This study explores the subtle and complex significance of food and eating in contemporary women's fiction. Sarah Sceats reveals how preoccupations with food, its consumption and the body are central to the work of writers such as Doris Lessing, Angela Carter, Margaret Atwood, Michele Roberts and Alice Thomas Ellis. Through close analysis of their fiction, Sceats examines the multiple metaphors associated with these themes, making powerful connections between food and love, motherhood, sexual desire, self identity and social behaviour. The activities surrounding food and its consumption (or non-consumption) embrace both the most intimate and the most thoroughly public aspects of our lives. The book draws on psychoanalytical, feminist and sociological theory to engage with a diverse range of issues, including chapters on cannibalism and eating disorders. This lively study demonstrates that feeding and eating are not simply fundamental to life but are inseparable from questions of gender, power and control.
"Even a quick review of contemporary volumes on food and literary criticism reveals a sort of sheepish, amused treatment of the subject, as if it were to light a topic to explore in a really serious book. To Sceats's credit her study argues for the profound role played by fook and eating in most people's lives. The arguments are solid and sophisitcated, the writing clear, energetic, and engaging. Sure to interest a wide variety of readers, this volume is recommended for upper-division undergraduates and faculty." Choice