Books That Cook: The Making of a Literary Meal

Books That Cook: The Making of a Literary Meal

Books That Cook: The Making of a Literary Meal

Books That Cook: The Making of a Literary Meal


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Whether a five-star chef or beginning home cook, any gourmand knows that recipes are far more than a set of instructions on how to make a dish. They are culture-keepers as well as culture-makers, both recording memories and fostering new ones.

Organized like a cookbook, Books That Cook: The Making of a Literary Meal is a collection of American literature written on the theme of food: from an invocation to a final toast, from starters to desserts. All food literatures are indebted to the form and purpose of cookbooks, and each section begins with an excerpt from an influential American cookbook, progressing chronologically from the late 1700s through the present day, including such favorites as American Cookery, the Joy of Cooking, and Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The literary works within each section are an extension of these cookbooks, while the cookbook excerpts in turn become pieces of literature—forms of storytelling and memory-making all their own.

Each section offers a delectable assortment of poetry, prose, and essays, and the selections all include at least one tempting recipe to entice readers to cook this book. Including writing from such notables as Maya Angelou, James Beard, Alice B. Toklas, Sherman Alexie, Nora Ephron, M.F.K. Fisher, and Alice Waters, among many others, Books That Cook reveals the range of ways authors incorporate recipes—whether the recipe flavors the story or the story serves to add spice to the recipe. Books That Cook is a collection to serve students and teachers of food studies as well as any epicure who enjoys a good meal alongside a good book.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781479830213
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 08/01/2014
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Melissa A. Goldthwaite (Editor)
Melissa A. Goldthwaite is Professor of English at Saint Joseph’s University. She is the author, editor, or co-editor of many books, including Food, Feminisms, Rhetorics, Books That Cook: The Making of a Literary Meal, The Norton Pocket Book of Writing by Students, The St. Martin’s Guide to Teaching Writing, and The Norton Reader.

Jennifer Cognard-Black (Editor)
Jennifer Cognard-Black is Professor of English at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She is the author and co-editor of several books, including Books that Cook: The Making of a Literary Meal. She has published her essays and short fiction in numerous journals, including Story, Versal, and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and she has two lecture series with The Great Courses as well as an Audible Original, “Books that Cook: Food & Fiction.”

Marion Nestle (Foreword by)
Marion Nestle is Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, emerita, at New York University. She is the author of three prize-winning books, including Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health, What to Eat, and most recently, Slow Cooked: An Unexpected Life in Food Politics. She blogs almost daily at

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