Two Girls, Fat and Thin Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Two Girls, Fat and Thin

Two very different women, both in shape and attitude, connect over the philosophical movement founded by the late Anna Granite. A very overweight woman, Dorothy, who works nights and sleeps days, becomes friends with a thin woman, Justine, who interviews Dorothy about her time working in a famous, now defunct, cult. Gaitskill does something very interesting in the sense that she writes Dorothy in the first person, but Justine in the third person.
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Dorothy's childhood included sexual abuse at the hands of her father. It appears that her mother knew and permitted it. Dorothy reveals herself to the reader as a survivor who can take care of herself, though it calls into question her obvious eating disorder.

Justine is presented as a slick, sexual creature, but one who has also suffered sexual abuse. She hurts herself in very different ways than Dorothy, yet the two share many similarities.

The book toys with a ghost of a character, the cult leader who brings the women together with her bizarre philosophy. This is written absurdly and one of the only escapes from the otherwise serious tone.

Even though Justine is more stereotypically attractive and seemingly enjoys a more glamorous life, Dorothy shines through as the stronger of the two. Both are rather self-punishing in action, but they seem to need each other to shine light on their masochism. These two intense tales are woven together to create one very rattling story powerful enough to bind all women together.
Best part of story, including ending: It shows how differently everyone processes their personal damage.

Best scene in story: The ending. It's so hard to read but it finally offers relief. There is a solid change.

Opinion about the main character: Dorothy and Justine are both so sickly and sad, but when they see it in each other it's very moving.

The review of this Book prepared by Angela Lovell a Level 1 Blue Jay scholar

Chapter Analysis of Two Girls, Fat and Thin

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   depressed Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Romance/Romance Problems    -   Yes Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Struggle over    -   fatness Kind of sex:    -   molestation Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Taboo sex story?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   blue collar Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American) Unusual characteristics:    -   Mentally ill


City?    -   Yes City:    -   New York

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   touching of anatomy    -   actual description of hetero sex    -   rape/molest Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Two Girls, Fat and Thin

Mary Gaitskill Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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