From the bestselling author and host of the wildly popular Undisclosed podcast, a warm, intimate memoir about food, body image, and growing up in a loving but sometimes oppressively concerned Pakistani immigrant family.
... Aside from deserving an award for having the best title ever, Fatty Fatty Boom Boom thankfully doesn’t fall into the woe-is-me trap of some weight-issue memoirs. Equally a relief, there isn’t a whiff of you-go-girl!-style evangelizing anywhere in its pages. In its place, Chaudry’s engrossing look back at her life and the decisions she’s made thus far is full of honest introspection about what it feels like to be heavy, frank reporting about the difficulties associated with losing weight, and — perhaps unexpectedly — glorious celebrations of food and mouthwatering descriptions of everything from 'creamy, buttery saag' to naan pakoray (the Urdu plural of pakora) that are bound to make your tummy rumble ... For more than 350 pages, Chaudry’s memoir aims to tell it like it is without much cushioning ... lovingly spiced with equal parts humor and insight, perhaps to humanize the struggle. Of particular interest are the rich passages describing her Pakistani heritage and opinionated relatives, as well as her commentary on the social media response after she lost some of the weight .. First and foremost, Fatty Fatty is an engrossing read that attempts to reckon with two disparate cultures’ shame surrounding body image and obsession with looking thin. But don’t miss the tantalizing recipes for Lahori fried fish, chicken salaam and others at the end. Like everything else in this book, they’ll keep you coming back for seconds.
... this isn’t a simplistic narrative in which the narrator loves to eat and just won’t, or can’t, stop. Much of the memoir explores how colorism and sexism—specifically the fear that Chaudry, born dark-skinned and scrawny, would never attract a husband—put her under the microscope for constant improvement, beginning when her mother put her on a super-high-calorie diet as a newborn. Raw buffalo milk and bottles of half-and-half caused Chaudry’s body to grow at a rapid rate, but once she reached a size that her family deemed unacceptable, their relentless psychological abuse (the book’s title is a nickname her relatives taunted her with) and the accessibility of America’s tastiest junk food ensured that her weight continued to increase ... Chaudry skillfully narrates how overeating was a savior and a curse...Her skill at describing flavors and mouthfeel, and the intricacies of food preparation, suggest that if Chaudry weren’t an attorney, she might be a food writer. She also captures the exquisite pain of being treated as a disappointment by her family and the lifelong fight for their love.
Chaudry shares this candid and bighearted story about her lifelong love/hate relationships with food and her body ... On this long road to repairing her self-esteem and her relationship with food, Chaudry is totally engaging, a perfect host. And after her descriptions of food, readers will be very happy to see recipes included at the end. Utterly delicious!