Woman, Eating (Paperback)Claire Kohda (author)
Following Lydia, a young gallery intern in London who can only digest human blood, Woman, Eating puts a deliciously fresh spin on a vampire narrative, while mining serious themes of race, misogyny and body image with pitch-perfect subtlety.
Lydia is hungry. She's always wanted to try sashimi and ramen, onigiri and udon - the food her Japanese father liked to eat - but the only thing she can digest is blood. Yet Lydia can't bring herself to prey on humans, and sourcing fresh pigs' blood in London - where she is living away from her Malaysian-British mother for the first time and trying to build a career as an artist - is much more difficult than she'd anticipated.
If Lydia is to find a way to exist in the world, she must reconcile the conflicts within her - between her demon and human sides, her mixed ethnic heritage and her relationship with food, and, in turn, humans. Before any of this, however, she must eat.
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 200 g
Dimensions: 196 x 126 x 18 mm
Absolutely brilliant - tragic, funny, eccentric and so perfectly suited to this particularly weird time. Claire Kohda takes the vampire trope and makes it her own in a way that feels fresh and original. Serious issues of race, disability, misogyny, body image, sexual abuse are handled with subtlety, insight, and a lightness of touch. The spell this novel casts is so complete I feel utterly, and happily, bitten - Ruth Ozeki
Witty and thought-provoking - Stylist
Unsettling, sensual, subversive, Woman, Eating turns the vampire trope on its head with its startlingly original female protagonist, caught between two worlds. It is a profound meditation on alienation and appetite, and what it means to be a young woman who experiences life at an acute level of intensity and awareness. Claire Kohda's prose is biting, yet lush and gorgeous. I was uncomfortably smitten - Lisa Harding, author of Bright Burning Things
Blistering . . . Tells us a lot about the ways we're all searching for belonging - Glamour UK
A modern day vampire thriller that also covers race, social isolation, unrequited love and parental loyalty . . . Lydia battles not only her vampire hunger but also to find her place in the world - BBC
We've seen sexy vampires, scary vampires and psychic vampires, but never one quite like the one in this ambitious debut. Lydia is a twenty-three-year-old, mixed-race artist whose appetite can only be sated with a tall serving of blood. With wit and a poet's eye, Kohda examines cravings, desire and emptiness - New York Times
The most unusual, original and strikingly contemporary vampire novel to come along in years - Guardian
A vampire book that will scrub any trace of Twilight from your mind - Claire Kohda's debut follows a young vampire dealing with all kinds of hunger: for acceptance, for artistic success, and for sushi - Glamour US
A surefooted, art-filled and wholly 21st-century take on bloodsucking - Observer
Meaningful and illuminating.... The vampire novel has been done many ways, but Woman, Eating, Claire Kohda's intelligent and irreverent take, makes for an enjoyable read - Sunday Times
What Stoker did for the vampire at the end of the nineteenth century, Claire Kohda does for it in our own era - Times Literary Supplement
A playful debut that pumps fresh blood into the horror genre . . . [It] playfully revitalises a tired tradition, riffing on its clichés while delivering a gripping contemporary fable about embracing difference and satisfying hunger - The Times
The way food wends its way throughout this piece is such a fascinating way to explore hunger, various appetites, and even identity. I regret to inform you that this one's not out until the spring, but I believe it's well worth the preorder - Book Riot
Woman, Eating puts a deliciously fresh spin on a vampire narrative, while mining serious themes of race, misogyny and body image with pitch-perfect subtlety - Waterstones
Kohda makes clever use of her premise to explore weighty topics-including cultural alienation, disordered eating, emotional abuse, sexual assault, the stressors of navigating adulthood, and caring for an aging parent-with sensitivity. Lydia's achingly vulnerable first-person narration gains momentum as she achieves self-acceptance-and, ultimately, self-empowerment. Subversive and gratifying - Kirkus Reviews
A delicate, consistently surprising riff on the vampire narrative, and a stealthy, subversive story of one young woman's declaration of self - Library Journal (starred)
A delicious debut - Publishers Weekly
Woman, Eating is a long-overdue recalibration of the genre: a brilliant, subversive inquiry into the very politics of desire and denial, and a twisted testament to the depths of female appetite - Skinny
One of the most original vampire novels in ages, Claire Kohda's Woman, Eating follows Lydia, a British, Japanese and Malaysian vampire struggling to survive . . . Kohda has given Lydia a host of great vampire qualities, such as excellent night vision and an ability to experience the entire life of a creature by drinking its blood. But it's Kohda's exploration of Lydia's inner world, the pain and longing she feels as an outsider, that makes Woman, Eating such a delicious novel - New York Times Book Review
The chief trait that Lydia, the protagonist of this artful vampire novel, shares with monsters of old is hunger . . . As Lydia encounters new people, including a pleasant artist turned property manager, and a new boss, a man with more influence than decency, she comes to understand what it is to become something 'that is neither demon nor human' - New Yorker
Kohda has created a provocative, sympathetic and satisfying dive into the mind of an unusual young woman at a crossroads - Booklist
In this enjoyable debut novel, Kohda presents Lydia's thirst for blood as a tidy metaphor for more common cravings. The protagonist's discomfort with her condition comes across as quite realistic in what is essentially a coming-of-age novel. The author is particularly deft at illustrating how unacknowledged desire will out, undermining our best intentions - Arts Fuse
Lydia sees herself not as a coherent being but as a body where human and demon uneasily cohabit. Bloodthirst aside, this is a pretty effective encapsulation of what it means to be a person with free will. Unless we behave so atrociously as to destroy any chance of redemption, each of us is the site of a war between good and evil that will rage on for as long as we live - and that might remain unresolved by any legacy we leave. I mean, how bloody relatable is that? - TIME
Woman, Eating deals a lot with food, hunger, and Lydia's relationship to her body. But this novel also deals with spiritual nourishment, art, womanhood, shame, and identity . . . Kohda's prose will take you on a deep emotional journey. Trust me, this is not your average vampire story - it is a novel that displays the incredible breadth of what speculative fiction can show us about the human condition - Tor.com
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