Reading Fat Women

Here is a list from my ongoing search that started in December 2016 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.

*NOTE: books that do not yet have a hyperlink are TBR.


  • Everything Beautiful by Simmone Howell (recommended)
  • Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy (highly recommended; must read)
  • The Summer of Jodi Perez by Amy Spalding
  • Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero
  • The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
  • Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson
  • If the Dress Fits by Carla de Guzman
  • Puddin’ by Julie Murphy
  • Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey
  • Vintage Veronica by Erica S. Perl
  • Knit One, Girl Two by Shira Glassman
  • Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson
  • Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
  • Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly deVos
  • To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin
  • Dust Bath Revival by Marianne Kirby


  • Dietland by Sarai Walker (highly recommended; must read)
  • Fat Girl, Terrestrial by Kellie Wells (recommended)
  • 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)
  • Misadventures of Fatwoman by Elizabeth Julie Powell (not recommended)
  • Fat Girl Dances with Rocks by Susan Stinson (recommended)
  • The Fat Friend: A Novel by Julie Edelson (not recommended)
  • 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad (highly not recommended for triggering, degrading content)
  • Outside the Bones by Lyn Di Iorio (not recommended)
  • Pigs Don’t Fly by Mary Brown (not recommended)
  • Fat Assassins by Marita Fowler (highly recommended; must read)
  • Fat Bodyguards by Marita Fowler (so/so in content, not much focus on bodies)
  • Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes by Sue Watson (weird insertions of diet talk and fat shaming, but so many other great qualities to the story. If you can buy a paperback version and cross out all mentions of dieting, the book would be fantastic)
  • Losing It by Lindsay Faith Rech (NOT recommended. Imagine if Bridget Jones had an even worse personality)
  • Hometown by Michele Feltman Strider (recommended)
  • Mile High by Lise Tremblay, translated by Gail Scott (recommended with some hesitations)
  • The Corinna Chapman mystery series by Kerry Greenwood
  • Fat Angie by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo
  • Martha Moody by Susan Stinson
  • Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner
  • Certain Girls (squeal) by Jennifer Weiner
  • Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean
  • Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
  • The Corset Diaries by Katie MacAlister
  • Venus of Chalk by Susan Stinson
  • A Reason to Stay by June Stevens Westerfield
  • Larger Than Death by Lynn Murray
  • Morning Song by Susan Simone
  • Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy
  • Invisible by Jeanne Bannon
  • The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
  • The King of Bourbon Street by Thea de Salle
  • Drawing Dead by S.M. Reine


  • I Do It With the Lights On by Whitney Way Thore (recommended with some hesitation due to discussion of exercise/diet to lose weight)
  • Fat Girls and Lawn Chairs by Cheryl Peck (not recommended overall)
  • Scoot Over, Skinny: The Fat Nonfiction Anthology co-edited by Donna Jarrell (some essays recommended; not all essays are positive for fat people)
  • Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West (highly recommended; must read)
  • Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay (highly recommended)
  • Skinny by Diana Spechler
  • Fat Girl: A True Story by Judith Moore
  • Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love & Fashion by Virgie Tovar
  • This is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare by Gabby Sidibe
  • Push by Sapphire
  • Fat Shame: Stigma and the Fat Body in American Culture by Amy Erdman Farrell
  • Moose: A Memoir of Fat Camp by Stephanie Klein
  • Fat! So?: Because You Don’t Have to Apologize for Your Size by Marilyn Wann