The Weight of It by Amy Wilensky
A Story of Two Sisters

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A deeply affecting memoir about the bond between two sisters—and the 150 pounds that nearly separated them

As young girls, a year apart in age, Alison and Amy Wilensky were almost indistinguishable. And they were inseparable: growing up in a comfortable Boston suburb, they were never far from each other’s side, wearing matching dresses, playing the same games, eating the same food. But Alison began gaining weight in elementary school and by the time she was sixteen was morbidly obese. The sisters remained close, but over the years the daily indignities and affronts endured by Alison took their toll, reshaping her identity indelibly and affecting the sisters’ relationship in unanticipated ways.

In her late twenties, Alison underwent gastric bypass surgery, in the wake of which she lost more than 150 pounds and achieved the shape she’d dreamed of for so much of her life. It wasn’t just her body that was transformed: every significant relationship in her life was profoundly altered.

The Weight of It is a universal story of how we discover what makes us who we are, and how we become the people we want to be. Amy Wilensky is uniquely equipped to write this book, and she does so with fine perception, insight, and compassion.


About Amy Wilensky

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Amy Wilensky is a graduate of Vassar College and Columbia University’s M.F.A. writing program. Her first book, Passing for Normal, was received with critical acclaim and nominated for a National Book Award. A native of suburban Boston, she lives in New York City.
Published February 5, 2004 by Henry Holt and Co.. 224 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction

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As to why her sister ballooned into obesity as a teenager, Amy offers only her belief that Alison was “born with a biological imperative to gain weight.” The sisters’ lives took separate paths after high school, and outside of a glimpse of Alison coming into her own as an artist at the Rhode Isla...

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Publishers Weekly

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"Alison's weight was and remains so far down on my list of how I would describe her that it would come after 'master Othello player,' 'makes her own fruit-infused vodkas,' and 'has an uncanny ability to find a parking spot in any city in the country,' " declares Wilensky.

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Book Reporter

When Amy and Alison were children, they were sometimes mistaken for twins, but Alison began to gain weight while Amy stayed small.

Jan 24 2011 | Read Full Review of The Weight of It: A Story of ...

Entertainment Weekly

For proof -- and inspiration -- take Kuffel's ''Passing for Thin'' and Wilensky's ''The Weight of It.'' Kuffel's story of ''Losing Half My Weight and Finding My Self'' -- that's 188 pounds, for you number crunchers -- is intensely personal, sometimes uncomfortably so.

Feb 06 2004 | Read Full Review of The Weight of It: A Story of ...

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