Food lovers and cookbook collectors will savor this literary stew.

BOOKS THAT COOK

THE MAKING OF A LITERARY MEAL

A buffet of poems, stories, essays and recipes.

Editors Cognard-Black (English/St. Mary’s College of Maryland; co-editor, Beyond Uncle Tom’s Cabin: Essays on the Writing of Harriet Beecher Stowe, 2011, etc.) and Goldthwaite (English/St. Joseph’s Univ.; The Norton Pocket Book of Writing by Students, 2010, etc.) organize this anthology like a cookbook, with literature and recipes that relate to a particular part of a meal, from appetizers to dessert. Each section opens with an entry from a cookbook; arranged chronologically, these may or may not have anything to do with the section that follows. “Starters,” for example, is introduced by an excerpt from Amelia Simmons’ American Cookery (1796), which offers “Directions for Catering, or Procuring the Best Viands, Fish, etc.,” such as “How to Choose Flesh” and how to roast mutton. An excerpt from Fannie Farmer’s Boston Cooking-School Cook Book (1896) is more relevant, introducing “Eggs” with instructions for boiling, scrambling and poaching them. The editors explain that the book “is deliberately organized so that readers can achieve their own equilibrium between the individual selections and their overall experience of the collection,” just as they might sample food at a buffet. For readers seeking some logic to their choices, the editors offer thematic reading menus: “Food and the Environment” features a piece by Terry Tempest Williams and a poem by Gary Snyder. “Love and Desire” includes a selection by Nora Ephron and an excerpt from Fannie Flagg’s Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café (1987). Of the collection’s 49 pieces, 11 were written specifically for the book. Among the well-known authors represented by previously published work are James Beard, M.F.K. Fisher, Sherman Alexie and Maya Angelou. Laurie Colwin contributes a delightfully funny piece about three repulsive dinners; Ntozake Shange chronicles her trip to Nicaragua to find the house where poet Rubén Dario was born and raised—and a recipe for “a very sexy little dish” of raw turtle eggs.

Food lovers and cookbook collectors will savor this literary stew.

Pub Date: Sept. 2, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4798-3021-3

Page Count: 384

Publisher: New York Univ.

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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