Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain

Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Portia De Rossi

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  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 188mm x 22mm | 222g
  • Publication date: 1 September 2011
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0857204114
  • ISBN 13: 9780857204110
  • Sales rank: 2,383

Product description

"I didn't decide to become anorexic. It snuck up on me disguised as a healthy diet, a professional attitude. Although there was a certain glamour to anorexics, I didn't want to be one. I just wanted to excel in dieting. And weighing in at 80 pounds on 300 calories a day, I was the best little dieter there ever was." In scalding prose, Portia de Rossi reveals the pain and illness that haunted her for decades. She alternately starved herself and binged, putting her life in danger and lying to herself and everyone around her about the depth of her illness. From her lowest point, Portia began the painful climb back to health and happiness, ultimately falling head over heels in love with Ellen DeGeneres. In this remarkable and landmark book, she tells a story that inspires hope and nourishes the spirit.

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Author information

Portia de Rossi is an Australian-born actress and model. She currently resides is Los Angeles with her wife Ellen DeGeneres. This is her first book.

Customer reviews

By Carol James 30 Aug 2012 5

I read this book a little while ago and i found it very interesting.I think she put her heart and soul into this.She was honest in what she went through in her life .I loved the book excellent read .

By Kelly Bold 07 Jul 2011 5

Portia had it all: a hit telly show, sex symbol status, fame and riches (and those amazing blonde tresses). But she was hiding what she felt was a terrible, all consuming secret that had the potential to ruin her career: she was gay. The shame she felt at her true self, coupled with the unrelenting pressures of self imposed perfection, fuelled a vicious eating disorder which nearly killed her. Her absolute honesty and frankness about her struggles with anorexia while hiding her sexuality must be applauded; she lays herself bare in the most brutal way and I ached for her as she abused and tortured her body. Her recovery after falling in love with Ellen DeGeneres is the perfect redemption; a most deserved happily ever after. A compelling read.

Review quote

"Portia de Rossi's memoir reminds us that fame and celebrity is no substitute for feeling comfortable in one's own skin, and unconditional love. Her journey toward self-acceptance is an important lesson for those who struggle with eating disorders, sexual orientation, and confidence. Every girl who dreams of being a model should read this book, to learn that the best judge of beauty is not society -- but self." -- Jodi Picoult "Anyone who's ever wondered why a beautiful, talented young woman would starve herself -- as well as anyone looking for a powerfully-written memoir -- should read Unbearable Lightness. Portia De Rossi tells her story with genuine insight and unflinching honesty. Her plight is horrifying, but De Rossi herself is entirely sympathetic, and by the end, you will cheer her on." --Jeannette Walls "De Rossi is beautiful and famous and married to another celebrity and all of this makes it very easy to roll your eyes and dismiss Unbearable Lightness, her memoir of overcoming an eating disorder. Don't make that mistake: this is quite possibly the best book on the subject ever written. It is riveting and ruthlessly honest. De Rossi is the real deal; she's a fine writer with a sharp mind and tremendous substance who has turned in a rich, layered book of remarkable courage, power and significance. I have no doubt that her story will serve as life-changing inspiration for many young women currently struggling with their own food issues. But the book's general excellence makes it a fascinating and inspiring read for anyone." --Augusten Burroughs "There are passages in this book that I had to read through my fingers, and others that made me laugh aloud. UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS is breathtakingly honest, brutal and beautiful." --Jonathan Safran Foer 'a courageous, startlingly honest account...It really is an amazing read; beautifully writen, it vividly captures the alarming, self-destructive thought processes that drive anorexic behaviour' Diva Magazine, Jan 2011 'a surprisingly open memoir...Her book is a gripping story about dealing with the combined shame, as she saw it, of gayness and fatness' Times Magazine, Nov 2010 'This is the moving, often heartbreaking story of how the actress came to terms with her body and her sexuality, finding the strength to overcome her fears and create a life that nourished both her body and her soul' Scottish Daily Record