Marosia Castaldi

The Hunger of Women

Rosa, midway through life, is alone. Her husband passed away long ago, and her cosmopolitan daughter is already out the door, keen to marry and move to the city. At loose ends, Rosa decides to transplant herself to the flat, foggy Lombardy provinces from her native Naples and there finds a way to renew herself—by opening a restaurant, and in the process coming to a new appreciation of the myriad relationships possible between women, from friendship to caregiving to collaboration to emotional and physical love.

Unconventional in style and yet rivetingly accessible, The Hunger of Women is a novel infused with the pleasures of the body and the little shocks of daily life. Made up of Rosa’s observations, reflections, and recipes, it tracks her mental journey back to reconnect with her own embattled mother’s age-old wisdom, forward to her daughter’s inconceivable future, and laterally to the world of Rosa’s new community of lovers and customers. A tribute not only to the tradition of women’s writing on hearth and home but to the legacy of such boundary-breaking feminist writers as Gertrude Stein, Virginia Woolf, and Helene Cixous, The Hunger of Women is nothing less than a literary feast.

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About the Book

If you subscribed to And Other Stories by 30 July 2023, you will receive your copy of The Hunger of Women– in which all subscribers are thanked by name – ahead of publication, in October 2023, as well as up to five other specially selected And Other Stories titles per year. Find out more about our subscriptions.

Print status: Pre-order
Translator: Jamie Richards
Original language: Italian
Publication date: 17 October 2023
ISBN: 9781913505868
Ebook ISBN: 9781913505875
Availability: World English


Rolling Stone (Italy)

‘Rosa is sick with anxiety and abandonment . . . Not uncommon if you’re a widow and have an elusive daughter. To fill the void [Rosa] begins to cook all sorts of dishes . . . Flavours meant to be handed down from mothers to daughters and which can be shared only with other women, grandiose in their fragility. The Neapolitan-Milanese Castaldi does not use punctuation, lets thought flow unchained, because life flows like water, and the search for one’s identity, always painful, always exhausting, manifests even in our food, the passions in our mouths and hearts.’

Lorenzo Licciardi
Roma Cultura

‘Marosia Castaldi's project would seem to be precisely that of revealing the wealth that resides in a woman's domestic microcosm, and the wisdom and passions that can be read among the ingredients of her kitchen.’

Francesco Durante
Corriere del Mezzogiorno

‘A hypnotic theatre of cruelty and tenderness in which the protagonist and narrator Rosa and her friends make vacuum cleaners buzz, exhibit the most lavish forms of desire, desire each other, and desperately, and above all make food, the food which is really the nourishment of the book itself, an obsession formalized here in something like a hundred recipes spread over just under two hundred pages.’