Fat Reads!

Here is a list from my 2017 search to find positive representations of folks who identify as fat women in fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. That positive representation will not hinge on the character being miserable and then happy after losing weight or falling in love. Characters can lose weight or fall in love, but it is not the catalyst for their happiness. I also will not recommend books in which the character pulls her body apart (I call this the “chicken dinner”) and criticize pieces.

Thus, books will either meet or not meet my criteria, which will factor overall into my recommendations. I purposely use the word “fat” because it is not a bad word. Using plump, curvy, plus-sized, fluffy, big-boned, shapely, voluptuous, or any other term suggests that fat is bad and thus needs a euphemism.

  1. I Do It With the Lights On by Whitney Way Thore (recommended)
  2. Dietland by Sarai Walker (highly recommended; must read)
  3. Fat Girls and Lawn Chairs by Cheryl Peck (not recommended)
  4. Fat Girl, Terrestrial by Kellie Wells (recommended)
  5. Faith, Vol. 1: Holywood and Vine by Jody Houser (recommended)
  6. Fat Girl by Jessie Carty (not recommended)
  7. Scoot Over, Skinny: The Fat Nonfiction Anthology co-edited by Donna Jarrell (some essays recommended; not all essays are positive for fat people)
  8. What Are You Looking At? The First Fat Fiction Anthology co-edited by Donna Jarrell (some stories recommended; not all essays are positive for fat people)
  9. Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West (highly recommended; must read)
  10. Misadventures of Fatwoman by Elizabeth Julie Powell (not recommended)
  11. Fat Girl Dances with Rocks by Susan Stinson (recommended)
  12. The Fat Friend: A Novel by Julie Edelson (not recommended)
  13. Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay (highly recommended)
  14. 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad (highly not recommended for triggering, degrading content)
  15. The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen (recommended, though the focus is less on fat and more on restrictive/secretive eating)
  16. Skinny by Diana Spechler
  17. Martha Moody by Susan Stinson
  18. Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
  19. Fat Girl: A True Story by Judith Moore
  20. Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner
  21. Certain Girls (sequal) by Jennifer Weiner
  22. Two Girls, Fat and Thin by Mary Gaitskill
  23. Everything Beautiful by Simmone Howell
  24. Outside the Bones by Lyn Di Iorio
  25. Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes by Sue Watson
  26. Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love & Fashion by Virgie Tovar
  27. Losing It by Lindsay Faith Rech
  28. Giving Up the Ghost by Hilary Mantel
  29. If the Dress Fits by Carla de Guzman
  30. Belly Songs: In Celebration of Fat Women by Susan Stinson
  31. Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean
  32. Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
  33. This is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare by Gabby Sidibe
  34. Push by Sapphire
  35. Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living by Jes Baker
  36. The Corset Diaries by Katie MacAlister
  37. Venus of Chalk by Susan Stinson
  38. A Reason to Stay by June Stevens Westerfield
  39. Larger Than Death by Lynn Murray
  40. Fat Assassins by Marita Fowler
  41. Fat Bodyguards by Marita Fowler
  42. Morning Song by Susan Simone
  43. Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy
  44. Invisible by Jeanne Bannon
  45. Fat Shame: Stigma and the Fat Body in American Culture by Amy Erdman Farrell
  46. Moose: A Memoir of Fat Camp by Stephanie Klein
  47. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
  48. The King of Bourbon Street by Thea de Salle
  49. Fat! So?: Because You Don’t Have to Apologize for Your Size by Marilyn Wann
  50. Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey
  51. Vintage Veronica by Erica S. Perl