture bent on shaping, defining, and controlling her desires? Knapp, bestselling author of Drinking: A Love Story and Pack of Two: The Intricate Bond Between People and Dogs, has turned her brilliant eye towards how a woman's appetite—for food, love, work, and pleasure—has become a battlefield. She uses her own experiences with anorexia as a powerful exploration of what can happen when we are divorced from our most basic hungers—and offers her own success as testament to the joy of saying "I want."
Provocative, important, and deeply familiar, Appetites beautifully—and urgently—challenges all women to learn what it is to feed both the body and the soul.