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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- 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


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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- 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.

19 review for Woman, Eating

  1. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    A sparsely written novel within the Sad Woman literary genre with a vampire twist. Unfortunately too sparse and distant for my tastes; I wish it had a stronger focus on the character’s mixed-race identity or relationship with her mother so that the narrative could be more compelling.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Riley

    i really think this is gonna be the type of book that a lot of people do not like so naturally i loved it. it's very much character driven, all vibes, no plot. but i loved being in the mind of a vampire trying to survive on her own for the first time and struggling with what is clearly an eating disorder. I thought vampires have been so over done there aren't original stories anymore but this was a very fascinating way to exploring being a vampire in a new and fresh way i really think this is gonna be the type of book that a lot of people do not like so naturally i loved it. it's very much character driven, all vibes, no plot. but i loved being in the mind of a vampire trying to survive on her own for the first time and struggling with what is clearly an eating disorder. I thought vampires have been so over done there aren't original stories anymore but this was a very fascinating way to exploring being a vampire in a new and fresh way

  3. 4 out of 5

    luce ❀ wishfully reading ❀

    ❀ blog ❀ thestorygraph ❀ letterboxd ❀ tumblr ❀ ko-fi ❀ “I feel like giving up, lying down on this wall and closing my eyes and just doing nothing – not bothering to try to fit into the human world, not bothering to make friends and art, not bothering to source blood and feed myself.” Woman, Eating is a great example of a good concept being let down by a rather lacklustre execution…it lacked bite (ba dum tss). “I realised that demon is a subjective term, and the splitting of my identity between ❀ blog ❀ thestorygraph ❀ letterboxd ❀ tumblr ❀ ko-fi ❀ “I feel like giving up, lying down on this wall and closing my eyes and just doing nothing – not bothering to try to fit into the human world, not bothering to make friends and art, not bothering to source blood and feed myself.” Woman, Eating is a great example of a good concept being let down by a rather lacklustre execution…it lacked bite (ba dum tss). “I realised that demon is a subjective term, and the splitting of my identity between devil and god, between impure and pure, was something that my mum did to me rather than the reality of my existence.” Woman, Eating is yet another addition to what I have come to think of as the ‘sad, strange, miserable millennial’ subgenre. Kohda however does try to spice things up a bit by bringing into the mix vampirism: Lydia, our narrator, is in fact a vampire.Lydia is not doing so well. Her mother is a Malaysian/British vampire, her father was a human. Lydia grew up with her mother and knows very little about her father (other than that he was Japanese and a famous artist). Her mother hates what they are and has tried to instil this same self-hatred into Lydia. But now her mother is in a hospice and no longer remembers who and what they are.Lydia, alone for the first time in her life, moves into a studio space for young artists in London and begins working as an intern at an art gallery. In addition to navigating these new spaces and circumstances, Lydia has her hunger to preoccupy her. For some reason, she can’t find a way to get any pig blood and as the days go by she becomes increasingly hungry. She develops a sort of crush on Ben, a fellow artist in her building, but she isn’t sure whether it's because she’s starved (and wants him as a snack) or whether it’s something more genuine. She can’t seem to bring herself to produce any more art and at the gallery is either mistreated or ignored. Worse still, the director of the gallery, Gideon, is also giving her some serious creepy predatory vibes.Lydia is fascinated by human food and spends a lot of her time watching mukbangs, reading food recipes, and wondering how different food tastes. She reflects on her nature, if she has any of her father’s humanity or whether her mother is right and they are monsters. Her vampirism, which leads her to be obsessed with and averse towards human food, does read like a metaphor for an eating disorder. And the vampire trope does indeed lend itself to exploring alienation, as well as things such as EDs.In an interview, Anne Rice described ‘the vampire’ as being ‘outside of life’, thus ‘the greatest metaphor for the outsider in all of us’. And Lydia struggles with her otherness, interrogating her own monstrosity and humanity. Additionally, Lydia is experiencing the fears and doubts that many people in their 20s do: what do you want to do with your life? What kind of job do you want? Where do you want to live? Are the things you want even an option to you? Lydia’s mixed ethnic heritage further exacerbates her sense of being ‘other’. Kohda addresses the kind of stereotypes and assumptions people make about those of whom are of East Asian descent. For example, a fellow artist in her building, and coincidentally Ben’s girlfriend, points out that because she’s Japanese people assume her work is ‘delicate’ (even when it is anything but). I would have actually liked more conversation on art than what we were given but still there are some thoughtful asides on modern art.Lydia spends most of her narrative in a state of misery. Her self-hatred and hunger occupy her every thought…until she finds something (or something) to eat.This was a relatable if depressing read. While a lot of other books from this ‘disconnected young women’ literary trend are characterized by a wry sense of humor, Lydia’s narration is devoid of any lightness. Her narration is unrelentingly miserable. This made her interior monologue, which makes up the majority of the novel, a bit of a chore to read through. Her navel-gazing was dreary and I often found myself losing interest in her introspections. The narrative felt oppressive, which in some ways does mirror Lydia’s lonely existence but it also makes her story repetitive. There were only three recognizable side characters, the others being little more than names on a page, and they all felt vague. Lydia’s mother was perhaps the most interesting figure but she mostly appears in flashbacks where she is preaching about their monstrosity and the danger of being discovered. Ben was a generic boy who came across as an only half-formed character (he only said things along the lines of "i don't know.."). The gallery director…I appreciated how the author is able to articulate that specific type of unease (of an older man, possibly your colleague or superior, being ‘off’ towards you) that I am sure many young women (sadly) know. But then the role he plays was somewhat forgettable? He is there, to begin with, and then fades into the background only to appear at the very end. The storyline lacked focus. It meandered without any clear direction. And this can work if your narrator is engaging or compelling enough but Lydia wasn’t. She was pitiable but pitying a character has never made me feel inclined to ‘read’ on to find out what happens to them.Still, the author’s prose was fairly solid and certain passages even reminded of Hilary Leichter and Sayaka Murata (very matter of fact yet incredibly peculiar, especially when it comes to the 'body' or bodily functions: “My mum’s brain, which sits in a body just metres away from me now, must contain the memory of eating whole meals, of the feel of her body processing those meals, of tasting different flavours.” ).The way vampirism operates in this world is not clear-cut and I think that really suited this type of story. I did question whether pig blood would be truly so hard to get ahold of and why Lydia didn't try to get ahold of some other source of food sooner...This novel did not make for a satisfying meal. I never felt quite sure whether I liked what I was being offered and then once it was over I found that I was still hungry. While I liked certain elements and the central idea, the story, plotline, and characters were different shades of average. More than once I found myself thinking that Lydia's story would have been better suited to a shorter format (as opposed to a full-length novel). Still, even if this novel failed to leave a mark on me I look forward to whatever Kohda writes next.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Katie Colson

    It is well written and has such rich dark academia vibes. So much so that I felt excluded from the narrative. The talk of ✨art✨ is beyond me. I don’t understand or want to understand the artistic discussions being had in this book.I want blood sucking. I want SOMETHING paranormal but instead I'm getting a vampire reading other people's grocery lists and longing to be human. While I understand that, the book is 230 pages. We didn't need 220 of them to be the internal monologue of a 'literary sad It is well written and has such rich dark academia vibes. So much so that I felt excluded from the narrative. The talk of ✨art✨ is beyond me. I don’t understand or want to understand the artistic discussions being had in this book.I want blood sucking. I want SOMETHING paranormal but instead I'm getting a vampire reading other people's grocery lists and longing to be human. While I understand that, the book is 230 pages. We didn't need 220 of them to be the internal monologue of a 'literary sad girl'.This is a character study and I wish I had known that going in because it would have leveled my expectations. But, as it is, I was bored.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sunny

    3.5 stars. 🐖🩸🧛‍♀️🎨🐶 unsettling, viscerally disgusting

  6. 4 out of 5

    fatma

    Depressed Woman literary fiction, except the woman in question happens to be a vampire. I thought this was a really interesting novel, sparsely written, and with a lot of insights on eating and hunger and alienation--but that's exactly it: it never went beyond interesting for me. The ideas were there, but I just never felt in any way emotionally invested in or moved by this story. Depressed Woman literary fiction, except the woman in question happens to be a vampire. I thought this was a really interesting novel, sparsely written, and with a lot of insights on eating and hunger and alienation--but that's exactly it: it never went beyond interesting for me. The ideas were there, but I just never felt in any way emotionally invested in or moved by this story.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ellis

    Millenial ennui but make it vampire.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nina The Wandering Reader

    WOMAN, EATING by Claire Kohda is a story of a young woman who’s half Japanese, half vampire and it not only met a lot of my expectations, but also made me really hungry! Lydia is making her way in the world for the first time without her vampire mother who’s been put in a home. She’s twenty-three, an art school graduate, new to London, and always hungry. She’s used to a strict diet of pig’s blood, having never once sunk her teeth into human flesh and unable to digest human foods. She wishes she WOMAN, EATING by Claire Kohda is a story of a young woman who’s half Japanese, half vampire and it not only met a lot of my expectations, but also made me really hungry! Lydia is making her way in the world for the first time without her vampire mother who’s been put in a home. She’s twenty-three, an art school graduate, new to London, and always hungry. She’s used to a strict diet of pig’s blood, having never once sunk her teeth into human flesh and unable to digest human foods. She wishes she could eat the foods her father used to eat—sushi, ramen, sashimi. In fact, one of the things she loves about fully human people is how their food makes up a part of who they are. And so when she’s not binge-watching episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, she’s hours deep into YouTube videos of people eating food. She wonders if being a vampire inherently makes her a bad person and there’s a cute boy she likes but also wants to eat. Basically she’s got it rough in spite of her immortality and eternal youth. I picked up this book hoping Lydia would be predatory and vicious (because I love my bloodshed) but instead, she’s awkward, yearning, lonely, insightful, and sweet. I just wanted to hug her. This is a book about a young woman’s desire and appetite, about race and self-love, about wanting to belong while feeling stuck in the middle. Pick this one up if you’re looking for books that give an appreciation for food and art, or if you’re on the search for paranormal fiction centering a mixed-race vampire written by an Asian author!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bandit

    Most vampire fiction gets vampires wrong. Or at least, it creates vampires I don’t care for or about, glamorous nihilists drunk on decadence or brooding forever-teens. And so, it’s always a pleasure and sometimes an event when someone gets vampires right. And this book came tantalizingly close. Its protagonist, Lydia, a 23-year-old woman freshly on her own after spending all of her life with an oppressive and mean mother, it trying to find her way in the world and, mostly, just trying to eat. Th Most vampire fiction gets vampires wrong. Or at least, it creates vampires I don’t care for or about, glamorous nihilists drunk on decadence or brooding forever-teens. And so, it’s always a pleasure and sometimes an event when someone gets vampires right. And this book came tantalizingly close. Its protagonist, Lydia, a 23-year-old woman freshly on her own after spending all of her life with an oppressive and mean mother, it trying to find her way in the world and, mostly, just trying to eat. The title…it’s apt. Lydia’s mom is a self-loathing vampire, a quality she tried to instill in her daughter, referring to themselves as demons, unworthy, etc. There’s no logical explanation to how her mother was able to get pregnant with her (by a regular, non-vampire father) and have a child and then turn the child into a vampire as a baby and have her grow to adulthood…that’s just kinda there for you to suspend your disbelief and go along with. But now that Lydia’s 23, she is done growing, she just needs blood to sustain her life. The thing is…her mother raised her on animal blood they’d get from a local butcher, but now that avenue is closed, and Lydia can’t line up a new supply and so she’s hungry. Terribly, terribly hungry. She’s also trying to set up a new life for herself, by renting an art studio she also sleeps in, making new friends in the building and working an internship at a trendy gallery with a creep for an owner. So, in a way it’s a coming-of-age story too. An aspect that easily overshadows the vampire thing. Lamentably so, because reading about a character with a very unusual set of personal challenges is considerably more interesting than reading about a Gen Z artist trying to make her way through life. The latter is practically New Adult or at least very hipstery and the entire production is certainly very hip, but it stretches itself thin with insubstantiality, much like Lydia’s attempts at abetting her appetites with powdered blood. This would have made a dynamic novella, as a novel, even a relatively short one, it leaves something to be desired. There’s too much concentration on the awkward romantic subplot with an awkward romantic lead who speaks in unfinished sentences. There’s a MeToo workplace situation nod. But overall, the novel seems to skirt its most fascinating aspects in favor of the quotidian ones. It’s a nicely written book, especially for a debut, original and has a great ending, but it’s also young in slightly emo, Twilight generation way. So, something of a mixed bag, but at least a quick read. Thanks Netgalley.This and more at https://advancetheplot.weebly.com/

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bernie

    All vibes, no plot. Definitely wont be for everyone, but personally, i loved it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    маја

    i liked it i just wasn't blown away by it, i think if you like sad women fiction and you're curious about how a literary vampire novel is executed you should definitely check this out i liked it i just wasn't blown away by it, i think if you like sad women fiction and you're curious about how a literary vampire novel is executed you should definitely check this out

  12. 4 out of 5

    mesal

    Read my full blog review here!Woman, Eating was great. Both on an allegorical level and a very literal one: Lydia's life as a vampire unable to eat what she wants most—human food—and subsequently denying herself blood can be seen as a not-so-subtle commentary on eating disorders; her mother's whole existence can be replaced with the concept of Lydia's insecurities about herself and her place in society, because her mother is the root of these insecurities and also interchangeable with them, at l Read my full blog review here!Woman, Eating was great. Both on an allegorical level and a very literal one: Lydia's life as a vampire unable to eat what she wants most—human food—and subsequently denying herself blood can be seen as a not-so-subtle commentary on eating disorders; her mother's whole existence can be replaced with the concept of Lydia's insecurities about herself and her place in society, because her mother is the root of these insecurities and also interchangeable with them, at least in Lydia's eyes. If one reads the story as it is, though, it's still engaging. As a Gen Z vampire, Lydia resorts to YouTube and Instagram to watch people eat food in lieu of eating it herself; when she's in a mood, she ignores all texts and phone calls in order to binge Buffy The Vampire Slayer on her laptop. Despite being a supernatural creature, she's true to life, and true to our lives in the contemporary digital age. Although technology in fiction sometimes seems to take away from the vibrancy of a more "natural" life, so to speak, in this novel it fit seamlessly.Pacing-wise, this novel is pretty slow until it suddenly isn't. That's not a bad thing, at least in my opinion: the pacing reflects Lydia's own internal struggles with her identity, and when she finally figures things out, she makes decisions in rapid succession, because her fears have now been alleviated. She's pretty fun to follow around in her life between her studio and the Otter, an art gallery where she's completing an internship; her sudden impatience whenever her mother is mentioned allows the reader insight into why she avoids meeting her as much as possible.Kohda explores a lot of heavy topics in her debut: identity, colonialism, the female appetite, vapidity in the art scene. While done meticulously and impressively, she sometimes falls into the habit of over-explaining the thought process behind her words:In the photo accompanying the article, artwork from what looks like all over the world is spread across the floor, on the walls, even hanging from the ceiling. In the centre of it all is Gideon, sitting on a wooden chair that looks like a throne. Pretty imagery, but a bit too obvious: we already know Gideon's associations with colonialism in the form of stealing artwork from various countries. The reader doesn't have to be told (again) that he's associated with colonialism in the form of stealing artwork from various countries. (This is what reading that quote felt like.)Still a great read, though, and one I'd easily give five stars. I'd also highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading both vampire novels and literary fiction—not just one, because this blend of the two won't be to everyone's taste.Thank you to NetGalley as well as Little, Brown Book Group for providing me with an eARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    m.

    eARC provided by Netgalley in exhange for an honest review. Woman, Eating is the book to read if you want an example of completely wasted potential. We follow our protagonist, Lydia, around the city as she begins an art internship under an infamous so-called "art advocate", where she moves into a studio shared by multiple other young artists and cautiously enters a complicated relationship with a boy named Ben. But she's also a vampire, slowly descending into hunger as she struggles to find a eARC provided by Netgalley in exhange for an honest review. Woman, Eating is the book to read if you want an example of completely wasted potential. We follow our protagonist, Lydia, around the city as she begins an art internship under an infamous so-called "art advocate", where she moves into a studio shared by multiple other young artists and cautiously enters a complicated relationship with a boy named Ben. But she's also a vampire, slowly descending into hunger as she struggles to find animal blood to feed from. Woman, Eating should've been a great addition to the rising genre of Sad Woman, with all the necessary traits that could have warranted it a high standing alongside with some of my favorites, such as A Certain Hunger, The Pisces, Strange Weather In Tokyo and My Year of Rest and Relaxation. All the books I mentioned follow the same concept—a depressed woman, living her life while a complicated relationship/desire/urge connects her inner longing to a current event unfolding in her life. But while all the others managed to fulfill expectations laid by its synopsis and follow a clean, well-written storyline, Kohda failed to materialize into words any idea she could've held in her head.The best way I can describe this book is surface level. Kohda constantly teases interesting conversations, but when the trap is set, she immeditely moves back into the comfortable blandness of the narrador's inner monologue. Lydia is a passive, forgettable character, and since the beginning I found myself unable to root for her. Even when she did questionable things, I was unable to even hate her, I just didn't care where she ended up. As for the side characters, even with their minimal page time, left me curious to know more. Anju in particular was a very interesting character that was swept under the rug in favor of an unoriginal plotline centering a white man.I will admit, the last chapter was surprisingly Fleabag esque, and I actually enjoyed the puppet storyline, but even the big climax failed to impress after so many pages of bleak prose and even bleaker character work.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ashley (ashley's little library)

    Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC of this book! I am obsessed with this lonely, sad girl, artist vampire! This is definitely more of a “character study” and it falls into the “literary sad girl” genre that’s all the buzz right now, so make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into.This story reminds me a lot of how I feel watching an A24 film - hypnotized, mildly uncertain, and questionably satisfied by the end. If you like the works of Ottessa Moshfegh or perhaps Sally Roon Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC of this book! I am obsessed with this lonely, sad girl, artist vampire! This is definitely more of a “character study” and it falls into the “literary sad girl” genre that’s all the buzz right now, so make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into.This story reminds me a lot of how I feel watching an A24 film - hypnotized, mildly uncertain, and questionably satisfied by the end. If you like the works of Ottessa Moshfegh or perhaps Sally Rooney, this may be for you.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    TITLE: Woman Eating AUTHOR: Claire Khoda PUB DATE: 04.12.2022 Now AvailableREVIEW:Read. This. Book.One of the most unique stories I have read. Woman Eating is about Lydia. She is 23, half Japanese and half Malaysian, and a Vampire, turned by her mother when she was a baby. Lydia is hungry and has an insatiable appetite. She longs for Japanese food, perhaps in order to be human just like her father, and craves for life, for acceptance, for friendships, and so many more! In this character driven s TITLE: Woman Eating AUTHOR: Claire Khoda PUB DATE: 04.12.2022 Now AvailableREVIEW:Read. This. Book.One of the most unique stories I have read. Woman Eating is about Lydia. She is 23, half Japanese and half Malaysian, and a Vampire, turned by her mother when she was a baby. Lydia is hungry and has an insatiable appetite. She longs for Japanese food, perhaps in order to be human just like her father, and craves for life, for acceptance, for friendships, and so many more! In this character driven story, Woman Eating explores themes that many will find timely that address identity, racism, acceptance, and independence in this coming of age story. Wonderfully written.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Chris DiFazio

    Incredibly weird and good and probably the best vampire story I've ever read. Incredibly weird and good and probably the best vampire story I've ever read.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rosamund Taylor

    Like many young people, Lydia is struggling to find her feet. She's an artist who can only afford to sleep on a yoga mat in her studio space, and she's doing an internship where she's forced to defer to rich and spoiled people who don't care about her well-being. But Lydia is also different, because she's a vampire. Her Japanese father died before she was born, and her Malaysian mother turned Lydia into a vampire when she was a baby. Lydia grows into an adult, but her body can never change after Like many young people, Lydia is struggling to find her feet. She's an artist who can only afford to sleep on a yoga mat in her studio space, and she's doing an internship where she's forced to defer to rich and spoiled people who don't care about her well-being. But Lydia is also different, because she's a vampire. Her Japanese father died before she was born, and her Malaysian mother turned Lydia into a vampire when she was a baby. Lydia grows into an adult, but her body can never change after that. This is a strange book: it's written in the first-person, present-tense style so common in recent novels by new writers, and the writing, while clear, is bland and not very memorable. This seemed at odds with the subject matter of the book, which is full of descriptions of blood, and is a strange and compelling meditation on food, racism, immortality, childhood abuse, and being a vampire. Through vampirism, Claire Kohda looks at our relationship with consumption, and the perils of trying to eke out a living under late capitalism. This book might have only been a three-star read for me, but, though the ending is a little rushed, it really pulls the story together. I very much enjoyed reading the ways in which Lydia embraced herself, and got revenge on those who hurt her. There are definitely some problems with this narrative, including too many threads left unresolved, and a bland prose style, but it is original in many ways, and a very fresh take on the vampire story.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ingerlisa

    Although I was intrigued, enjoyed the characters and the fresh take on vampirism in a Gen Z world I wasn't very satisfied with the way it ended. I felt like it touched on a lot of different discussions yet never fully delved further than surface level sadly. Although I was intrigued, enjoyed the characters and the fresh take on vampirism in a Gen Z world I wasn't very satisfied with the way it ended. I felt like it touched on a lot of different discussions yet never fully delved further than surface level sadly.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

    Reminder: I don't give stars because they're dumb and badLydia, the titular woman, is consumed with eating. She imagines eating, pantomimes eating, watches others eat, and thinks about eating almost every moment of every day. Lydia does not eat, not much, because Lydia is also a vampire.Woman, Eating is a rare book title that contains a comma, and just as that comma is caught between two words, our narrator, Lydia, is caught between two worlds. She is human, she is vampire. She is Japanese, she Reminder: I don't give stars because they're dumb and badLydia, the titular woman, is consumed with eating. She imagines eating, pantomimes eating, watches others eat, and thinks about eating almost every moment of every day. Lydia does not eat, not much, because Lydia is also a vampire.Woman, Eating is a rare book title that contains a comma, and just as that comma is caught between two words, our narrator, Lydia, is caught between two worlds. She is human, she is vampire. She is Japanese, she is British. She is a college graduate who has yet to commit to any specific career. She also has no home because she has lost her childhood house when she put her mom, also a vampire, in an assisted living facility. This book feels a lot like My Year of Rest and Relaxation in that not much happens outside of the narrator's head (at least until the end). Also like MYoRaR, this narrator obsesses over what she does or does not put in her body, and like MYoRaR, the narrator is grieving heavily, while not acknowledging her own loss. Claire Kohda is a gorgeous writer, and this debut novel contains sentences of simply heartbreaking beauty. Moreover, Kohda handily evokes that weird world-weary newness of being a young adult, the world so open to you that you are paralyzed by choice. That said, the mother character gets dropped like second-period French, and I would have liked a little more resolution for the main character, regardless of which direction she decided to go.I liked Woman, Eating a lot, and I'll definitely keep a lookout for what Kohda writes in the future.

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