For fans of Sally Rooney's NORMAL PEOPLE: A sharply intelligent and intimate debut novel about a secret society of hungry young women who meet after dark and feast to reclaim their appetites--and their physical spaces--that posits the question: If you feed a starving woman, what will she grow into?
Roberta spends her life trying not to take up space. At almost thirty, she is adrift and alienated from life. Stuck in a mindless job and reluctant to pursue her passion for food, she suppresses her appetite and recedes to the corners of rooms. But when she meets Stevie, a spirited and effervescent artist, their intense friendship sparks a change in Roberta, a shift in her desire for more. Together, they invent the Supper Club, a transgressive and joyous collective of women who gather to celebrate, rather than admonish, their hungers. They gather after dark and feast until they are sick; they break into private buildings and leave carnage in their wake; they embrace their changing bodies; they stop apologizing. For these women, each extraordinary yet unfulfilled, the club is a way to explore, discover, and push the boundaries of the space they take up in the world. Yet as the club expands, growing in both size and rebellion, Roberta is forced to reconcile herself to the desire and vulnerabilities of the body--and the past she has worked so hard to repress. Devastatingly perceptive and savagely funny, Supper Club is an essential coming-of-age story for our times.
About the Author
Lara Williams is the author of the short story collection A Selfie as Big as the Ritz,and her writing has been featured in The Guardian, The Independent, Vice, the Times Literary Supplement, McSweeney's, and elsewhere. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and is featured in Best British Short Stories 2017. She writes and teaches creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. She lives in Manchester, England.
One of: Real Simple's "Best Books of 2019 (So Far)" USA Today's "New & Noteworthy" Picks Vulture's “12 Books We Can't Wait to Read This Summer” TIME's "6 New Fiction Books You Should Read in July" Forbes's "10 Summer Book Recommendations" PureWow's "8 Books We Can't Wait to Read in July" Domino's "What to Read This Summer"
"[Williams] decants her first novel into flights, like wine....Confer[s] dignity on the small, quotidian self-adjustments that women are always making in order to survive....This is one of Williams's strengths: an exquisite patience with the emerging texture of emotion. As a stylist, she is subtle and superbly attentive....But where Williams truly shines is, if you'll forgive me, in the kitchen. The food in the book eats you. (It literally changed my dinner plans.)...These interludes perfume the narrative, like aromatics in a stock, imparting a depth of flavor that resurfaces stylishly when you least expect it."—The New York Times Book Review
"The conceit of [Supper Club] is a bold and aggressively indelicate one that challenges society's expectations of women's appetites — for food, sex, pleasure, all of it...Delectable...Bursting with deep meditations on the lives of women and how they're shaped and distorted by men who are careless, monstrous and all points in between...Supper Club fascinates as an unflinching embrace of women and their many appetites and smashes the patriarchy with heaping plates of pasta."—USA Today
"[A] deliciously anarchic first novel about an ever-growing group of women who gather to indulge in the hedonistic freedom of acting unladylike. Topless feasts and Prosecco-soaked dancing abound."—O, The Oprah Magazine
"Williams explores the complex relationship many women have with their deepest desires."—TIME
“Lara Williams's debut...will leave you panting and ravenous....In its unselfconscious splendor, [Supper Club] tackles age-old questions about the female form with a delightfully 21st-century voice.”—Vulture
"A wholly original look at literal and figurative hunger, femal friendship, and finding yourself."—Real Simple
“Like Fight Club but with food…Morphs into something that is less about food and more about rebellion and power and all the desires women have suppressed for so, so long.”—Bustle
“Supper Club will speak to parts of you that you didn’t know were yearning. A thought-provoking read that will make you hungry for Roberta’s cooking and more of Williams’ insights on women at crossroads.”—Refinery29 “You’ll want to feast on this book.…It’s truly that delicious.”—Cosmopolitan “Supper Club is the ravenous read we all need…A darkly funny coming-of-age story like no other.”—Read It Forward
“There's no other book to read this month than Lara Williams' debut, in which two women start an underground supper club devoted to indulging all sorts of earthly desires. For reading while eating in the bath, and licking your lips.”—LitHub
"[An] assured debut...Williams wields her svelte poetic prose like a knife....Supper Club is a love letter to those friends, both retained and lost, who have an irrevocable influence on who we are and how we understand ourselves....It is also a provocation to demand more, a challenge to hold each other to account, and an enticement to celebrate the vibrancy of women’s lives with the raucous abandon they deserve. It’s the country fairy tale: biting the apple brought wisdom and confidence, not a loss of consciousness. No prince necessary.” —Women's Review of Books
"Funny, astute and timely, this novel is as satisfying as a great meal with friends."—Elle (UK)
“A celebration of female power and friendship, with some wonderful food writing, this is darkly delicious.”—The Sunday Mirror (UK)
“Like Conversations with Friends...[A] smart, zeitgeisty, but genuinely affecting, coming-of-age tale.”—The Daily Mail (UK)
“[A] delicious first novel...Mixing together insights about food and friendship, hunger and happiness, and the space women allot themselves in the world today, Williams writes with warmth, wit, and wisdom, serving up distinctive characters and a delectably unusual story. [Supper Club] will satisfy your craving for terrific writing and leave you hungry for more from this talented writer.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“[An] engrossing, rollicking tale...William's humorous and candid exploration of a woman on the verge of finding herself makes for an enthralling novel.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Poignant... An homage to female rage and the bonds of friendship, [Supper Club] will entice readers like a gourmet feast and leave them just as satisfied.”—Library Journal
“[Williams is] a keen chronicler of contemporary women’s lives; her sly, perceptive first novel...offers food for thought on the sorts of love (and sorts of women) that society doesn’t accommodate....Dive right into the soothing-cooking-show-meets-Fight-Club-concept.”—Booklist
"For fans of Ottessa Moshfegh, this book spans a decade and is a story of identity and finding your place in the world."—She Reads “Supper Club is outrageously good—an exploration of female appetites and friendships that is dark, funny, and joyful. From the first page to the last, it's a delight.”—Sophie Mackintosh, author of The Water Cure
“Supper Club is a genuine pleasure to read.”—Jami Attenberg, author of The Middlesteins and All Grown Up
“A visceral and dangerous celebration of feminine appetite and agency. Dark, vivid and infinitely compelling, Williams boldly explores what happens when women dare to cross lines and take up space with their bodies, the hungers and delights to be found in transgression, and the anger and pain we are afraid to claim.”—Mona Awad, author of Bunny and 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl
“A bacchanalian homage to women's rage and the healing balm of female friendship, Supper Club is an enticing feast for the heart and mind.”—Courtney Maum, author of Touch and I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You
“I ADORED Supper Club. It's the most visceral, satisfying, wildly indulgent thing I've read in years—clever and subtle about growing up and learning how to embody conflicting desires, as a woman and an animal. I wanted to stand on the roof, beat my chest and bellow like some kind of mad dinner gong for repressed women. I was hungry for this book, and I know many other women will be too.”—Emma Jane Unsworth, author of Animals