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“This has it all: an eating disorder, mommy issues, frozen yogurt, sex, the spirit of Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel, and lots more. The detail Broder brings to this story of appetite (that of spirituality, sensuality, and food) is magnificent. You feel like you're under the neon lights of the kosher Chinese Polynesian American restaurant in the middle of LA, rooting for Rachel as she starts feeding herself in more ways than one. Let me assure you that it's not for everyone, with a big trigger warning and explicit sex scenes, but it could be for you. And, as the narrator, Broder brings Rachel's voice to life in her breezy, LA cool-girl tone that slides over her captivating prose.”Emily,
Third Place Books
“Titillating and hilarious, this book is Broder’s crowning achievement (so far). Calorie-obsessed Rachel is an unlikely but irresistible heroine, and when she meets Miriam at the yogurt shop, sparks (and sprinkles!) fly. Each must reckon with her Jewish identity as well as her heart’s deepest, lushest desires, while the intense scrutiny of the mother figure looms large. This story is unflinchingly honest, unexpectedly moving, and a brilliant checkmate to shame, both carnal and spiritual. I couldn’t put it down.”Kristen Iskandrian,
Thank You Books
“As someone who had an ED, this book was hard because it was so good. The author nails the absolute and total mindf***ery of eating disorders. About how it's a mold that eats at more than your body image or self esteem, but like, every facet of your being, twisting not just your relationships to food but also to people, work, and life.”Jenny,
Page 158 Books
Named a Best Book of the Year by Entertainment Weekly, Vogue, Time, Esquire, BookPage, and more
This darkly hilarious and “delicious new novel that ravishes with sex and food” (The Boston Globe) from the acclaimed author of The Pisces and So Sad Today is a “precise blend of desire, discomfort, spirituality, and existential ache” (BuzzFeed).
Rachel is twenty-four, a lapsed Jew who has made calorie restriction her religion. By day, she maintains an illusion of existential control, through obsessive food rituals, while working as an underling at a Los Angeles talent management agency. At night, she pedals nowhere on the elliptical machine. Rachel is content to carry on subsisting—until her therapist encourages her to take a ninety-day communication detox from her mother, who raised her in the tradition of calorie counting.
Rachel soon meets Miriam, a zaftig young Orthodox Jewish woman who works at her favorite frozen yogurt shop and is intent upon feeding her. Rachel is suddenly and powerfully entranced by Miriam—by her sundaes and her body, her faith and her family—and as the two grow closer, Rachel embarks on a journey marked by mirrors, mysticism, mothers, milk, and honey.
“A ruthless, laugh-out-loud examination of life under the tyranny of diet culture” (Glamour) Broder tells a tale of appetites: physical hunger, sexual desire, spiritual longing, and the ways that we compartmentalize these so often interdependent instincts. Milk Fed is “riotously funny and perfectly profane” (Refinery 29) from “a wild, wicked mind” (Los Angeles Times).
Melissa Broder is the author of the novels Milk Fed and The Pisces, the essay collection So Sad Today, and five poetry collections, including Superdoom. She has written for The New York Times, Elle, and New York magazine’s The Cut. She lives in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter @SoSadToday and @MelissaBroder and Instagram @RealMelissaBroder.