Forever Fat


Forever Fat

Essays by the Godfather

Lee Gutkind

204 pages


July 2010


$17.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Dubbed—some would say drubbed—the “godfather behind creative nonfiction” by Vanity Fair, Lee Gutkind takes the occasion of these essays, and the rich material of his own life, to define, defend, and further expand the genre he has done so much to shape. The result is an explosive and hilarious memoir of Gutkind’s colorful life as a motorcyclist, a medical insider, a sailor, a college professor, an overaged insecure father, and a literary whipping boy.
In Forever Fat Gutkind battles his weight, his ex-wives, his father, his rabbi, his psychiatrist, and his critics in a lifelong cross-country, cross-cultural search for stability and identity. And from Gutkind’s battles, it is the reader who emerges a winner, treated to an engrossing story of the simultaneous awakening of a man and his mission, and of the constant struggle, in literature and in life, to sort out memory and imagination. Here is the universal, symbolic truth that no matter how far you travel, no matter how many years pass, you will never completely shed the weighty baggage of adolescence. Yet, as Gutkind proves again and again, he has learned to describe his burden with an ever-lightening brilliance.

Author Bio

Lee Gutkind is the founder and editor of Creative Nonfiction magazine and the author or editor of nearly two dozen books, including his follow-up memoir (with Sam Gutkind) Truckin’ with Sam: A Father and Son, The Mick and The Dyl, Rockin’ and Rollin’, On the Road, and Almost Human: Making Robots Think. He is Distinguished Writer in Residence at the Consortium for Science Policy and Outcomes and a professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University.


“This collection of beautifully crafted personal essays . . . demonstrates the author’s mastery over his chosen genre. Always engrossing, the pieces convey emotional pain leavened with humor and are written with piercing honesty.”—Publishers Weekly

“Gutkind strides openly into any subject. His essays combine humor, pathos, confession, insight. They attract for their openness and style. . . . Entertaining reading, any one of the essays could also serve as a model for exemplary nonfiction, lending the volume to use as a text for classes or individual study in contemporary writing.”—University Press Book Reviews

“Gutkind’s writing is deceptively simple. It’s a clean, sleek style, with sentences as black-and-white as the cover photo. But they pack a wallop.”—Naples (FL) Daily News

“Lee Gutkind writes, ‘Trusting other people is the easy part.’ But the truth is, whether he’s writing of Plantar’s warts, coffee in a Pittsburgh diner, or even divorce and fatherhood, Lee Gutkind is the one it’s easy to trust. He takes care with the word in all its glory."—Bret Lott, author of Jewel and Fathers, Sons, and Brothers

Forever Fat is a deeply moving account of one man’s physical and spiritual transformation, where the words, 'Never, never, never give in' have particular resonance for anyone who has tried to piece together the truth of one’s life on the page, against the doubting voices that surround us.”—Terry Tempest Williams, author of Leap and Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place

“A book about identity, the cruel threats one’s family can make to one’s sense of self, and the courage and clarity of vision it takes to transcend the injury. The essays are brimming with dramatic intensity, astute observation, wit, and narrative skill.”—Lee Martin, author of From Our House

Table of Contents

An Introduction: Becoming the Godfather
Who . . . What . . . Is Crazy?
Forever Fat
A History of My Father
Mr. Meyers
Dog Story
Waiting Away
Charlie Looks Good
Desperately Seeking Irene
Low-Clearance Story
Intimate Details
Source Acknowledgments

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