“Fernanda Eberstadt is blessed with more gifts than any one writer should be [. . .] Her prose is exuberantly, obscenely rich.” —The Washington Post
Eberstadt explores the lives of outrageously brave men and women—saints, philosophers, artists—who have used their own wounded or stigmatized bodies to challenge society.
Bite Your Friends’ heroes include the ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes, who lived “a dog’s life” in the public square; early Christian martyrs Saints Perpetua and Felicitas; and such twentieth-century prophets of bodily freedom as filmmaker-poet Pier Paolo Pasolini and Michel Foucault. The book features interviews with the Russian punk feminist group Pussy Riot, and the political artist Piotr Pavlensky (who nailed his scrotum to the pavement of Red Square to protest Vladimir Putin’s tyranny).
Running through her narrative is Eberstadt’s own story and the story of her mother, a New York writer and 1960s glamour figure, whose illness-scarred body first led Eberstadt to seek the connections between beauty, belief, and the truths taught by bodily and psychic pain.
Fernanda Eberstadt was born in New York City in 1960. She graduated from Oxford University with a First Class Degree in English Language and Literature. She has published five novels and one non-fiction book about her friendship with a family of Rom musicians in Southern France. She writes cultural criticism for publications including The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, The London Review of Books, Vogue, Frieze, Salon, Granta, and Literary Hub, and is an editor at large for the European Review of Books. Her books have been translated into fourteen languages. She lives in France