Woman, Eating: A Literary Vampire Novel

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Media Archive, Novels, United Kingdom on 2022-04-14 22:10Z by Steven

Woman, Eating: A Literary Vampire Novel

HarperVia (an imprint of HarperCollins)
240 pages
5.5 x 0.85 x 8.25 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9780063140882
E-book ISBN: 9780063140905
Digital Audio, MP3 ISBN: 9780063140912

Claire Kohda

A young, mixed-race vampire must find a way to balance her deep-seated desire to live amongst humans with her incessant hunger in this stunning debut novel from a writer-to-watch.

Lydia is hungry. She’s always wanted to try Japanese food. Sashimi, ramen, onigiri with sour plum stuffed inside – the food her Japanese father liked to eat. And then there is bubble tea and iced-coffee, ice cream and cake, and foraged herbs and plants, and the vegetables grown by the other young artists at the London studio space she is secretly squatting in. But, Lydia can’t eat any of these things. Her body doesn’t work like those of other people. The only thing she can digest is blood, and it turns out that sourcing fresh pigs’ blood in London – where she is living away from her vampire mother for the first time – is much more difficult than she’d anticipated.

Then there are the humans – the other artists at the studio space, the people at the gallery she interns at, the strange men that follow her after dark, and Ben, a boyish, goofy-grinned artist she is developing feelings for. Lydia knows that they are her natural prey, but she can’t bring herself to feed on them. In her windowless studio, where she paints and studies the work of other artists, binge-watches Buffy the Vampire Slayer and videos of people eating food on YouTube and Instagram, Lydia considers her place in the world. She has many of the things humans wish for – perpetual youth, near-invulnerability, immortality – but she is miserable; she is lonely; and she is hungry – always hungry.

As Lydia develops as a woman and an artist, she will learn that 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 – if she is to find a way to exist in the world. Before any of this, however, she must eat.

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Woman, Eating by Claire Kohda review – millennial vampire tale with bite

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2022-03-15 21:57Z by Steven

Woman, Eating by Claire Kohda review – millennial vampire tale with bite

The Guardian

Lucy Popescu

Claire Kohda: ‘excellent at conveying Lydia’s alienation and sense of powerlessness’. Photograph: Misha Gafarova

This debut novel is a surefooted, art-filled and wholly 21st-century take on bloodsucking

Claire Kohda’s debut is memorable for the refreshing perspective of her conflicted heroine: a vampire of mixed ethnicity and recent art graduate. Lydia struggles to accept the demon inside her and yearns to love, live and eat like a human. Her father, a successful Japanese artist, died before she was born. Lydia has committed her mother, a Malaysian-English vampire in declining health, to a home in Margate and accepted an internship with a contemporary London gallery known as the Otter.

Woman, Eating opens with Lydia renting an artist’s studio in a converted biscuit factory. She’s shown around by the kind and friendly Ben, to whom she is immediately attracted. At the gallery, Lydia is given banal jobs cleaning labels off bottles and adding velvet pads to coat hangers in preparation for the next opening. Largely ignored by the staff, Lydia receives the unwanted attention of the director – cold, predatory Gideon – who, she learns, had collected her father’s art. He stands in the shadows observing her, unaware that, as a vampire, Lydia can see him in the dark and the blood coursing through his veins. One day, passing on the stairs, he gropes her buttock. It’s an act he’ll later regret…

Read the entire review here.

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