“Although I lost my appetite in every other respect, the appetite I never lost was my love of reading,” says the author and journalist Laura Freeman, who was diagnosed with anorexia at the age of 15. Her book The Reading Cure charts her years of recovery – helped by the novels she read while on bed rest.
She believes fiction has the power to heal. “What literature does for you when you’re ill is it just transports you – it takes you away to another world,” she says. “You can be someone else, you don’t have to be… struggling; you don’t have to be ill.”
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