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In 1969 Hazan gave the private cooking class that launched her career as the Italian Julia Child. In an evocative memoir, she recounts her life from childhood to Florida Gulf Coast retirement. Hazan spent her earliest years on another coast, in Cesenatico, a village on the Adriatic; during WWII the family moved to a lake in the mountains between Venice and Milan. Fresh out of the university, she taught college math and science and met a young man who had returned to his Italian homeland after more than a decade in America. He loved food, and his worldliness and sophistication made a good match for the comparatively earthbound author. After they married, the couple moved several times between various places in Italy and America. During a long stay in New York, Hazan began to offer the Italian cooking lessons that later caught the attention of such chefs as New York Times food writer Craig Claiborne. This led to the writing and publication in 1973 of The Classic Italian Cookbook. Hazan's memoir is a terrific history of the expansive, postwar period when Americans were still learning the difference between linguine and Lambrusco, and an engaging chronicle of professional perseverance, chance and culinary destiny. Photos. (Oct.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.