Milk Fed

by Broder, Melissa

Format: Kindle Book 2021
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A Most-Anticipated Selection by Vogue * Refinery29 * Vulture * BuzzFeed * Harper's Bazaar * O, The Oprah Magazine * The Millions * Literary Hub * The Rumpus * Publishers Weekly and more A scathingly funny, wildly erotic, and fiercely imaginative story about food, sex, and god from the acclaimed author of The Pisces and So Sad Today.Rachel is twenty-four, a lapsed Jew who has made calorie restriction her religion. By day, she maintains an illusion of existential control, by way of 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. Early in the detox, Rachel 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. Pairing superlative emotional insight with unabashed vivid fantasy, Broder tells a tale of appetites: physical hunger, sexual desire, spiritual longing, and the ways that we as humans can compartmentalize these so often interdependent instincts. Milk Fed is a tender and riotously funny meditation on love, certitude, and the question of what we are all being fed, from one of our major writers on the psyche—both sacred and profane.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Twentysomething Rachel is basically a calorie-counting app in human form when readers first meet her. A funny one, though, as she also does stand-up. Rachel doesn't let her soulless work at an L.A. talent management agency get in the way of her meticulous meal planning, constant nicotine-gum chewing, and maniacal exercising. One fateful day, Rachel finds that the Orthodox Jewish boy who works at Yo!Good, the frozen yogurt shop she visits daily, has been replaced by his sister. Adiv knew to fill her yogurt cup just to the lip. But gorgeous Miriam, who "surpassed plump, eclipsed heavy," can't believe Rachel really wants her to stop there, and insists on making overflowing, topping-laden creations for her instead. So begins their sexy romance and an altogether seismic unlocking in Rachel, who's also undertaking a therapist-ordered 90-day detox from her mother. Welcomed into Miriam's warm family for Shabbat, Rachel accesses the Reform Judaism of her childhood with ease. But, as she suspected, there are rules. As in her terrific first novel, The Pisces (2018), spell-caster Broder guides readers through this seriously tender tale of transformation with seamless humor and staggering smarts: it contains multitudes. An empathic, enrapturing, unputdownable novel of faith, sex, love, and nurture.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Twitter star and prize-winning novelist Broder is in the fiction hot zone."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Broder (The Pisces) delivers a bittersweet and erotic account of a woman's intertwining relationship to food, her mother, and her sexuality. Rachel , a lapsed Jew who works at a Los Angeles talent management agency by day and does stand-up comedy by night, has suffered from anorexia since childhood. But things begin to change after her therapist suggests she take a 90-day communication detox from her overbearing and controlling mother, whose own relationship with eating and fatphobic comments have long contributed to Rachel's body image troubles. After Rachel meets Miriam, a food-loving Orthodox Jewish woman, and embarks on a passionate affair with her, Rachel breaks her self-imposed "Spartan regimen," rediscovers life's simple pleasures, and tries to figure out what will bring her true happiness. With luscious descriptions of delectable foods and fantastical romps through Rachel's imagination, the novel oscillates between serious and playful, obsessive and free, and explores the difficulties of loving oneself in a world that prizes thinness above all else. This poignant exploration of desire, religion, and daughterhood is hard to resist. Agent: Meredith Kaffel Simonoff, DeFiore & Co. (Feb.)"
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Additional Information
Subjects Literature
Humor (Fiction)
Publisher Scribner2021
Language English
ISBN 9781982142513