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Tyranny by Lesley Fairfield

Tyranny (edition 2009)

by Lesley Fairfield

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The expression “a picture is worth 1,000 words” aptly describes why this graphic novel about anorexia and bulimia is so powerful. The narrator, Anna, doesn’t have to tell readers that she sees herself as fat even at unhealthy low weights; readers see this for themselves in panels where Anna is looking in the mirror — and her appearance doesn’t reflect reality. Likewise, when Anna suffers through cycles of starvation, binge eating and purging, readers see the physical toll on her body. Perhaps most powerfully, the medium allows for visual representation of the disorder itself in the character of Tyranny. At one harrowing low point, a panel shows Anna, on her knees, literally carrying the weight of Tyranny on her back. The next panel shows her skeletal figure at 85 pounds. Unflinchingly honest, the book also offers hope as readers see Anna successfully moving through stages of recovery. A recommended read for anyone working with youth. A valuable addition to a classroom library; a class copy could have a note pasted inside about how to get help for readers who recognize themselves as being afflicted with eating disorders. “Tyranny” could also be a teaching tool for not only awareness of eating disorders but in a media-studies unit on the portrayals of women in magazines and other pop-culture works. ( )
  English_Teacher | Nov 3, 2012 |
Nice, fluid artwork, and eye-catching cover. I enjoyed this story, although it was more of a documentation of experience rather than providing deep insight into why the character was able to make the change. ( )
  allison.sivak | Dec 2, 2011 |
The cover of this had a cool, edgy look to it, so I picked it up and gave it a look. A graphic novel about a young woman's battle with anorexia? Bound to be powerful. Right?

I was expecting more edge and drama from this this than I ended up getting. It had a light-hearted feel to it, mostly due to the art. The illustrations made it look like this would be aimed at younger kids, almost like it could be in Highlights magazine. There was no subtlety in the art or plot whatsoever. While there were some parts that were sufficiently emotional (such as the eating disorder patients playing on the playground and having fun for the first time in a long while, and Anna collapsing on the sidewalk and being helped by an older woman), overall it just looked...kinda silly.

I would recommend this to younger kids who need to read about something like this, like 5th-8th grade, but the tone wasn't mature enough for older readers. The lack of grit and subtlety on a very serious, life-or-death subject really ruined it for me, and I can't imagine it holding the attention of older teens. ( )
  weener | Nov 3, 2010 |
Simple black and white line cartoons capture the terrible struggle between one young woman's desire to live and her personalized desire to be thin, named Tyranny. As Anna begins to move towards being healthy, Tyranny bullies her with internal self-talk that is negative and what must be the inner voice confronting many young women and men today. The battle to live is not without backward steps and pitfalls, but Anna continues to struggle towards her goal. An uplifting read for adolescents struggling with bulimia, binge eating, anorexia nervosa and food addiction. ( )
  cmcvittie | Jul 7, 2010 |
Fairfield presents the exhausting battle one young woman fights against anorexia, personified at the skeletal "Tyranny". ( )
  kivarson | Apr 1, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0887769039, Paperback)

In Tyranny, brisk, spare text and illustrations that deal head-on with anorexia propel the reader along on Anna’s journey as she falls prey to the eating disorder, personified as her tormentor, Tyranny.

The novel starts with a single question: “How did I get here?” The answer lies in the pages that follow, and it’s far from simple. Pressured by media, friends, the workplace, personal relationships, and fashion trends, Anna descends into a seemingly unending cycle of misery. And whenever she tries to climb out of the abyss, her own personal demon, Tyranny, is there to push her back in. The contest seems uneven, and it might be except for one thing: Anna’s strength of character has given rise to her deadly enemy. Ironically, it is that same strength of character that has the ultimate power to save her from the ravages of Tyranny.

Brilliantly and realistically presented, Tyranny is a must-read for anyone looking for a better understanding of eating disorders and for everyone looking for a compelling page-turner that is truly a story of triumph and hope.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:15 -0400)

In this graphic novel dealing with anorexia, young Anna--pressured by media, friends, the workplace, personal relationships, and fashion trends--descends into a seemingly unending cycle of misery. And whenever she tries to climb out of the abyss, her own personal demon, Tyranny, is there to push her back in. The contest seems uneven, and it might be except for one thing: Anna's strength of character.… (more)

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