Fat, Stupid, Ugly by Debrah Constance
One Woman's Courage to Survive

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In the spirit of A Child Called "It" comes an
amazing story of resilience from a woman who
triumphed over child abuse, cancer, and alcoholism to founder of A Place Called Home.

"I began life, it would seem, as some kind of Grimm's fairy tale creature, large and oafish, undesirable, grossly imperfect. Neatly penned in my baby book were the words, 'Debbie was a fat, unattractive baby.' Fat and ugly aside, my life was fairly normal for a couple of years. It would be a while before the abuse began. Before the smoking and pills, the rage and rebellion, the alcoholism and cancer, the broken marriages.

In those first uncomplicated years I could have set out on any of a dozen different paths toward an orderly life . . . it was not to be. . . . But this is not a story of defeat."

This is a book about surviving. It's about hope. It's about how each of us-ordinary, imperfect, damaged-can dream and heal. This book weaves the humorous, often outrageous, always courageous tapestry of Debrah Constance's life. Voted Woman of the Year by the State of California Legislature for founding A Place Called Home, (APCH) an organization providing services to at-risk inner-city kids in South Los Angeles, she proves that anyone can rise above life's obstacles and make a better life for themselves-and others.


About Debrah Constance

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Debrah Constance founded A Place Called Home in 1993 in the basement of a church to give inner-city gang-affected youth a place where they could come after school, get a snack, do their homework, watch TV, play with their friends, and be with people that care about them--basic rights that all kids should have. APCH now offers its youth members many programs including an all-day school in collaboration with the Los Angeles Unified School District; computer lab; music; art; dance; tutoring and mentoring. In September of 1996, with a growth in membership to 400, APCH moved to its present location--a 10,000-square-foot facility that serves over 4,000 children. J.I. Kleinberg is a California-based freelance writer whose clients include individuals and corporations in the travel, healthcare, and design/print industries as well as a wide range of other businesses. Penny Marshall is an actress, producer, and director. From 1976 until 1983, she starred as Laverne DeFazio in the classic TV sitcom Laverne & Shirley. She went on to direct films such as Big (1988), the first movie directed by a woman to gross in excess of $100 million at the U.S. box office, Awakenings (1990), which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, and A League of Their Own (1992), which also made over $100 million in the U.S. More recently, she has directed episodes of United States of Tara (2009) and guest-starred on Portlandia (2011).
Published September 1, 2004 by HCI. 300 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Self Help. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Fat, Stupid, Ugly

Publishers Weekly

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The most compelling part of this book relates how Constance, who was named California's Woman of the Year in 1994, founded A Place Called Home— a youth center in South-Central Los Angeles that has become a refuge for inner-city gang members and gives them a chance to turn their lives around.

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