One of O, The Oprah Magazine's "10 Titles to Pick Up Now"
An Indie Next Pick
A USA Today "New and Noteworthy" book
An Us Weekly "Hot Summer Novel"
One of the New York Daily News's "10 Books for Your Summer Reading List"
A New York Post "Best Novel to Read this Summer"
“Hilarious, surreal, and bracingly original, Walker's ambitious debut avoids moralistic traps to achieve something rarer: a genuinely subversive novel that's also serious fun...Part Fight Club, part feminist manifesto, an off-beat and genre-bending novel that aims high—and delivers."
—Kirkus, starred review
“Sarai Walker has written a call to arms. Devious, subversive, delightful, DIETLAND is a Scum Manifesto set to a pop music beat and Plum Kettle a feminist hero for the modern age.”
—ALICE SEBOLD, author of The Lovely Bones, The Almost Moon and Lucky
“DIETLAND is a book I have been waiting for someone to write all my life, and it hit me hard right where I live, right where so many of us have wasted too much time living. It’s courageous, compassionate, intelligent, pissed off and much more fun than it has any right to be. I can think of twenty people I want to buy it for without even trying.”
—PAM HOUSTON, author of Contents May Have Shifted
“Sarai Walker’s audacious, hilarious—yet surprisingly touching—novel begins by spoofing the weightloss industry and moves on to a devastating fantasy in which an avenger known as ‘Jennifer’ targets men who prey on women. Through it all marches Plum, a fat woman who learns to love herself as she is, and whom I loved at all stages of her education. Keenly intelligent, daring, and original, DIETLAND has something important to say to us all.”
—ALICE MATTISON, author of When We Argued All Night and The Book Borrower
“Sarai Walker is an immensely talented writer and her debut novel, DIETLAND—filled with wit, wisdom and wonder—is a pleasure.”
—JILL MCCORKLE, author of Life After Life
“The first rule of DIETLAND is you should definitely talk about DIETLAND. And I suspect you’ll want to. Gather your book clubs, gather all the Jennifers you know! At first you’ll think you’re reading a story you’ve read before: a woman who works at a women’s magazine tries to lose weight. And then POW! DIETLAND lithely moves in ways and to places you won’t expect. DIETLAND is an impressive, ambitious first novel, and Sarai Walker has a wonderfully curious mind.”
—GABRIELLE ZEVIN, author of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
"Sarai Walker's groundbreaking new novel, Dietland, drew me in immediately. Follow the twists and turns as heroine Plum Kettle confronts the truth about her life and her fantasy of becoming thin. This is the stuff that is transformative for the individual, inspiring self-love and improved self-care. This is also the stuff revolutions are made of."
—LINDA BACON, Ph.D., author of Body Respect and Health at Every Size
Plum Kettle does her best not to be noticed, because when you’re fat, to be noticed is to be judged. Or mocked. Or worse. With her job answering fan mail for a popular teen girls’ magazine, she is biding her time until her weight-loss surgery. Only then can her true life as a thin person finally begin.
Then, when a mysterious woman starts following her, Plum finds herself falling down a rabbit hole and into an underground community of women who live life on their own terms. There Plum agrees to a series of challenges that force her to deal with her past, her doubts, and the real costs of becoming “beautiful.” At the same time, a dangerous guerrilla group called “Jennifer” begins to terrorize a world that mistreats women, and as Plum grapples with her personal struggles, she becomes entangled in a sinister plot. The consequences are explosive.
Dietland is a bold, original, and funny debut novel that takes on the beauty industry, gender inequality, and our weight loss obsession—from the inside out, and with fists flying.