The Life of Hunger, Paperback Book
4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


In a wistful, clever and unusual novel, Amelie Nothomb casts herself as hunger: hunger for experience, hunger for life, hunger for sweetness and, in what is the book's nucleus, hunger for hunger (the period during which she was afflicted by acute anorexia).

Recounting the formative journeys of her youth, from Tokyo to Peking to Paris to New York, "The Life of Hunger" is a brilliant and moving examination of the self, and perhaps Amelie's most mature and moving work to date.




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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

This is a fictional memoir based on Nothomb’s experiences as the child of a diplomat living in Tokyo, Peking, Paris and New York. The theme of hunger is used to detail her examination of identity. She is also afflicted with anorexia and dipsomania where she drinks copious amounts of water and gains strange delight where “getting drunk on water was my mystical happiness. I don’t know if my dipsomania was an illness of my body. I’m more inclined to think of it as the health of my soul: wasn’t it a physiological metaphor for my absolute need?” This book looks at her life from age 4 to 21 and an interesting one given the travelling and different cultures she experienced she thinks on a much deeper level than the rest of us. A very eccentric and mystical read and whether it is true or not I enjoyed it immensely.

Review by

What a formidable reading. It's a kind of a fictional autobiography about the author's childhood and teenage years which she spent in Japan, China, New York, Bangladesh and Laos due to her father being a Belgian diplomat.She describes the enormous hunger she had not only for food but also for experience, for life, for sweetness, for books and for hunger due to her afflicton of anorexia during her teenage years.She is telling the story in a speedily way and as a reader it's sometimes difficult to keep up with her pace.The spelling style is vividly and I couldn't put it away. It's a story which I can strongly recommend.

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