Short, true accounts set largely in the kitchen and populated by rich, opinionated characters with formidable cooking skills.



Famularo’s (Viva La Cucina Italiana, 2012, etc.) debut memoir uses family recipes as a paean to the culture—and kitchens—that shaped his childhood.

The life of a first-generation Italian immigrant in New York City emerges slowly from this series of loosely connected vignettes, each providing another insight into the author. Sometimes the subject matter is light—the malapropisms of Famularo’s mother, the way she rolls and cuts her own pasta, or his brother’s choice of girlfriends. But this is no soppy memoir. It begins in the gap between the two world wars, following a loose chronology until Famularo and a friend trek to postwar Italy to visit his mother’s home village of Accettura, bearing gifts of chocolate, cigarettes and coffee. “I feel we forget about the food that grounds us,” Famularo writes. But it’s obvious that it’s not just the food that binds his family together, stretched as they are across both the East Coast and the ocean. It’s the process of making the meals—the love, the caring, the competition and the gossip that goes into it. Famularo’s sketches have no unifying plot or tension, but each stands on its own as a full chapter, punctuated by recipes—pleasant rambles through kitchens strewn with drying sausages, basements filled with jars of homemade tomato sauce and the iconic ethnic businesses found down the street. Through it all, eating is the family’s conduit to understanding and participating in the world around them. As Famularo writes of his father’s aunt, “As you entered her kitchen door, she would go to the ice-a-box, open the door slowly, dramatically, with a smile and say, ‘C’e tutta cosa—tutta’ (There is everything here—everything).” By sharing not only his family’s recipes, but the stories behind them, he invites readers into the fold.

Short, true accounts set largely in the kitchen and populated by rich, opinionated characters with formidable cooking skills.

Pub Date: June 14, 2013

ISBN: 978-1479790715

Page Count: 354

Publisher: Xlibris

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2013

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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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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