Malnourished: A Memoir of Sisterhood and Hunger


Product Details

$15.95  $14.83
Raised Voice Press
Publish Date
5.51 X 8.5 X 0.39 inches | 0.49 pounds

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About the Author

Cinthia Ritchie is an Alaska writer, a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, and a fellowship recipient of Hedgebrook, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, the Rasmuson Foundation, and the Alaska State Council on the Arts. Her creative nonfiction has earned honors including a Women's National Book Association Nonfiction Award, a Tucson Festival of Books Nonfiction Prose Award, and notable mention in The Best American Essays 2013. Her essays and articles have been published in The New York Times Magazine, Sport Literate, Evening Street Review, The Best American Sports Writing, bosque, Memoir, and Under the Sun. Her first novel Dolls Behaving Badly released through Hachette Book Group.


Childhood trauma, we now know, plays out in disastrous lifelong ways. In this achingly brave, compassionate, searching, and lyrical memoir, Cinthia Ritchie shows how a seemingly bucolic country childhood can be fraught with danger and that family secrets and silences wall off even close siblings from one another. Ritchie's beautifully written and deeply felt story about "a family afraid to tell the truth" succeeds at last in sorting truth from lies as it demonstrates the strengths and vulnerabilities of survivors.

--Nancy Lord, former Alaska Writer Laureate, author of Fishcamp: Life on an Alaskan Shore and pH: A Novel

Cinthia Ritchie writes lyrically and courageously about suffering, hunger, and abuse in all its forms, and about love, too. It hurt me to read this book, but I'm glad she wrote it, as I'm sure it will save someone's life.

--Heather Lende, author of Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs

The stakes are high in Cinthia Ritchie's brave memoir Malnourished: A Memoir of Sisterhood and Hunger. Exploring one's loss, grief, guilt, and love is dangerous; it can take one to the edge of the tolerable and into deep despair. But as Ritchie slowly and intentionally pulls back the curtains of her childhood, her vivid and compelling voice carries us through each thrust and parry ultimately bringing us closer and closer to the most unbearable of all, her sister's death from anorexia starvation. It may be the case, as Joan Didion wrote in The White Album, that "we look for the sermon in the suicide," but there is no sermon here. Instead, we get to experience in this achingly beautiful book the healing that comes from putting the narrative into words.

--Ronald Spatz, editor, Alaska Quarterly Review

At times pure poetry, at times as searing as a lightning bolt, Malnourished is the kind of book that sticks with you long after you've read it. Told by the sister who survived, it is a haunting journey that forces the reader to confront the reality of abuse, society's expectations for young women, and, ultimately, the strength it takes to escape the past. Quite simply, the unflinching honesty and the beauty of the writing left me breathless.

--Mary Emerick, author of The Geography of Water and Fire in the Heart: A Memoir of Friendship, Loss, and Wildfire

Powered by a courageous appetite for understanding, Cinthia Ritchie's Malnourished explores raw truths about love, identity, sisterhood, and survival, inviting readers to inhabit an ultimately resilient woman's complex longings.

--Andromeda Romano-Lax, author of Plum Rains and The Spanish Bow