Book Spotlight: A Trick of the Light by Lois Metzer

Last year I read and reviewed Lois Metzger's A Trick of the Light, the story of a young man battling anorexia.  It was such a moving and powerful read, and I haven't been able to forget Mike and the voice in his head.  Read my review of A Trick of the Light here
A Trick of the Light is now available in paperback, with an additional section called "Ten Things You Probably Didn't Know About Eating Disorders."  I think that this will be a great addition to the book, since one of my favorite aspects of A Trick of the Light was that I learned a lot about the psyche and inner thoughts of someone in the throes of an eating disorder.  A really unique feature of this book is that Mike's eating disorder, the commanding, berating, belittling voice in his head, is the narrator.  Reading this book gave me a deeper understanding of what it's like to live with an eating disorder, and how food--or the lack thereof--consumes every thought and waking moment.  Spotlighting this great book today has made me want to read it again---it's that good!   
Mike Welles had everything under control. He was a good student, an outfielder on the baseball team, a good son, a loyal friend. But that was before. Now things are rough at home, and they’re getting confusing at school. He’s losing his sense of direction, and he feels like a mess. Then there’s a voice in his head. A friend, trying to help him regain control. More than that: The voice can guide him to be better and stronger than he was before, to rid his life of everything holding him back. To figure out who he is again. If only Mike will listen. Writing with devastating power and precision, acclaimed author Lois Metzger gives us the story of one young man’s battle with his own shadows—a spare, stark, and vital tale of the way in which the things we build to protect ourselves can threaten to destroy us.
From the author:
This book has had a long gestation period!  In 2004, I read an article in the New York Daily News, called “Not for Girls Only.”  It was about a boy with an eating disorder.  I never knew boys could get eating disorders, and this idea took hold of me and wouldn’t let go.  I got in touch with the reporter, who put me in touch with the boy in the article.  He lives in California and I spoke with him and his family.  From them, I got the name of a doctor at Stanford, who put me in touch with families in NYC.  I met several young men and their parents.  I did research on the complex world of eating disorders, reading novels and nonfiction, and visiting hospitals.  A Trick of the Light evolved.  I rewrote it many times.  Over the years the book has had various different narrators.  First, Mike (the main character) told his own story.  Then his new friend, Amber.  Then his best friend.  Then his mom.  Then an omniscient narrator.  Finally, the voice in Mike’s head, the entity prodding him into more and more destructive behavior, which had become more and more prominent with every draft, became the narrator.  Once the voice took over the book, so to speak, the story fell into place as an intense psychological drama.
Author Bio
Lois Metzger was born in Queens and has always written for young adults.  She is the author of three previous novels and two nonfiction books about the Holocaust, and she has edited five anthologies.  Her short stories have appeared in collections all over the world.  Her writing has also appeared in The New Yorker and The Nation, and she blogs for The Huffington Post.  She lives in New York City with her husband, writer Tony Hiss, and their son.

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