’13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl’ and More Surprisingly Sensitive Prose

This debut book of short stories examines how women relate to their bodies, with themes that apply to bodies of all shapes and sizes.

By Joy DiazFebruary 23, 2016 2:00 pm,

This month there’s a book Clay Smith has not been able to put down. Smith, Editor-in-Chief of Austin-based Kirkus Reviews, has a new gem of a book to share with the Standard: 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl.

This book is not by a Texan, it’s by Canadian Mona Awad, but Smith says the themes of the book’s interlinked stories are universal.

“Every one of us has some sort of issue with our body,” he says. “I am not a fat girl… yet I feel like she is talking to me.”

Smith says she’s “owning the slur” of the term “fat girl” and exploring it in poignant ways. Awad, who is finishing her Ph.D in literature, worked on these stories for six years.

“They’re funny, they’re shrewd,” he says. “They’re brave and they’re really sensitive… women’s weight has become a fraught political issue and this writer is stepping right into the middle of it.”