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  • Virago

Woman, Eating

Claire Kohda

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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

A stunning, literary twist on the vampire novel that covers race, social isolation, unrequited love and the struggle to care for ageing parents: 'Absolutely brilliant - tragic, funny, eccentric . . . Claire Kohda takes the vampire trope and makes it her own' Ruth Ozeki, Booker-shortlisted author of A Tale for the Time Being

'Absolutely brilliant - tragic, funny, eccentric . . . Claire Kohda takes the vampire trope and makes it her own' Ruth Ozeki, Booker-shortlisted author of A Tale for the Time Being

Lydia is hungry. She's always wanted to try sashimi, ramen, onigiri with sour plum stuffed inside - the food her Japanese father liked to eat. And then there is bubble tea 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 this. 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 people at the gallery she interns at, the strange men who follow her after dark, and Ben, a 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.

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.

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