Eat, Memory: Great Writers at the Table, a Collection of Essays from the New York Times

Eat, Memory: Great Writers at the Table, a Collection of Essays from the New York Times

by Amanda Hesser
     
 

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“Draws with literary aplomb the correlation of what and how we eat to who we are.”—Austin Chronicle
Memorable moments with food—collected by "one of the best of the young food writers" (Jeffrey Steingarten, Vogue food critic). New York Times Magazine food editor Amanda Hesser has showcased the food-inspired recollections of some of

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Overview

“Draws with literary aplomb the correlation of what and how we eat to who we are.”—Austin Chronicle
Memorable moments with food—collected by "one of the best of the young food writers" (Jeffrey Steingarten, Vogue food critic). New York Times Magazine food editor Amanda Hesser has showcased the food-inspired recollections of some of America's leading writers—playwrights, screenwriters, novelists, poets, journalists—in the magazine. Eat, Memory collects the best stories and recipes to accompany them.
Ann Patchett confronts her stubbornness in a heated argument she once had with her then-boyfriend, now husband, over dinner at the famed Paris restaurant Taillevent. Tom Perrotta explains how his long list of food aversions almost landed him in an East German prison. Gabrielle Hamilton finds that hiring a blind cook leads her into ethical terrain she wasn't prepared to navigate. And poet Billy Collins muses over his relationship with a fish he once ate.
Also included are stories by Chang-rae Lee, Patricia Marx, John Burnham Schwartz, George Saunders, Colson Whitehead, Kiran Desai, Pico Iyer, and Heidi Julavits, among others.

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Editorial Reviews

Christian Science Monitor
“These enjoyable, insightful, short essays may end too soon, but their memories will linger as if they were your own.”
Entertainment Weekly
“Rich, idiosyncratic stories you can relish.”
Publishers Weekly

Editor and food writer Hesser (Cooking for Mr. Latte) selects 26 essays that originally appeared in the New York Times Magazine to conjure up foreign places and familiar people through tastes and smells. While some of the essays follow a classic Proustian remembrance-a pungent clove of garlic evokes Gary Shteyngart's escape from the bland boiled dinners of his parents' home in Little Neck, Queens, N.Y., and dizzying orange blossom oil stirs up embarrassing moments from Henry Alford's trip to Morocco-the collection's wide-ranging essays also include less conventional descriptions of meals, such as Ann Patchett's elusive word game with her future husband in the Paris restaurant Taillevent, where the conversation is memorable but the sole and a sublime dessert escape her recollection. Empty Tang bottles become a powerful signifier in Yiyun Li's China, and the sound of crashing pots and pans invites a memorable excursion with John Burnham Schwartz and his expat friends in Paris. Chef Gabrielle Hamilton's faces a profound test of patience with a blind line cook emptying French fries into the drain, while George Saunders offers a hilarious and hyperbolic recipe for air. Illus. (Nov.)

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Library Journal

Hesser (Cooking for Mr. Latte), food editor at the New York Times Magazine, here collects 26 of the publication's previously published essays and stories about food from a variety of writers: novelists, photographers, poets, and journalists. Loosely arranged into five themes, the works have common threads that unite the collection, most notably, the way food is tied to memory. These tales of illusions shattered, discoveries made, and constant struggle are moving without being maudlin, such as Dawn Drzal's "Compliments of the Nurse," which recalls her unusual meeting with M.F.K. Fisher and her even more bizarre parting gift. Other notable authors include Dorothy Allison, Kiran Desai, Pico Iyer, Ann Patchett, and Chef Gabrielle Hamilton, whose essay "Line of Sight" recounts the misadventures that occurred when she took a chance on a visually impaired line cook. Recipes are frequently featured in the essays, with standouts like Candied Bacon, Frangipane Pear Tart, Roast Lamb with Pomegranate Glaze, and Lebanese Kafte. Recommended for large public and academic libraries.
—Rosemarie Lewis

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393337464
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
11/16/2009
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
1,243,512
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Amanda Hesser has been a food columnist and editor at the New York Times for more than a decade. She is the author of The Essential New York Times Cookbook, the award-winning Cooking for Mr. Latte and The Cook and the Gardener, and editor of the essay collection Eat, Memory.
Hesser is also the co-founder of food52.com. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Tad Friend, and their two children.

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