Woman, Eating is a novel about hunger and trying to live on your own, as a vampire adjusts to living without her mother and looks for artistic direction. Lydia has been a vampire since she was a baby, living with her mother in a reasonably regular life. But now her mother is in a care home and Lydia has an internship at a London gallery. The trouble is, she’s hungry, and what she needs isn’t what she wants.
This is a different take on the vampire novel, a literary vampire story that focuses on food and hunger, and being caught between worlds and cultures. Lydia’s vampire side keeps her away from her dead father by stopping her from trying Japanese food, and a lot of the focus of the novel is on the importance of eating, identity, and the in between. She is directionless, like a lot of young protagonists trying to find themselves, but partly because she cannot form connections, cannot envision her eternity.
The concept of a vampire enjoying what I eat in a day videos is an amazing one, and in general I really enjoyed the way this book explores vampires as being caught between worlds and also having difficulties, both relatable and not, forging a place in the modern world. The narrative doesn’t really go anywhere so it’s not one for someone expecting a plot, but instead it takes the directionless artsy millennial trope and gives it a different angle.