Always HungryBy Inez Baranay
‘Inez Baranay is known for fiction which pushes boundaries, especially in areas of gender and sexuality. Always Hungry examines the minutiae of female relationships, of female feistiness and vulnerability in a provocatively postmodern style – antiseptic and smart ... the vampire-sex scenes are themselves delightfully shocking ... the taste of real blood seeps in, ineluctably. Set mainly in Amsterdam, after New York, with some very evocative scenes on the foggy canals and in the mansions of the idle wealthy, Always Hungry is about successful writer Marisa Steiger being shadowed and tracked by a variety of “stalkers” – her long-term admirer Bette, her rival author Tango, her publisher and agent … and her own sexual ambition. In three words: Wicked, intelligent fun.’ – Nigel Krauth
‘In a reading culture where vampire stories have been commodified for an indiscriminate but devouring audience of teens, here finally is a remodeling of the genre for mature intelligent readers who prefer their vamps similarly mature, intelligent and endowed with the finer luxuries of life. Always Hungry is luscious in its attentiveness to the classic European sensibilities of Bette, one of the Originals, who seduces a willing Australian writer visiting Amsterdam to promote the award-winning translation of her book, Monstrous Women. The text takes pleasure, as will its readers, in such ironies, which are grounded in social commentary about monstrosity and the writing industry, fandom and fame, slippery genders and shifting categories of identity ... Departing from the current trend of passive girls falling victim to hot teenage vampire boys, this work recasts the vamp tradition as relations between women that are sumptuous and satisfying, loyal and long-lasting ... This is Baranay’s best work to date, showing her to be a writer of maturity and philosophical reflection embedded in a re-imagining of the conventions of this genre.’ – Alison Bartlett
Inez Baranay is the author of Between Careers, Sheila Power, The Edge of Bali and Neem Dreams. With The Tiger, her ninth book, is a contemporary take on Somerset Maugham’s The Razor’s Edge. Always Hungry will be launched at the 2011 Melbourne Writers Festival.