Here is a list from my 2017 search to find positive representations of 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. Faith, Vol. 1: Holywood and Vine by Jody Houser (recommended)
  5. Fat Girl by Jessie Carty (not recommended)
  6. Misadventures of Fatwoman by Elizabeth Julie Powell (not recommended)
  7. Fat Girl Dances with Rocks by Susan Stinson
  8. The Fat Friend: A Novel by Julie Edelson
  9. Skinny by Diana Spechler
  10. Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
  11. Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay
  12. Fat Girl: A True Story by Judith Moore
  13. Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner
  14. Certain Girls (sequal) by Jennifer Weiner
  15. Two Girls, Fat and Thin by Mary Gaitskill
  16. Everything Beautiful by Simmone Howell
  17. Outside the Bones by Lyn Di Iorio
  18. Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes by Sue Watson
  19. Losing It by Lindsay Faith Rech
  20. Giving Up the Ghost by Hilary Mantel
  21. If the Dress Fits by Carla de Guzman
  22. Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean
  23. Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
  24. This is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare by Gabby Sidibe
  25. Push by Sapphire
  26. The Corset Diaries by Katie MacAlister
  27. Venus of Chalk by Susan Stinson
  28. Morning Song by Susan Simone
  29. Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy
  30. Invisible by Jeanne Bannon
  31. Moose: A Memoir of Fat Camp by Stephanie Klein
  32. The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
  33. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli