Malnourished news: Foreword review (!!)

First, the good news (good news!!). An early review for MALNOURISHED; A MEMOIR OF SISTERHOOD AND HUNGER came in from Foreword Reviews.

(Here I must pause for a short cheer: Yay for early reviews! Yay for the people putting in the time and effort to carefully read and write about books! Yay for the beauty and agony of it all!)

Here are some of the tidbits (I’m not sure if I have permission to reprint the entire review):

Elegant prose and intimate details elevate Cinthia Ritchie’s mental health memoir Malnourished to a requiem for her sister.

Emotions are palpable in the prose, as tender as fresh wounds.

The book admits to deep, animal compulsions that the higher human mind would rather ignore: licking a newborn baby’s hair; taking a nibble of a loved one’s ashes; sneaking a look at a sibling’s secret writings.

So yes, there’s that. Though I have to admit that marketing a book is tough. Marketing a memoir is tough. Marketing a memoir that has to do with death, eating disorders, family dysfunction and all of that unhappy stuff is even tougher.

The most difficult part is how vulnerable I feel. Soon, people will be reading my most intimate thoughts, they’ll be viewing all of my mistakes and failures (and trust me, there were many of these), they’ll be, and here I have to say it–they’ll be judging me, the way we always unconsciously judge the people we read about.

I feel naked. I want to huddle in a dark room while watching Netflix and ignoring my computer, which is so very easy to do when you live in Alaska in the winter and you’re losing daylight fast and everything feels dark and deep and grainy.

And yet, I also feel strangely liberated. I’ve done it. I’ve told my story to the world. There’s a passage from Michael Dorris’ A Yellow Raft in a Blue Lake that’s I’ve always loved:

“There’s a weight off me. I said it all out loud, and the world didn’t come to an end. I listened to my story, let loose, running around free in the morning air, and it wasn’t as bad as I expected. It didn’t even take that long to tell, once I got started.”

In other news:

I loved this piece PARTY GIRL in Gay Magazine (Roxane Gay’s new publication) by Monica D. Drake, about how a sex scene from a story she submitted to a well-regarded literary magazine was read and mocked by one of the magazine’s intern to a group of drunk guys at a party. It’s shocking to think that this could happen (and what a violation of trust, right?). Yet the piece is beautifully and deftly crafted. It’s a must read for anyone who submits to literary magazines, and any type of magazine or publication, for that matter.


7 thoughts on “Malnourished news: Foreword review (!!)

    1. Hi, Luanne! I’m so excited. I’ll be at the Phoenix book conference in February and hoping to finally get up to see you. I think it’s Feb. 21-22. I’ll shoot you an email after the holiday madness is over. Cheers and hugs and happy holidays.P.S. I was so proud and excited to read your piece on Brevity’s site. So awesome!


  1. Oh, this is so wonderful! What a lovely review. But I definitely feel your fear: “they’ll be judging me, the way we always unconsciously judge the people we read about.” It’s what keeps me from being as open in my writing as I want to be. I’m not so worried about being judged by my friends, but my family … oh, geez, my family. Mainly because they don’t really read and discuss but spread hearsay (real hearsay like she said he said she said). By you know one of the many things I LOVE about you is your beautiful honesty and openness and raw truth. I can’t wait for my copy. I believe the press will start sending them out sometime in January … kind of like a late Christmas present 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much, Marie. I think the copies (big nervous gulp here) have been sent out. You might already have yours, I’m not sure. I took like a two-week break from social media. I have no idea what’s happening in the world but I really needed to hunker down and just hide out for a while. It did wonders for me personally but unfortunately put me way behind in the book promo stuff. But I’m at an age where I need to put myself first, you know? The rest is just ego and chatter and more ego. Big hugs, and happy, happy holidays. P.S. I really want to chat with you sometime about your Medium writing. I love it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Eh, we all need a break from social media now and then. I just realized I haven’t visited my blog in several days. Oops! Happy Holidays to you. I’m loving your photos from Arizona as much as I love the ones from Alaska. And thank you for your kind words about my Medium writing. I’ll be happy to talk about it with you any time 🙂


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