The Thick and the Lean (Hardcover)

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The Thick and the Lean By Chana Porter Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

The cover caught my attention and the writing style and story kept it through every page. This book speaks on many of the same things we see in our world today; the struggles that marginalized peoples face, the taboo of certain topics and interests, and the utter devastation that can be done by corporations with seemingly unchecked power and greed. In this story, while sexual desires and appetites are seen as mundane, eating is done in secret and enjoying food is an unholy act. We read about women who struggle within the confines of what society has deemed acceptable, and we see their journey to find what makes them truly happy. While not what I would call a "traditional" sci-fi/fantasy read, it's one I highly recommend.
— From Miranda's picks (page 2)

The dystopian world woven by Chana Porter in The Thick and The Lean is eerie in the ways it mirrors our own society; that was the initial draw of this work of fantasy for me, and after only a few pages I was hooked. Two stories of two women run parallel, both are in some way defying societal standards and freeing themselves from their planned destiny. I loved this book because it brought into question the aspects of ourselves we accept and reject. What makes something (or someone) "immoral" and what are the consequences of that label? A really compelling read that made me ravenous for more from this author.
— From Liv's Picks (page 2)


In Lambda Award finalist Chana Porter’s highly anticipated new novel, an aspiring chef, a cyberthief, and a kitchen maid each break free of a society that wants to constrain them.

In the quaint religious town of Seagate, abstaining from food brings one closer to God.

But Beatrice Bolano is hungry. She craves the forbidden: butter, flambé, marzipan. As Seagate takes increasingly extreme measures to regulate every calorie its citizens consume, Beatrice must make a choice: give up her secret passion for cooking or leave the only community she has known.

Elsewhere, Reiko Rimando has left her modest roots for a college tech scholarship in the big city. A flawless student, she is set up for success...until her school pulls her funding, leaving her to face either a mountain of debt or a humiliating return home. But Reiko is done being at the mercy of the system. She forges a third path—outside of the law.

With the guidance of a mysterious cookbook written by a kitchen maid centuries ago, Beatrice and Reiko each grasp for a life of freedom—something more easily imagined than achieved in a world dominated by catastrophic corporate greed.

A startling fable of the entwined perils of capitalism, body politics, and the stigmas women face for appetites of every kind, Chana Porter’s profound new novel explores the reclamation of pleasure as a revolutionary act.

About the Author

Heralded as “the new Philip K. Dick,” Chana Porter is an author, playwright, teacher, MacDowell fellow, and cofounder of The Octavia Project, a STEM and writing program for girls, trans, and nonbinary youth that uses speculative fiction to envision greater possibilities for our world. She lives in Los Angeles, California, and is also the author of The Seep, a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Her newest novel, The Thick and the Lean, was named Best Science Fiction of 2023 by The Times (London). 

Praise For…

"The Thick and the Lean flips our known world inside out and, in doing so, exposes familiar seams of subjugation—from purity culture to capitalist exploitation. Chana Porter is a brilliant engineer of speculative societies and vivid far-flung realms, but she is also an author who reminds us what matters most in our real lives: the urgency of living our highest truth. This novel is a feast of ideas I didn’t want to end."Allegra Hyde, author of Eleutheria

"Decadent and richly imagined, The Thick and the Lean topples expectations and skillfully re-maps vice and virtue, indulgence and shame as we know them. This book is wildly new and deliciously satisfying, and Porter is one of our moment's most original seers."—Alexandra Kleeman, author of You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine and Something New Under the Sun
Product Details
ISBN: 9781668000199
ISBN-10: 1668000199
Publisher: S&S/Saga Press
Publication Date: April 18th, 2023
Pages: 384
Language: English