Dimensions: 320 Pages, 5.91 × 8.66 × 0.79 in
Published: November 1, 2010
Publisher: Atria Books
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 1439177783
ISBN - 13: 9781439177785
About the Book
Known for her roles on the hit TV shows "Ally McBeal" and "Arrested
Development," de Rossi delivers a revelatory and searing account of
the years she spend secretly suffering from bulimia, all the while
living under the glare of Hollywood's bright lights. 8-page b&w
Read from the Book
PROLOGUE HE DOESN’T WAIT until I’m awake. He comes into my unconscious to find me, to pull me out. He seizes my logical mind and disables it with fear. I awake already panic-stricken, afraid I won’t answer the voice correctly, the loud, clear voice that reverberates in my head like an alarm that can’t be turned off. What did you eat last night? Since we first met when I was twelve he’s been with me, at me, barking orders. A drill sergeant of a voice that is pushing me forward, marching ahead, keeping time. When the voice isn’t giving orders, it’s counting. Like a metronome, it is predictable. I can hear the tick of another missed beat and in the silence between beats I anxiously await the next tick; like the constant noise of an intermittently dripping faucet, it keeps counting in the silences when I want to be still. It tells me to never miss a beat. It tells me that I will get fat again if I do. The voice and the ticks are always very loud in the darkness of the early morning. The silences that I can’t fill with answers are even louder. God, what did I eat? Why can’t I remember? I breathe deeply in an attempt to calm my heartbeat back to its resting pulse. As I do, my nostrils are filled with stale cigarette smoke that hung around from the night before like a party guest who’d passed out on the living room sofa after everybody else went home. The digital clock reads 4:06, nine minutes before my alarm was set to wak
From the Publisher
"I didn't decide to become anorexic. It snuck up on me
disguised as a healthy diet, a professional attitude. Being as thin
as possible was a way to make the job of being an actress easier .
Portia de Rossi weighed only 82 pounds when she collapsed on the
set of the Hollywood film in which she was playing her first
leading role. This should have been the culmination of all her
years of hard work-first as a child model in Australia, then as a
cast member of one of the hottest shows on American television. On
the outside she was thin and blond, glamorous and successful. On
the inside, she was literally dying.
In this searing, unflinchingly honest book, Portia de Rossi
captures the complex emotional truth of what it is like when food,
weight, and body image take priority over every other human impulse
or action. She recounts the elaborate rituals around eating that
came to dominate hours of every day, from keeping her daily calorie
intake below 300 to eating precisely measured amounts of food out
of specific bowls and only with certain utensils. When this wasn't
enough, she resorted to purging and compulsive physical exercise,
driving her body and spirit to the breaking point.
Even as she rose to fame as a cast member of the hit television
shows Ally McBeal and Arrested Development,
Portia alternately starved herself and binged, all the while
terrified that the truth of her sexuality would be exposed in the
tabloids. She reveals the heartache and fear that accompany a life
lived in the closet, a sense of isolation that was only magnified
by her unrelenting desire to be ever thinner. With the storytelling
skills of a great novelist and the eye for detail of a poet, Portia
makes transparent as never before the behaviors and emotions of
someone living with an eating disorder.
From her lowest point, Portia began the painful climb back to a
life of health and honesty, falling in love with and eventually
marrying Ellen DeGeneres, and emerging as an outspoken and
articulate advocate for gay rights and women's health issues.
In this remarkable and beautifully written work, Portia shines a
bright light on a dark subject. A crucial book for all those who
might sometimes feel at war with themselves or their bodies,
Unbearable Lightness is a story that inspires hope and
nourishes the spirit.
"De Rossi's memoir reminds us that fame and celebrity are no
substitute for feeling comfortable in one's own skin."