Two Girls Fat and Thin Author:Mary Gaitskill There is no description on the back cover so I will give you a comment I lifted from Amazon that does a better job in describing it than I could, having read it within a year or so of its publication. i remember liking it quite a bit at the time. — "Just like her short story collection, Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill's novel, Two Girls Fat and Thi... more »n, left me speechless. The story seemed simple enough: the thin girl is interviewing the fat girl about her time working for the author/cult leader, Anna Granite. They are both wary of each other, the interviewer thinks the interviewee is crazy and the interviewee feels that her entire belief system is under attack by the interviewer. But in the end a strange friendship/bond/understanding will form between the two of them.
But its so much more than that.
While I completely appreciate all the goofy reincarnation of Ayn Rand (can I assume that she's the object of ridicule throughout the book!?), I can't help but be drawn into the actual lives of Dorothy and Justine. Dorothy's affiliation with a literary cult leader seems almost unnecessary, though executed perfectly. However its the `compare and contrast' of these two women's lives that really makes the story - how they are terribly different physically and emotionally, BUT how they are also very similar. They both share strange and horrible relationships with their parents, were both molested as young children and have finally achieved a sense of independence just before their meeting. You get complete character dissections of each of them: what they want, what they think they want and what they already had. Where both women have unresolved unresolved conflicts from their past, its too late to doing anything about them. It seems that their acquaintanceship, while mistrustful at first is their stepping stone to personal redemption.
Mary Gaitskill is yet again justly perverse and sexual, especially through Justine and her trysts through childhood and her current ill-suited lover and sadist, Bryan. Dorothy recounts her painful years of being an overweight girl growing up and only finding acceptance within Anna Granite's circle.
Two Girls, Fat and Thin is an amazing book - with very wise and witty language. There are many moments when Gaitskill sums up in a few words everything you need to know about what creates strong relationships between strangers. These are not stereotypical characters, these are not trite and uncomplicated scenes. For a book that will give you a lot to think about and won't require a dictionary to get through, you can't go wrong."« less