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Eating with My Mouth Open

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'To eat is to build upon our collective story. We use food to say, again and again, who we are.'

Eating with My Mouth Openis food writing like you've never seen before: honest, bold, and exceptionally tasty. Sam van Zweden's personal and cultural exploration of food, memory, and hunger revels in body positivity, dissects wellness culture and all its flaws, and shares the joys of being part of a family of chefs.

Celebrating food and all the bodies it nurtures,Eating with My Mouth Open considers the true meaning of nourishment within the broken food system we live in. Not holding back from difficult conversations about mental illness, weight, and wellbeing, Sam van Zweden advocates for body politics that are empowering, productive, and meaningful.

'This is writing as sustenance. The book's moments of deep insight and intimacy, all its quiet revolutions, are answerable – as is the case with the most enduring nonfiction – to two gods only: truth and nurture.' — Maria Tumarkin, author of Axiomatic

'Eating with My Mouth Open feels like being gifted the most glorious odd-box from the Farmers' Market: inside are delicious, unnamable fruits and shining vegetables. Van Zweden's writing is at once both nourishing and thorny, generous and eclectic, sumptuous and piquant. This book marks the arrival of a fresh voice in Australian nonfiction.' — Rebecca Giggs, author of Fathoms: The world in the whale

'Amazingly attuned to those tender points where food tangles with family, trauma, illness and mental wellbeing – Sam van Zweden describes everyday food moments with clarity and compassion in a way that made me fall in love with food all over again.' — Ruby Tandoh, author of Eat Up!

'In this excruciating time of bougie food-for-cultural-capital, of 'body-positive' rah-rah, of food-loving, body-shaming confusion, Sam van Zweden cuts through the bullshit, arguing that food is for love, and that if we love food, we must love the bodies that food nurtures. Van Zweden is a masterful caretaker of the bodies that have been left out.' — Ellena Savage, author of Blueberries

'Eating With my Mouth Open is a beautiful book: heartfelt, intelligent and full of love.' — Fiona Wright, author of The World Was Whole and Small Acts of Disappearance

'Sam van Zweden's Eating With My Mouth Open is at once an expressive memoir and a cultural commentary on the role of food in our lives...Fans of Roxane Gay, Lindy West or Clare Bowditch's Your Own Kind of Girl will get a lot from this book, but perhaps more importantly it is an ideal read for anyone new to the concepts of body politics and fat activism.' — Books+Publishing

'In her perceptive new collection of essays, van Zweden combines personal memoir and cultural criticism to consider the complicated and at-times contradictory roles that eating, cooking and hunger can play in our lives. Along the way, she touches on topics including body image, family dynamics, mental illness, and the many ways 'we use food to say, again and again, who we are'.' — West Australian

'Eating With My Mouth Open is the perfect combination of personal essay, food writing, and scientific research. Van Zweden’s description of food is not only mouth-watering but elicits a sense of nostalgia.[...]Van Zweden is a fresh new voice in nonfiction, her work offering commentary on the next wave of body positivity and providing a personal spin on the subject.' — Underground Writers

'Far from being a simple memoir, [Eating With My Mouth Open] reaches out to explore the way that food is at once a universal necessity and interest, and a deeply personal one.[...]At the centre of the book is the way we regard our bodies, and particularly bodies that don't conform to social ideals. And food is unpicked; that everyday thing that embodies memory, family, and ourselves.' — Weekend Advertiser