NAMED A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, VULTURE, THE MILLIONS, KIRKUS AND MORE!
“One of the most pleasurable, inventive reads of the year… fiendishly, deliciously fun."—San Francisco Chronicle
“It’s rare to read anything that feels this unique.” –GABRIELLE ZEVIN, New York Times bestselling author of Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow
"Land of Milk and Honey is truly exceptional."–ROXANE GAY, New York Times bestselling author of Bad Feminist
“A sharp, sensual piece of art.”–RAVEN LEILANI, New York Times bestselling author of Luster
The award-winning author of How Much of These Hills Is Gold returns with a rapturous and revelatory novel about a young chef whose discovery of pleasure alters her life and, indirectly, the world
A smog has spread. Food crops are rapidly disappearing. A chef escapes her dying career in a dreary city to take a job at a decadent mountaintop colony seemingly free of the world’s troubles.
There, the sky is clear again. Rare ingredients abound. Her enigmatic employer and his visionary daughter have built a lush new life for the global elite, one that reawakens the chef to the pleasures of taste, touch, and her own body.
In this atmosphere of hidden wonders and cool, seductive violence, the chef’s boundaries undergo a thrilling erosion. Soon she is pushed to the center of a startling attempt to reshape the world far beyond the plate.
Sensuous and surprising, joyous and bitingly sharp, told in language as alluring as it is original, Land of Milk and Honey lays provocatively bare the ethics of seeking pleasure in a dying world. It is a daringly imaginative exploration of desire and deception, privilege and faith, and the roles we play to survive. Most of all, it is a love letter to food, to wild delight, and to the transformative power of a woman embracing her own appetite.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
In C Pam Zhang’s inventive and ultimately hopeful postapocalyptic novel, a toxic fog decimates the world’s food chain and one American chef attempts to reconnect with the things that make life worth fighting for. Stranded in Europe after the U.S. locks down its borders, the book’s unnamed heroine accepts a job at a mysterious research facility located high in the mountains of Italy—one of the only places unaffected by the deadly fog—where a wealthy father and daughter with shady intentions are running experiments to preserve plant and animal biodiversity. Zhang’s beautiful prose, intricate and believable world-building, and knack for complicated characters combine for an engrossing tale that’s unlike anything we’ve read before. Thought-provoking and irreverent, Land of Milk and Honey is a novel you’ll want to discuss with all your friends.
Zhang's exquisite and seductive second novel (after How Much of These Hills Is Gold) centers on an unnamed chef, 29, who is trying to survive in the wake of an environmental catastrophe that wreaked havoc on the earth's biodiversity. Raised in Los Angeles by a single immigrant mother, the chef chased complex flavors and busy kitchens since she was 19. But when the disaster decimated kitchen ingredients and shuttered borders, she was left cooking with years-old fish and bioengineered flour: "Chef had lost its meaning... like fresh." In a desperate attempt to change her surroundings, she takes a head chef position at a secretive food research community on the mountainous Italian-French border, which holds a surprising storeroom with the world's last strawberries, Parmigiano, and boar meat. Her transition to cooking for investors she cannot meet is difficult—she has no access to the outside world and she can't stomach the rich food. But she becomes preoccupied with Aida, the boss's mischievous 20-year-old daughter, who shows up to test her cooking. Aida and her father see their facility as the planet's last hope, and the chef soon learns that her role extends beyond food to enabling a world that caters to their ambition. Wrestling with her desire for both excitement and stability, the chef must squash the inner voice that asks, "Hadn't I meant to feed anyone else?" Emotionally captivating and raw, this masterpiece will be enjoyed to the last bite.