We All Need to Eat is a collection of linked stories from award-winning author Alex Leslie that revolves around Soma, a young Queer woman in Vancouver. Through thoughtful and probing narratives, each story chronicles a sea change in Soma’s life. Lyrical, gritty, and atmospheric, Soma’s stories refuse to shy away from the contradictions inherent to human experience, exploring one young person’s journey through mourning, escapism, and the search for nourishment.
The stories slipstream through Soma’s first three decades, surfacing at moments of knowing and intensity. The far-reaching impact and lasting reverberations of Soma’s family’s experience of the Holocaust scrapes up against the rise of Alt Right media. While going through a break-up in her thirties, Soma becomes addicted to weightlifting and navigates public mourning on Facebook. As a child, Soma struggles to cope with her mother’s sorrow by becoming fixated on buying her a lamp for seasonal affective disorder. A friend’s suicide prompts a drinking game that takes mortality as its premise. But alongside the loss in Soma’s life is a pursuit of intimacy, resounding in the final story’s closing words: “Look me in the eye.”