Sustenance and Desire: A Food Lover's Anthology of Sensuality and Humor


This is a book-lover's book about food - about taste, smell, touch, appetite - and all the pleasures of the table. It features 77 poems and prose pieces by some of the world's finest writers.
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This is a book-lover's book about food - about taste, smell, touch, appetite - and all the pleasures of the table. It features 77 poems and prose pieces by some of the world's finest writers.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In her 2002 anthology Where Books Fall Open, Bascove (a single-name Manhattan painter) juxtaposed writings about reading with her sensual artwork. Now she turns her eye to food, presenting works of prose and poetry, humor and history, along with her own paintings, divided into four sections: nourishment, desire, hunger and sustenance (each introduced by several quotations on comestibles). The artwork and writing are vibrant, witty, thoughtful and often a bit saucy. M.F.K. Fisher's musings on why she writes about food ("our basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled... we cannot think of one without the others") rub shoulders with a pithy poem by Les Murray ("vegetarians eat sex, carnivores eat violence"), while Jhumpa Lahiri's lyrical and lovely essay "Indian Takeout" is a curious contrast to Margaret Visser's discourse on the history of cannibalism. Donald Hall's "O Cheese," a paean to cheddar, Gorgonzola and Roquefort, is fabulous fun. The book offers fulsome praise of the experience of eating: an appreciation of its sybaritic nature, gratitude for its plenty, consideration of its place in society. Sustenance is thought provoking as well; for example, Primo Levi's "Last Christmas of the War," set in Auschwitz, reminds us that hunger is also closely linked with survival. (Dec.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781567922776
  • Publisher: Godine, David R. Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/28/2004
  • Pages: 222
  • Product dimensions: 5.42 (w) x 8.56 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Table of Contents

In a time of cuisine 9
Why do you write about food? 13
Nani 15
Wednesday 25 September 1929 17
Cast-aluminum espresso pot 18
Indian takeout 19
Nourishment 23
My life in cookies 23
A taste of antiquity 27
Hot 33
The onion 38
My mother, picking mushrooms 40
Grasse, 1948 43
Artichoke 45
Restaurants 48
Mandarin oranges 52
Gelati fever 53
Dream song 61
Making breakfast 62
Cameos : July, 1925 64
Aphrodisiacs 66
Creation story 74
A confession 76
April 10 77
Mulberries 78
Harlem sweeties 79
Robin Robertson Gazed ... 81
Artichoke 83
Sunday lemons 84
A shallot 86
For and against sex 87
Pears in the time of burnished gold 95
Salt 97
How to stuff a pepper 98
Cabbage 100
Love and a cough 101
Daily bread 105
The bean eaters 106
Ode to Italian fruit 109
Playlet for voices 112
The artificial cannibal 115
God's expressionist manifesto 127
Hunger 128
Video cuisine 129
Last Christmas of the war 131
Potato 135
13/16 137
Nature and nature's God 140
Production 148
Serving in Florida 149
Psalm, for the wayside 159
Hunger 161
Taking morning tea 165
Breaking and entering with a wooden spoon 166
Feast 169
La Past'asciutta con quello che c'e 170
The cup of humanity 171
Rice 175
On the Satin virtues of milk 176
Appetite 177
Wine gums 178
Breakfast 181
Digging potatoes 184
Dionysus in the dining room 185
O cheese 188
Democratic drinking 190
The fig 195
Ode to French fries 196
A supermarket in California 197
Man eating 199
The wonderful baker 200
The quest for pie 202
Simple 204
My mother's pears 205
Combray 207
Arabic coffee 213
Design 215
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