A Stew or a Story: An Assortment of Short Works by M.F. K. Fisher

Overview

Like the savory, simple dishes she favored, M.F.K. Fisher's writing was often “short, stylish, concentrated in flavor, and varied in form,” writes Joan Reardon in her introduction to this eclectic, lively collection. Magazine writing launched and helped to sustain Fisher's long, illustrious career and in these fifty-seven pieces we experience again the inimitable voice of the woman widely known to have elevated food writing to a literary art.

This book covers five decades of ...

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Overview

Like the savory, simple dishes she favored, M.F.K. Fisher's writing was often “short, stylish, concentrated in flavor, and varied in form,” writes Joan Reardon in her introduction to this eclectic, lively collection. Magazine writing launched and helped to sustain Fisher's long, illustrious career and in these fifty-seven pieces we experience again the inimitable voice of the woman widely known to have elevated food writing to a literary art.

This book covers five decades of Fisher's writing for such notable and diverse publications as Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Ladies Home Journal, Atlantic Monthly, Harper's Bazaar, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Vogue. But collected here also are articles nearly impossible to find from lesser-known, more ephemeral magazines. Essays on people, places, and of course food, mix here with delightful fiction to become a delectable feast.

The bylines attempt to capture the contributor as “America's best-known writer on the sensuous, “Culinary Queen,” or “Food Sophisticate,” but it is impossible to categorize M. F. K. Fisher. As a writer and a woman, she was truly in a class of her own.

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Editorial Reviews

Julia Reed
Not all the selections smack of the “women’s page.” There are some sprightly riffs with menus “in honor of spring” and “for supper ... on a sultry night,” and a lovely ode to Southern breads titled “Spoon Bread and Moonlight,” enlivened by her mother’s memories of visiting her school friends on their postwar plantations in the 1890s. A short story called “Legend of Love,” a finely drawn evocation of life at a small California boarding school for girls, much like the ones she attended and where she briefly taught, is as real and touching as her time with Chexbres. Lovers of Fisher should have A Stew or a Story on their shelves for those pieces alone.
— The New York Times
Library Journal
Cookery author Reardon, a Julia Child Award nominee, has gathered 57 of Fisher's stories and essays to create an entertaining collection that spans five decades. Fisher's food writing was ahead of its time; a frequent contributor to Gourmet, Bon App tit, and other publications, Fisher had lived in both France and the California wine country and offered cooking tips that predate the American culinary "revolution" of the 1960s. As these enjoyable pieces show, she was also a witty writer who offered astute observations along with the occasional recipe. The topics chosen for this collection include coffee making, borscht, olives, picnics, holidays, and places. A 1944 essay on California wines provides a fascinating look at this industry in its fledgling stage, while Fisher's observation elsewhere that a martini becomes "more wine and less liquor the nearer one gets to Europe" is hilarious. Though complete citations would have been useful readers never learn where these essays were originally published Reardon arranges the pieces thoughtfully and provides an interesting biographical introduction. Highly recommended. Erica Swenson Danowitz, Delaware Cty. Community Coll., Media, PA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593761158
  • Publisher: Counterpoint Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2006
  • Pages: 365
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

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