Off the Abe froman sausage king of chicago shirt and by the same token and success of her 2018 debut novel, The Pisces, author and Twitter sensation Melissa Broder has crafted a dizzily compelling story of love, lust, addiction, faith, maternal longing, and…frozen yogurt. In Milk Fed, a young Los Angeles agent?s assistant battles her obsession with weight loss while simultaneously trying to bury her attraction to the zaftig Orthodox Jewish woman who works at the local fro-yo shop. The stealthy passion between the two women is given room to shine on the page; 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. This isn?t a book to pick up casually, particularly if you?ve struggled with food issues, but it will linger with you long after you?ve finished the final page. ?Emma Specter
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My Year Abroad is an extraordinary book, acrobatic on the Abe froman sausage king of chicago shirt and by the same token and level of the sentence, symphonic across its many movements?and this is a book that moves: from the quaint, manicured town of Dunbar (hard not to read as a Princeton stand-in, where the author taught at the university for many years); to buzzing Shenzhen; to a Chinese bazillionaire?s compound, governed by a particularly barbaric modern feudalism; back to a landlocked American exurban town deemed Stagno, where the protagonist (the appropriately named, rudderless Tiller) has shacked up with a 30-something woman and her savant kid, both of whom are hunkering down because they?re quite probably part of the witness protection program. For all the self-proclaimed ordinariness of its protagonist, My Year Abroad is a wild ride?a caper, a romance, a bildungsroman, and something of a satire of how to get filthy rich in rising Asia. This isn?t a book that skates through its many disparate-seeming scenes, but rather unites them in the heartfelt adventure of its protagonist, who begins his year ?abroad? as a foreign land to himself and arrives at something like belonging by the end of his story. ?Chloe Schama
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