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, Michèle 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.
• Offers lively, authorative and accessible analysis of a very topical subject • Focuses on pre-eminent writers - Doris Lessing, Angela Carter, Margaret Atwood, Michele Roberts, Alice Thomas Ellis • Draws together a range of perspectives - literary, psychoanalytic, sociological
Introduction; 1. The food of love: mothering, feeding, eating and desire; 2. Cannibalism and Carter: fantasies of omnipotence; 3. Eating, starving and the body: Doris Lessing and others; 4. Sharp appetites: Margaret Atwood's consuming politics; 5. Food and manners: Roberts and Ellis; 6. Social eating: identity, communion and difference; Conclusion.