Books by Laura Shapiro

WHAT SHE ATE by Laura Shapiro
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 25, 2017

"A unique and delectable work that sheds new light on the lives of women, food, and men."
A culinary biographer serves up an eye-opening meal. Read full book review >
JULIA CHILD by Laura Shapiro
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 9, 2007

"Shapiro has, in a brief book, made her subject truly come alive."
Shapiro (Something from the Oven, 2004) offers a vivid biography of the 20th century's leading gourmand. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: April 1, 2004

"Entertaining and well researched, but disjointed. Despite common themes, the parts don't cohere into a consistent whole."
Following Perfection Salad (2001), a report on how science, industry, and media changed the American kitchen and women's roles in the first part of the 20th century, Shapiro explores aspects of the same phenomenon in subsequent decades. Read full book review >
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 23, 2001

Another in Gourmet editor Reichl's new Food series of reprints (see Charpentier, above), this time a somewhat academic study chronicling the standardization of American cuisine at the turn of the century: a movement, based on supposedly scientific principles, that resulted in simply bland food. Kirkus (Jan. 1, 1986, p. 43) summarized Shapiro's argument: the rise of domestic "science" spread from cooking schools to women's magazines, hoping "to turn every home into a little laboratory." Detailing some of the more risible facts gleaned from Shapiro's narrative, we noted her account of the home-economics movement and "its apotheosis"—"the TV dinner." But we also thought that too much was being "juggled" here, and that, "like a home economist's menu," Shapiro's account failed to come up with "palatable or even digestible reading fare." The aftereffect? "Dyspeptic." Read full book review >