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 novel The Pisces, the essay collection So Sad Today and four poetry collections, including Last Sext. She has written for The New York Times, Elle.com, VICE, Vogue Italia, and New York magazine's "The Cut." Her poems have appeared in POETRY, The Iowa Review, Tin House, and Guernica, and she is the winner of a Pushcart Prize for poetry. She lives in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter @SoSadToday and @MelissaBroder and Instagram @RealMelissaBroder.
"An erotic, singular experience that could only come from Broder's mind... brimming with tension, and food, and fantasies." - Isaac Fitzgerald, The Today Show
"Hilarious, lush and sorrowful...the short, tart, candid chapters are like snacks, and the reader cannot help but reach for another until it is gone...This work is unafraid of vulnerability, and appetite, and loss." - Jackie Thomas-Kennedy, The Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Captivating...delicious and depraved...a ruthless, laugh-out-loud examination of life under the tyranny of diet culture... You will eat this up, run to buy a copy for a friend, and realize with a sigh that every one of your friends needs this book in her life." - Glamour
"A delectable exploration of physical and emotional hunger... combines Broder's singular style with adventures of the calorie- and climax-filled kind, sumptuous fillings surrounded by perfectly baked plot." - Bethanne Patrick, The Washington Post
"Profoundly sexy yet deeply sad... Milk Fed gathers strands of faith, hunger, queerness, lust, and loneliness and braids them into a fully risen challah of human experience." - Emma Specter, Vogue
"Outstanding . . . a bold and luscious story of desire in all its forms--for food, for sex, for belonging. . . . Rarely has the fraught intersection of pleasure, appetite, and diet culture been written about so deliciously as in Milk Fed." - Esquire
"Anything by Melissa Broder is an immediate must-read... a precise blend of desire, discomfort, spirituality, and existential ache makes Broder's depiction of the human experience so canny." - Arianna Rebolini, Buzzfeed
"A thrilling examination of hunger, desire, faith, family and love." - Time Magazine
"Bravely questions the particularly female lionization of thin and loathing of fat, landing on fresh explanations...deliciously droll... a celebration of bodily liberation." - The New York Times
"Dangerously delicious and utterly idiosyncratic, Milk Fed is the honest, compelling convergence of diet culture, religion, and sex that we've been craving." - Marie Claire
"Clever, thoughtful, and erotic." - Bust
"A Freudian fable of sorts, one that is hilarious, self-deprecating and full of Broder's signature profligate brilliance. This visceral and transporting portrait of self-denial and its twin, excess, sheds light on the psychology underpinning the American obsession with weight. Daring, chaotic and pleasingly heretical, Milk Fed is the work of a total pro." - Emma Levy, Shelf Awareness
"If you're going to read one book this February, make it this one... Milk Fed is brutally funny, poetic, and at times, totally bizarre...Broder writes with the kind of unfiltered honesty that lives deep inside of us" - Gina Vaynshteyn, Apartment Therapy
"A delicious new novel that ravishes with sex and food... Broder has a rare ability to ground her fantasy in reality without undermining her imaginative vision, making it feel personal and raw and relatable... with humanity, sardonic wit, and erotic scenes so potent that the heat of my blushing face made my NYC-apartment radiator's seem tepid, Milk-Fed vividly evokes the lives of each woman, so that we're fully invested in them." - Kera Bolonik, Boston Globe
"A romp... a pageant of bodily juices and exploratory fingers and moan after moan of delight... [from] a wild, wicked mind." - Hillary Kelly, The Los Angeles Times
"Explores hunger in all its permutations through the eyes of Rachel, who begins a romance with a woman who works at the frozen yogurt shop she frequents. As their relationship deepens, so does Rachel's capacity for nourishment and pleasure, bodily and spiritually." - The New York Times
"A revelation...Melissa Broder has produced one of the strangest and sexiest novels of the new year...exhilarating." - Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly
"Deeply hilarious and embarrassingly relatable." - Samantha Irby, author of Wow, No Thank You
"Only Melissa Broder could dig into our obsessions, the ways our parents have ruined us, and blossoming queer love with such a bold panache." - Lit Hub
"Few writers so innately understand or better capture the endless, palpable hunger that so many people carry around with them, day after day. This hunger is for food, for sex, for love, for compassion, for understanding, and it is this kind of ravenous appetite that Broder explores in her exultant new novel... riotously funny and perfectly profane." - Refinery 29
"A dizzily compelling story of love, lust, addiction, faith, maternal longing, and...frozen yogurt... Broder's sex writing is, as always, first-rate, but perhaps even more striking is her ability to lay bare the frantic interior calculus of disordered eating alongside the hypnotic pull of spirituality." - Vogue
"Bold, wry, and delightfully dirty... Broder is a formidable writer. She captures all the sticky sweetness, the pleasurable tensions between yearning and satiation... a sad, funny romp about learning to let yourself want what you want." - Kirkus
"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." - Booklist