Jamie Carcaterra isn't obese. She's not chubby, chunky or "hormonally challenged", either (whatever that means), as she will loudly correct you in her new column "Fat Girl Manifesto" in The Wire, her school newspaper. Jamie is, as she insists, fat, and she's quite happy that way, thank you very much. She has two best friends, Nono and Freddie, and a great boyfriend, Burke, to boot. She's Evillene in the school play The Wiz. Everything's fine and dandy in Jamie Land. And she will gladly tell you this while also bashing down some myths and assumptions that "normal" people make about her and her fellows in the aforementioned column.
But, as it turns out, not everything is cheerful in Burke Land. He's tired of being fat, tired of not fitting into toilet stalls and airplane seats and having seven X's on his clothing tags. He's desperate, and he's getting bariatric surgery. The surgery that staples off part of your stomach. The surgery that some people don't come out of.
In the middle of all this, "Fat Girl Manifesto" is attracting the media, Burke – while he doesn't die – changes, and Jamie starts to realize that she doesn't know who she is anymore.
Big Fat Manifesto is a great book. Vaught handles her delicate subject with amazingly deft skills, and out of the darkness has come a work of art. If I could figure out how to paste pictures into my posts, I'd put one of that little movie guy jumping out of his seat.