Stick Figure

A Diary of My Former Self

A Los Angeles Times and Washington Post bestseller, and winner of several awards including the American Library Association’s “Best Books,” Borders’ “Original New Voice,” and an Alternate Selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club and Quality Paperback Book Club

  • Have you ever focused too much on weight and food?
  • Do you have trouble understanding the mindset of a friend or family member struggling with an eating disorder?
Stick Figure takes you on a personal journey through preteen anorexia and into the internal and cultural dynamics that shape it. This memoir is required reading in many middle and high schools across the country and is also used by eating disorder treatment centers for those in recovery.


“It reads like a novel. Funny, touching, and absolutely gripping.” The Boston Globe

Compelling… Hopefully, Gottlieb will stand as a patron saint for girls vulnerable to eating disorders and the adults who should be caring for them.” Booklist

“Poignant… Gottlieb is dead-on about society’s irrational attitudes toward women’s bodies.The Washington Post Book World

“Gottlieb is full of surprising insights.” The San Francisco Chronicle

“Surprisingly upbeat, thanks to the author’s wry observations and hilarious accounts of life … Gottlieb takes you through the frustration of being a young woman bombarded by an abundance of conflicting messages. ‘Did I have a disorder, or was my behavior the result of a larger disorder all around me? …who or what was ‘disordered’?’ Good question. Good book.” Dr.

“Ultimately triumphantperceptive about the hypocrisy of a culture in which womanhood meant starving and endless self-obsession. Mademoiselle

Gottlieb is so keen an observer that even the saddest parts have some humor.” The Los Angeles Times

“When Lori Gottlieb was 11 years old, she started writing in a diary about the world around her. These observations combine with the emotional honesty of an 11 year old, and a wit and intelligence rare in even adult memoirs.” The Examiner Sunday Magazine (Australia)
Smart, funny, and compasionate. Stick Figure stands out as a fresh, edgy take on that perilous time in a girl’s life when she’s no longer a child but not quite an adult.” Entertainment Weekly

“A heartbreaking, riveting and humorous autobiography of a preteen who absorbs all the wrong messages about food and figure. Told with the fractured logic of an anorexic teen, this book ends with hope—all the more important because it’s true.Detroit Free Press

Stick Figure is a surprisingly upbeat memoir . . . a wry and engaging observation of an eating disorder and the society that contributed to it.” Amazon

Stick Figure succeeds in interloping on the mind of a preteen confused, both by what is expected of her and what she wants for herself. There is no self-pity. The mood is simply: This is what happened to me.” The Seattle Times

“Truly compelling . . .  Stick Figure is a vivid glimpse into a young girl’s warped perceptions. It’s funny and outrageous, yet steeped in the truth about girls and self-esteem.” Willamette Week: Portland News & Culture

Thought-provoking and powerful . . . Gottlieb provides an engrossing glimpse into the life of a child trying to deal with growing up and with society’s expectations.  One can only hope that her real-life struggles brought to bookshelves will help young women struggling with their inner demons, helping them learn to love themselves for who they are, not what society expects them to be.” WTAE-TV

Stick Figure is an eleven-year-old self telling a story with candor, insight and absolute honesty. Often hilarious, the approach is compassionate and thoughtful… so get ready for a real joyride of a read … about how crazy our society is when it comes to body image and weight loss. Palo Alto Daily News

“Wry and engaging… Parents should make it a point to check it out.” Child Care Today


“By turns earnest and funny, hopeful and tragic, eleven-year-old Lori is a latter-day Alice: She takes us through the distorted looking glass that’s held up to young girls and into the harrowing land of eating disorders. There’s no other word for it: You will devour this book, and hopefully keep right on eating.” Peggy Orenstein
New York Times bestselling author of Girls & Sex and Cinderella Ate My Daughter

“More than just a book about anorexia, Stick Figure is an entertaining and thoughtful coming-of-age story that deals with an almost universal theme—negotiating the minefields of early adolescence and living to tell the tale.” Martha Manning
Clinical psychologist and author of Undercurrents: A Life Beneath the Surface

“Lori Gottlieb’s eleven-year-old self is a singular storyteller of unblinking candor and precocious insight. As rife with wry humor as it is lacking in self-pity, this fast-paced chronicle is narrated with a light touch, and yet is chilling and poignant in its straightforward simplicity.” Sarah Saffian
Author of Ithaka: A Daughter’s Memoir of Being Found

Foreign EditionS Gallery

Stick Figure by Lori Gottlieb, Foreign Edition Cover
Stick Figure by Lori Gottlieb, Foreign Edition Cover
Stick Figure by Lori Gottlieb, Foreign Edition Cover
Stick Figure by Lori Gottlieb, Foreign Edition Cover
Stick Figure by Lori Gottlieb, Foreign Edition Cover
Stick Figure by Lori Gottlieb, Foreign Edition Cover
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