One night over 20 years ago I sat in my friend Pauline’s living room as we talked about our wishes and hopes for our futures. I was recently divorced, my kids were almost grown and I had this great empty canvas of a life ahead of me. I heard myself say to Pauline that I was going to write a book. I had no idea what that book would be about or when I would write it, but the desire to write it came into my awareness that night.
My book, The Fat Lady Sings, published by: Karnac Books, March 2017:
• The silent woman
• Life in the panopticon
• The war on obesity: a cultural complex at work
• When a body meets a body: fat enters the consulting room
• Dancing with Marion Woodman: searching for meaning
• Woodman, my mother, and me
• Woodman and anger, food, eating, and control
• A last look at Woodman
• Memory, shame, and the fat body—pulling it all together
• My body, my self: toward a theory of fat and trauma
• Back to the consulting room: blind spots and remedies
• Coming out as fat
“The Fat Lady Sings is a superb and compassionate work for anyone who cares about eliminating prejudice, hearing what is unspoken and unspeakable in our society and for the future of psychotherapy itself. The “fat complex” as Cheryl Fuller profoundly demonstates, afflicts all of us. It leaves ‘fat women,’ in particular as one of the most reviled and misunderstood of social groups. Just as there is no feminism without the elimination of sizeism, so there can be no true psychotherapy unless the ongoing social traumatization of the fat body is given its due. The Fat Lady Sings is scholarly, provocative, revisionary and revealing. It is a song that psychology needs to listen to and to learn.” –Susan Rowland (PhD) Chair: MA Engaged Humanties and the Creative Life, Pacifica Graduate Institute, USA. Author Jung: A Feminist Revision (2002); Remembering Dionysus (2017).
“As a writer, it is my job to create interesting characters, which means by definition people demonstrably unlike others. As the mother of girls, I also have worried about the cultural messages that bombard us from all angles. Much of what Cheryl Fuller deals with in The Fat Lady Sings speaks to all people, fat or thin, genetically predisposed to pulchritude or psychologically traumatized into becoming a plus size. In a world where the civilized know not to divide and categorize based on difference, the obese are still a target for ridicule, torment and pity.
This is a beautiful book, leading us gracefully through a sensitive exploration of how it is to live in the spotlight to the judgment of others and ourselves. Fuller’s clarity and candour makes it possible to discuss the energy required to deal with the trauma, societal dismissiveness and the inevitability of our bodies to rebel from uniformity.
I grew up and have lived all my life in a post-voluptuous world, where the “full-figured girl” was no longer valued. If even one of the doctors who added mention of my weight to my various symptoms during a consult throughout my life could read and learn from this book, the world might be a better place for all of us.” —Janice MacDonald, bestselling Canadian author
“In this book the fat lady sings and keeps on singing. Far from over, she’s just beginning. What a pleasureable, enlightening song affirming life, her life. A contagious feeling the reader grows with as well. The author won me with her first sentences and took me with her the rest of the way.
The work is at once sophisticated, acccessible, helpful, freeing. Fat people will benefit in ways rarely felt or encountered but so will people of any build. This is a friendly book that has a way of melting degradation, rejection, second class citzenship, pressure to be someone or something else that deforms.
One feels human value giving birth to itself in ways that lift and add. No apologies or self-immolation, but a voice that touches and makes you feel more alive because of its self-expression.The body writes itself and you feel more real in the process. What a relief to identify with a voice making room for itself, sharing capacity to be.” —Michael Eigen, author of Under the Totem: In Search of a Path, The Sensitive Self, and Faith
“This book has the potential to be revisionary in sparking a reimagination of fatness from a psychological perspective.” ~ “The Fat Lady Sings: A Psychological Exploration of the Cultural Fat Complex and its Effects”, by Cheryl Fuller, London, UK, Karnac, 2017 Review by Paula M. Brochu Fat Studies Vol. 7 , Iss. 1,2018