Susan Burton: Empty

"It's just an incredible sort of rebuilding of my faith in human relationships, to have said this thing that I was so scared to say."

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Sometimes we hold a secret inside that feels so big and so overwhelming that it distorts the way we see and move through the world.  In the memoir Empty,  Susan Burton explores an eating disorder she had kept hidden from everyone in her life for nearly thirty years, and how that process of exposure and exploration helped her move through the shame--revealing her biggest secret to family and other loved ones--and how that opened up whole new worlds to her.

Susan Burton’s writing has appeared in SlateMother JonesNew York, The New Yorker, and The New York Times Magazine. She is a former editor of Harper’s and a producer of This American Life. Her radio documentaries have won numerous awards. The film Unaccompanied Minors is based on one of her radio essays. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their two sons.

About the Host

Amanda Stern is Bookable’s host. Founder of the popular literary event series Happy Ending at Joe’s Pub in New York City, Stern is also a writer. Happy Ending ran for more than a decade and was selected as New York’s best book-related series by New York Magazine, The Village Voice and NY Press. The New York Times Magazine singled out Happy Ending as a force keeping “downtown New York alive.”


This episode was produced by Andrew Dunn, Beau Friedlander and Amanda Stern. It was edited, mixed and sound-designed by Andrew Dunn who also created Bookable's chill vibe.  Our host is Amanda Stern. Beau Friedlander is Bookable's executive producer and editor in chief of Loud Tree Media.


"Books That Bounce" by Rufus Canis, "Uni Swing Vox" by Rufus Canis, "One Minute" by Complicated Congas, "Great Egg Harbor" by Memory Palace, "Decoded" by WayFare, "Moving On" by Sarah Clarke and The Vintage Twin, "I Always Loved You" by Joonie.

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