In Noche Triste (“Sad Night”), Robert Radin explores his struggles with anorexia in the 1980s. He also examines the history of self-starvation ― its roots in rituals of religious purification, its development into an entertainment craze, its use as a tool of resistance ― and, in the process, forces us to reconsider what it means to have anorexia. As his starving becomes an increasingly political act and he ventures to Mexico, alone, alienated from loved ones, we realize he’s in the grip of something dangerous that neither he, nor we, fully understand. Written in exquisite prose, Noche Triste is a devastating, revelatory chronicle of a complex illness.
Robert Radin is the director of citizenship and immigration services at a prominent social-service agency in Massachusetts.
His work has appeared in various publications and has been recognized in The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Essays.