Marya Hornbacher

Marya Hornbacher

Marya Hornbacher
Marya Hornbacher in 2013
Born (1974-04-04) 4 April 1974
Walnut Creek, California, U.S.[1]
Spouse Julian Beard (1996–1998)
Jeff Miller (2002–2010)[2]

Marya Justine Hornbacher (born April 4, 1974) is an American author and freelance journalist.

Her book Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia, is a Pulitzer Prize nominated autobiographical account of her struggle with eating disorders, written when she was twenty-two. This is the book which originally brought attention to Hornbacher.[3] It has been translated into sixteen languages and sold over a million copies in the U.S.


  • Bibliography 1
  • Biography 2
  • Personal life 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Her first book was Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia (see above). This book was updated in May 2014 with a Post Script by Marya Hornbacher, "Hornbacher, an authority in the field of eating disorders, argues that recovery is not only possible, it is necessary. But the journey is not easy or guaranteed. With a new ending to her story that adds a contemporary edge, Wasted continues to be timely and relevant."[4]

Her second book is the critically praised 2005 novel, The Center of Winter, which follows a family in the aftermath of a suicide.

Her third book, published in April 2008, a memoir titled Madness: A Bipolar Life, chronicles the years following Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia when she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Her fourth book, published in 2010, is the recovery handbook Sane: Mental Illness, Addiction, and the Twelve Steps written as a guide to working the Twelve Steps for people who suffer from both addiction and mental illness.

Her fifth book, published in 2011, Waiting: A Nonbeliever's Higher Power, explores spirituality and what that can mean to someone recovering—from addiction, mental illness, or both—who does not believe in God.

Her second book, The Center of Winter, published in 2005, received excellent reviews, and her second memoir, Madness: A Bipolar Life, was published in 2008. It was met with immediate praise and hit the New York Times Bestseller list. Sane: Mental Illness, Addiction, and the 12 Steps, was published in 2010, and Waiting: A Nonbeliever's Higher Power was published in 2011. Both were finalists for the Books for Better Life Award. Also, within the past several years she has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize in both non-fiction and poetry.


Marya Hornbacher was born in Walnut Creek, California and raised in Edina, Minnesota. She is the only child of Jay and Judy Hornbacher, professional theatre actors and directors. When Hornbacher was fifteen years old, she was accepted into the prestigious arts boarding school Interlochen. She later enrolled in the University of Minnesota and started writing for the university's student newspaper The Minnesota Daily. In the fall of 1992, she entered college at American University in Washington D.C. She eventually obtained her degree in philosophy and poetics from the New College of California.

Personal life

Hornbacher married Julian Daniel Beard in 1996, but they divorced after the success of Wasted. The marriage, and eventual divorce, is also discussed in Madness where she attributes the nuptial failure in part to problems with drugs and alcohol, and largely to her ill-managed bi-polar disorder. Hornbacher then married Jeff Miller.

She has now been sober for more than ten years (since the summer of 2001, according to Madness). She was honored with a major award, the ASCAP Award for music journalism, for her profile of jazz great Oscar Peterson (published January 2005).[5] She is also a two-time Fellow at Yale. She still publishes occasional journalistic pieces, as well as short fiction and poetry.

As of 2014, Marya is working on several projects. She is currently working on a nonfiction book about sex and sexuality in literature. She is also completing a manuscript of poetry and a manuscript of essays and has a novel in the works. Along with her journalism and articles, she teaches in the graduate writing program at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.


  1. ^ Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
  2. ^ Madness: A Bipolar Life
  3. ^ Oo, Pauline (4 October 2011). "Pulitzer-nominated author offers insights on mental wellness". St. Catherine University. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  4. ^ "Wasted Updated Edition". 
  5. ^ News, ASU. "New York Times bestselling author Marya Hornbacher to speak Oct. 28". Appalachian State University. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 

External links

  • Marya Hornbacher's official site
  • "Rebecca" by Marya Hornbacher in "Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts" (26.1)
  • Poetry by Marya Hornbacher at Slush Pile Magazine
  • Fiction by Marya Hornbacher at Slush Pile Magazine