Reading Fat Women Challenge

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 with some hesitation due to discussion of exercise/diet to lose weight)
  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. Belly Songs: In Celebration of Fat Women by Susan Stinson (highly recommended)
  16. Everything Beautiful by Simmone Howell (recommended)
  17. Outside the Bones by Lyn Di Iorio (not recommended)
  18. Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy (highly recommended; must read)
  19. Pigs Don’t Fly by Mary Brown (not recommended)
  20. Fat Assassins by Marita Fowler (highly recommended; must read)
  21. Fat Angie by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo
  22. Hometown by Michele Feltman Strider
  23. Puddin’ by Julie Murphy
  24. Skinny by Diana Spechler
  25. Martha Moody by Susan Stinson
  26. Fat Girl: A True Story by Judith Moore
  27. Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner
  28. Certain Girls (squeal) by Jennifer Weiner
  29. Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes by Sue Watson
  30. Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love & Fashion by Virgie Tovar
  31. Losing It by Lindsay Faith Rech
  32. Giving Up the Ghost by Hilary Mantel
  33. If the Dress Fits by Carla de Guzman
  34. Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean
  35. Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
  36. This is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare by Gabby Sidibe
  37. Push by Sapphire
  38. Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living by Jes Baker
  39. The Corset Diaries by Katie MacAlister
  40. Venus of Chalk by Susan Stinson
  41. A Reason to Stay by June Stevens Westerfield
  42. Larger Than Death by Lynn Murray
  43. Fat Bodyguards by Marita Fowler
  44. Morning Song by Susan Simone
  45. Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy
  46. Invisible by Jeanne Bannon
  47. Fat Shame: Stigma and the Fat Body in American Culture by Amy Erdman Farrell
  48. Moose: A Memoir of Fat Camp by Stephanie Klein
  49. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
  50. The King of Bourbon Street by Thea de Salle
  51. Fat! So?: Because You Don’t Have to Apologize for Your Size by Marilyn Wann
  52. Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey
  53. Vintage Veronica by Erica S. Perl
  54. Knit One, Girl Two by Shira Glassman
  55. Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson
  56. Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
  57. Drawing Dead by S.M. Reine