How to Be Eaten

A Novel


By Maria Adelmann

Read by Lauren Ezzo

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This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around May 31, 2022. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

One of NPR's Best Books of the Year: This darkly funny and provocative novel reimagines classic fairy tale characters as modern women in a support group for trauma.

In present-day New York City, five women meet in a basement support group to process their traumas. Bernice grapples with the fallout of dating a psychopathic, blue-bearded billionaire. Ruby, once devoured by a wolf, now wears him as a coat. Gretel questions her memory of being held captive in a house made of candy. Ashlee, the winner of a Bachelor-esque dating show, wonders if she really got her promised fairy tale ending. And Raina's love story will shock them all.

Though the women start out wary of one another, judging each other’s stories, gradually they begin to realize that they may have more in common than they supposed . . . What really brought them here? What secrets will they reveal? And is it too late for them to rescue each other?

​Dark, edgy, and wickedly funny, this debut for readers of Carmen Maria Machado, Kristen Arnett, and Kelly Link takes our coziest, most beloved childhood stories, exposes them as anti-feminist nightmares, and transforms them into a new kind of myth for grown-up women.

*Belletrist June Book Club Pick*

Named a Best Book of May by TIME Magazine & Glamour One of NPR’s Best Books of the Year

  • “Even better than it sounds, HOW TO BE EATEN presents vividly real women haunted by their fairy tale pasts in this deliciously angsty debut. Pure fun pulsing with a dark  heart.”
    Rachel Yoder, author of Nightbitch
  • “In this wildly imaginative and trenchant novel, female characters from mythic fairytales emerge as modern-day heroes capable of reclaiming their lives from the trauma of their past. A deft exploration of trauma, authorship, the power of storytelling, and the healing potential of connection, How To Be Eaten will stun readers page after page, offering an unforgettable, empowering, and above all entertaining tale of reclamation and transformation.”
    Christie Tate, New York Times bestselling author of Group

On Sale
May 31, 2022
Hachette Audio

Maria Adelmann

About the Author

Maria Adelmann is the author of the short story collection Girls of a Certain Age, which explores the many impossible choices of modern girl and womanhood. Her work has been published by Tin House, n+1, Electric Literature, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, The Threepenny Review, the Indiana Review, Epoch, AQR, MQR, and many others, and has been selected by The Best American Short Stories as a distinguished story. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram @ink176. How to Be Eaten is her first novel.

Learn more about this author