It's a rare genius who can write about body issues without resorting to pettiness or histrionics. Gay is able to tell her tale almost as a recital of facts, one after the other. That sounds unbelievably boring, but nothing could be further from the truth. Each sentence continues from the previous sentence, clarifying and providing further context. Each chapter is short and to the point, and nothing is overstated or overcomplicated.
She gives you her tale of how and why she became as fat as she is, the utter tragedy of that and why it was so easy to hide that story from everyone. She tells you what it's like to live as a fat woman in America, the difficulties she has encountered, even as she's being lauded and praised. She informs you of the torture of exercise and eating right, which is in all truth, the same for the rest of us! All in all, she gives you a direct path to feeling what she feels.
If nothing else, this is a treatise on why it matters to empathize with those who are not the same size as you. It's a working manual on not being judgmental towards those who look different. For that reason alone, it should be required reading for the entire U.S., in order to effect some real change.