Not Knowing and the Problematics of Naming Eating Disorders : OSFED/EDNOS/TCA-NS and Annie Ernaux’s Mémoire de fille (2016). / Cruickshank, Ruth.

In: Journal of Romance Studies, 29.09.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle



  • Accepted Manuscript

    Accepted author manuscript, 86.8 KB, Word document


Mémoire de fille describes acting on a fifty-years-repressed imperative to write about Ernaux’s first traumatic sexual encounters and their ramifications, including disordered eating, initially self-reflexively misnamed pica, then, later – and ongoingly – bulimia. Instead, the behaviours correspond to problematic medical categorizations for‘a-typical’, heterogeneous eating disorders, which albeit little known, account for up to 50% of diagnoses and are resoundingly the most prevalent (names include ‘other specified feeding and eating disorders’ (OSFED); ‘trouble du comportement alimentaire, non spécifié’ (TCA-NS); ‘eating disorders not otherwise specified’ (EDNOS)). Examining Ernaux’s exploration of not knowing; her bringing into question of the possibilities of (self) knowledge and of articulating traumatic experiences; and her emphasis on disordered eating and its naming elucidates how discourses of knowledge (patriarchal, medical, religious, philosophical and consumerist) control knowledge about (and may contribute to) eating disorders. The potential is raised of the contribution of the literary to interdisciplinary debates challenging the not knowing of eating disorders (particularly OSFED/EDNOS/TCA-NS). 

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Romance Studies
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 29 Sep 2019

ID: 32638856