She thought she was the first one since ancient Rome. Her mother wished she could do it, too. Her doctor called it "a great weight control technique." Read what it was like to consider yourself the first and only one since ancient Rome –and still live a fascinating life.

The Skinny: Adventures of
America's First Bulimic by Rayni Joan $16.95

Be among the first to read this shocking and outrageous new novel! It's now available on, in print, and as an e-book for the Kindle! Click Buy This Book Now! here or above...



"What a read! Couldn't put it down! An outrageous, truthful book which will touch many people, I'm sure."
  - Karen Day


4.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling, April 12, 2009
By B. Allen  
I was so engrossed in this book that I missed my train stop twice. It's a quick read, yet a very spiritual story. It's lusty and fun, yet she also shares her journey from open-minded abused child to confused, self-abusing young woman. What makes it work is how raw Joan tells it. She made me wonder what was fiction and what was the true story of her life. I often felt like she was holding nothing back, like I was looking directly into her soul. And I certainly came to view bulimia in a different light, more as an addiction than just an eating disorder. On the negative side though, I agree with another reviewer here that it was a little long and moved too slowly towards the end. Overall, this is a very enjoyable read.

5.0 out of 5 stars Brave & Honest plus a fabulous story! April 4, 2009
By NYCmom   
This book is an amazingly truthful statement about what life is like with an eating disorder and more specifically, an eating disorder drenched in shameful acts that the suferer thinks can only be performed by themselves!
Other reviewers have said the book is too long - I don't agree! This story could not have been told without all the wonderful details of the "adventures" Rowie takes. This book is about bulimia but it's also about growing up female in America and about growing up Jewish. It's about life and love and unfortunatly the gross realities that hit us as we try to grow up.

4.0 out of 5 stars A Lively Banquet of a Life, February 21, 2009
By M.Frager   
Auntie Mame's dictum that "Life is a banquet and most people are afraid of a little indigestion" would get some revision if she had read Rayni Joan's semi-autobiographical travails. Heroine Rowie, who we meet as a pre-teen, is as lively as Auntie Mame year after year, but far riskier with her mind, body and digestive tract.

Rayni Joan, adept at chronicling the angst of any moment so that her heroine's 'solutions' of eating and purging make a kind of sense, tells this perversely lively story with compassion and clarity, and more than a few successful dramatic set pieces. I think its bright moments of candor, reminders of the closed mind-set of the mid-20th century, in-depth look at the self versus the world, and a talent with words make this novel a satisfying meal for any reader.

3.0 out of 5 stars What a life!, December 30, 2008
What a life, and what a book! This is the story of Rayni Joan, or Rowena Wine as she names her alter-ego in the book. And what a story it is. I found myself wanting to protect and hug little Rowie when she suffered so much from her father as a young child. She becomes bulimic before it was a fad, and goes on to have adventure after adventure (most involving sexual encounters; I guess I'm pretty sheltered but I couldn't believe the number of sexual experiences detailed in the book). Along the way, various historical events are mentioned and these help keep a "real" timeline. When the book ended, I found myself wishing I could know Rowie's story for the past 20 or so years, although I feel the book as-is was quite long and could have benefited from editing down about 100 pages. It's enjoyable getting to know Rowie, even though you may often wish you can change the decisions she makes.

5.0 out of 5 stars "the Skinny: Adventures of America's First Bulimic" by Rayni Joan, December 22, 2008
By Elaine Cohen   
Outrageous, funny, shocking and a great read. I enjoyed it thoroughly! Elaine Cohen

3.0 out of 5 stars Good At Times, December 9, 2008
By Penny V.   
I have mixed feelings about this book. I really enjoyed it at times, other times it was loooong & boring! I enjoyed hearing about the historical references & hearing of life during that era, but at other times there was a bit too much information. I felt sorry for the abuse the poor little Rowie suffered at the hands of her father. It was interesting to see how the bulimia evolved & the patterns that followed. When things were going good in her life & she felt loved, she didn't participate in the bulimic practices,or at least not as often, but as soon as something bad happened or she was stressed or unhappy, she went back to scarfing & barfing. I think somebody who's struggled with bulimia may find this book more interesting than I did. As I 1st stated, I enjoyed parts of this book, but other parts were just dull & boring, & it was a struggle to read it. I was a bit confused in the very beginning because it jumped around a lot, but then it finally settled in to chronological order. I think I may have liked it more if it hadn't been so long on the details, & if maybe she would have talked more about the bulimia & her feelings, instead of giving so much information on the happenings in her life that really had no relationship to the bulimia, but I suppose all the meaningless relationships probably were somehow related to her being abused & it all ties together. It wasn't my favorite book I've ever read, but it wasn't the worst either.  

5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, December 7, 2008
By BeachWriter   
The Skinny: Adventures of America's First Bulimic is a good and fast read. As I followed the story of Rowie from early childhood to the time she becomes a mature young woman I was impressed with Rayni Joan's vivid descriptions. I could not only see the places and situations she was describing but felt all my senses come to life as I smelled, tasted and heard everything that the heroine goes through. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who likes a good story.  

5.0 out of 5 stars Adventures, Indeed!, November 1, 2008
By Caroline Kerpen   
This book was terrific in that I was able to really visualize the knobby kneed, feisty Rowena battling her way through life. I think this will really strike a chord with young girls who deal with body image issues, as well as grown women who remember what it was like before eating disorders were considered a "hot topic" of the day. I also laughed a lot, which I didn't expect. Highly recommended.

(Read following full review on

Monday, February 02, 2009

The Skinny, by Rayni Joan

The Skinny details the childhood and early adulthood of one Rowena Wine in the so called golden era after the second world war. The Wine family lives on the brink: financially, emotionally and for Rowena, physically.

It's clear from the start- Rowie's a survivor, a fighter, a winner. It may take her awhile. The price will be pretty high. She's determined to win it all her way. I found myself identifying with some of Rowie's feelings and motivations- I was sad that she treated herself this way or believed this particular thing about herself. I rooted for her all the way, though. No matter what happened I wanted her to win.



by Contessa Rhonda von Sternberg and Chanel E. Lallouz

The Skinny by Rayni Joan, is more than just words of another bulimic tale on recycled paper within a novel; it's an escalatory voyage of bravery and excess indulgence that transcends into a personal world of healing and wellness -- proof that where there is life, there is hope. For every female who walks the face of the earth -- a magnetizing read! The Skinny is an inevitable winner!



The Skinny Is A Rollicking Great Story

by Tag Craig,

"It's probably one of the most entertaining and important books I've ever read," says Bernice Stock, retired publisher of To Your Health magazine and herself a much-appreciated cookbook author, regarding the sensational new novel "The Skinny: Adventures of America's First Bulimic," by Rayni Joan.

Ms. Joan, who has led a series of exciting lives over the past handful of decades, has penned a rollicking great story based on her own early decades, including her landmark "outing" of herself as a bulimic in June, 1970, when she wrote the first revelatory news article describing her own bulimia and its origins and impact on women. Her article famously dominated the pages of alternative weeklies across America and was read and talked about by more than a million women.

The Skinny begins with a small girl in a small town, but journeys far and wide as its central character ("Rowena Gay Wine is my alter-ego," Joan writes, "but make no mistake; she and I are virtually one. Rowie's story is my story. May it inspire you to share yours.") explores life, love, business and politics with her razor sharp senses, endless curiosity, penetrating intuition, and biting wit.

The story tumbles headlong through one adventure after another until Rowena finds a moment of contemplation in a hospital room, where a kindly stranger (is he an angel?) encourages her to spill her guts instead of the contents of her stomach.

Never to be forgotten, Rowena's magically moving story runs the gamut of human experience, from terror to tickling, from deep love to shallow sex, from "baby whispering" to an angelic intervention in an airplane disaster, and so much that's in between, including - yes, that's right - even a car chase! Rowena's bulimia is primary to her, but not central to the story. As a novel, The Skinny is a flat out great read. But many will want to think of it as a "bulimia book," in which role it's an accessible object lesson to every woman who has ever contemplated or practiced intentional purging. Although it never gets in the way of the story, the message is plain: bulimia is not just a health problem; it creates shackles of slavery every bit as powerful as any addiction out there.

Ms. Joan is a poet, musician, actor, businesswoman, mother, minister, shaman, cultural pioneer, and writer who is available for interviews, either by telephone or (when travel arrangements permit) in person.

About The Author:
Tag Craig
New Mexico USA

Tag Craig Lives in New Mexico and Writes internet articles, his hobbies include dramatic photography.


The Skinny: Adventures of America's First Bulimic-(e-book)

By Lucy Garber

I loved The Skinny: Recollections of America's First Bulimic by Rayni Joan. It flies along -- the equivalent of a real page turner!

The main character of this novel, Rowena Gay Wine, tells her story as though it's a memoir, and indeed, the author tells us in her preface that Rowena's story is her own story seen through her imagination. We know that Rayni Joan discovered bulimia back around the middle of the 20th Century because she includes an actual photocopy of her front page Los Angeles Free Press article from June 1970 called "Women: Fat of the Land." As Roberta Weintraub, Rayni Joan, maiden name-- she bravely and angrily (in 'revolution-speak' was the first person to confess publicly to the habit of bingeing and purging, way before public awareness of this addiction. Ms. Joan worked for Liberation News Service and her character, Rowena worked for Revolution News Service, where she published her ground-breaking confessional article. It was this article along with the belief that she was the first public vomiter since ancient Rome that gave rise to the label of America's First Bulimic.

Despite her quirkiness -- or maybe because of it -- Rowie is a likable character. As a revolutionary, she pulls for the underdog all the way through -- which is probably how she rescued herself from an overbearing mother and abusive father. The book has lots of sexy adventures, both straight and gay, Left-leaning politics, especially about Latin America, angels, table levitations, laugh-out-loud one-liners, and even a car chase. It's a great read.