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Have you ever considered writing a screenplay of Cloud Mountain? It would make an absolutely fantastic PBS miniseries, and the viewer would learn so very much about Chinese history that is obscured for Westerners, or has been lost to us. Thank you, P. Johnston, North Carolina
Your first name is spelled the exact same way as my middle name. I found that to be interesting for the simple fact that I've never met anyone who's name was exactly spelled the same as mine. Anyways, its also the reason I picked up your book. I wouldn't consider myself a recovered bulimic, but I'm healing. Your book is actually the first book that I've read that made me want to examine my own "recovery". As my weight went up I was considered healthy, but my mental/spiritual state was still damaged in a severe way. How do you stop a way of life? For me my eating disorder wasn't a faze; It wasn't something to recover or move on from, it was a way of life I created to make myself feel safe. I guess the real reason I'm writing this is I want to know.. What does recovery feel like?
I picked up your Gaining book last week and I am learning a great deal. I've been tortured by an eating disorder for 26 years. I am praying everyday to overcome this disease like you. It sure is a struggle to live in this body everyday! When I was first skimming in your book in the book store I came to one particular page..The first page I opened was page 28. You had mentioned a town in Boston called Marblehead. You had gone there for a ride with your friend names Patty. I just had to get the book.. I am from that town and my name is Patty. I think opened directly to that page for some reason.. I know by reading this book over and over again I will feel more positive about myself. I pray every day that I will gain freedom from ED for my children..My mother choose to leave this life early..I can not do that to my children.
Thanks and keep writing. Enjoy reading your work!!
Hello, Aimee! :) I just wanted to write in and tell you how deeply your book "Gaining" has affected my life.
As a former anorexic, I related so much to your examples of people who were recovered in the physical sense, but not in the mental/spiritual sense. I'd never read a book that was concerned about healing on such a deep level.
Thank you so much for your work in bringing about awareness, not only to the devastating physical consequences, but also to the torturous mindsets that mark eating disorders. And thank you for being such a strong proponent of complete, whole-person healing. :)o
Dear Aimee, The following is a description of a unique project relating to immigrants in America that I hope you will find close to your heart both personally and professionally. The Choosing America Project is looking for true short stories that express the very essence of being an immigrant in America.We are interested in is eliciting gripping human interest stories that will reflect the diversity of the American immigrant experience, past and present. For more details please go to www.choosingamerica.com . Our concept is to disseminate this information to as many immigrants as possible in search of the best material. Please help us convey this information to writers, editors, students, professors, educators, seniors, colleagues and friends, community leaders and organizers as well as to community groups and organizations and to anyone who you believe can contribute to this project. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments. Yours sincerely, Lia Friesem www.choosingamerica.com The Choosing America Project America is a nation of immigrants. Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, Henry Kissinger, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Greta Garbo, Martina Navratilova, Hans Bethe, Madeleine Albright, Gloria Estefan, Michael J. Fox ,Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carlos Santana, Sammy Sosa, Hakeem Olajuwon. None of them was born in America. All chose America. Like you. Whether you came from Germany, England, Italy or the Czech Republic, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, China, or Cuba, whether you immigrated to America as a child, a young adult, or with your own children, whether it was your decision or your parents', whether you immigrated in the 20's, 50s' the 80s' or just yesterday, you must have one special story to tell. And we want to hear it! The Choosing America Project We are looking for authentic dramatic anecdotes, short stories (1500-4000 words) that epitomize your experience as immigrants who CHOSE to live in America. Think of that one thing that has happened to you as an immigrant - We are looking for those special moments, encounters, surprises, experiences, disappointments, which vividly convey what it's like to be an immigrant in America. The good, the bad, the sad, the miraculous, the joyful— every anecdote is welcome as long as it's authentic and well told. IF YOU HAVE A GOOD STORY – WE WANT TO HEAR IT! The goal of our project is to turn some of these stories into short films that will be shown in the movies and broadcast on TV. So think carefully of that special story that is worth telling the world, and share it with us. Send your story to: email@example.com We'll be glad to answer any further questions you might have. For more details go to: www.choosingamerica.com
Hi Aimee - I am a 37yo man that has been struggling with anorexia since I was 13yo. Your book was the first recovery book I have read from cover to cover and couldn't wait to get back to. It has really made a difference in my outlook and approach to recovery. Thank you. So very much...you have no idea.
I am deeply touched by your remarks. For more about my work toward a better understanding of eating disorders, please visit www.gainingthetruth.com
Amiee, I am your book. I am 37, a mother of 4 (8 & under) and have been married 12yrs. I am also an anarexic since 15. At one time in "recovery" and then a major relapse 5yrs. ago. I spent 9 months inpatient a year ago and find myself having a hard time again. Your book has prvided me (& my therapist) a whole new insight and perspective. i want to thank you for that. I would love to share my story with you and provide hope for the millions who suffer. sincerley, Joey Hixson
Greetings Aimee -- noticed your name on Goddard's list of professors -- I'm considering the MFA -- clicked on it, read your remarks, ID'd right away: write to understand, YES! Thank you for that. You must be a wonderful teacher. Diana Holdsworth
Thanks so much for this note, Diana. You've inspired me to add two new feature pages on this site. Check out "For Writers Only" and Book Reviews under my RECENT ESSAYS to the left. I hope to meet you at Goddard! Write on.
You're amazing. Thank you for helping me start to see a path through the forest. - a Goddard student
Thank you for posting this. Teaching is a new, scary, and rewarding path for me, as well. I will be writing in my newsletter about this whole -- life changing! -- process of returning to school as an adult. Low-residency writing programs such as Goddard and Bennington seem to hold special power to transform individuals. Please check my newsletter section of this site in a few days for links to these programs and more about my experience, both as a student and teacher.
A. L. 7/26/06
I loved your piece in My California!
Many thanks! It's such a good book, for such a good cause! - A.L.
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I love your Cloud Mountain so ably read by B D Wong, and have one question that bothers me a lot. I need to know, in the real world, did Hope stay with Paul? did Paul return to america with Hope? Perhaps it sounds silly to you but I REALLY need to know; it bothers me! I am about ready to hear it a third time and I've mostly read the book.
Almost 82 in NC
My California - is that a book or a column? Would like to
MY CALIFORNIA IS A WONDERFUL ANTHOLOGY OF ESSAYS ABOUT CALIFORNIA. IT'S A BENEFIT PROJECT FOR THE CALIFORNIA ARTS COUNCIL. I WROTE ABOUT BEVERLY HILLS.
Lucky Me! Found your book Cloud Mountain in a garage sale. It seemed to speak to me and said take me home! So glad that I did, I enjoyed it so much and will remember this story always! I hope to read more of your books in the future. Thanks for a great read, its not too often a book a such a pleasure!
Hi, Aimee. Just stumbled across your web site while looking for information on ancestors. I notice you mention descent from a viceroy of Canton, ca. 1860. The viceroy in 1862 was Liu Changyou (or Ch'ang-yu, born 1818, died 1887), which seems the same as the name of your grandfather. I am not aware of a viceroy named Liu Yu-tang, though. My own ancestor, Huang Zonghan (or Tsung-han), was viceroy just before Liu, from 1859-1860. The only other viceroy named Liu was Liu Kunyi, who governed from 1875-1879 and died in 1902. Could he also be related to you? By the way, my ancestor's daughter "disgraced" his family by falling in love with a Westerner and marrying him. I'm very interested in reading the fascinating story of your family. Hope I can find it over here! Best wishes, Gordon Whittaker
This is so exciting! Yes, it looks as though my family (in reality and in Cloud Mountain) actually descends from TWO Viceroys of Canton. Who knew? It would seem they are my great grandfather and great-great grandfather. Keep these historical tidbits coming. Thank you so much, Gordon!
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There's a great scope and compassionate virtue of diversity to your work, your spirit and your heart. i am a male anorexic, fifteen years running empty and ragged from fear toward illusions of affirmative hope. There hasn't been much help... but there have been women in recovery, women to share strength and healing with. i am two years now coming home deeper to my heart and appetite. Not complete, but not broken. Thank you for honoring your life - for extending your sense of recovery into a wider being of care with the women who are my heroes and allies.
i have gone my own way...but with strength born from the power of many brave women. Your book tells a story that needs to be told and one that through telling may have a chance to come into the light - there is so much superstition, neglect, assumption, abuse and denial in the understanding of eating disorders. Shame is treated with labels...pain is treated with diversion...emptiness filled with rhetoric. Thank you for telling a wide many peopled story...fathomless...it's scares those you try to grasp it. Powerlessness...until you get it...you don't let go.
Born pursuing fear
a spotted egg
150 feet up
He broke through
From an original hunger
Tied to another
Fear and clear
With sharp beak
And a soft spotted chest
He breaks through to
in the light
Again and again
To the air
Anorexia i know
Is a stone shell
Grown under the heartless
Belly of a a starving fear
And the walls
Where life offers
To be filled
With a pulsing
No open skies
No hawks to fly
No room for spirals
Something you catch
And open wide
As you fly
Paint your chest
With the constellation of your origin
Open heart, sharp mind
Warm soft belly
and open wider
and recover wider
know the mirror as a
to be broken
as a molting
is a doubt
the supple tremble
of our sap source
that tells you
you are not strong enough
not good enough
over and over and over and over
with your light
fear it to find it
and hunt it down
training to fly the starpath above
pursuing through a galaxy of humming shells
hunting with hunger
for your light on the other side
come into loosing yourself
who may choose life
and may know you by voice
may feed off your courage
and it is an impulse
we all have
to break the shell
and feed the
(c) Joshua O'Donnell
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Hello Aimee: Glad to hear Face is back in print. I'm curious . . . how much if at all were you thinking of Diana Chang's Frontiers of Love when you wrote Face? Do you envision your novel as being in conversation with hers? Best, C. Vogel
THANKS FOR THIS NOTE...I ACTUALLY DID NOT KNOW OF CHANG'S WORK. WHEN I WROTE FACE I WAS SEARCHING FOR BOOKS WITH MIXED-RACE THEMES, BUT FOUND NONE THAT HIT THE MARK I WAS SEEKING.