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IF I CAN COOK/YOU KNOW GOD CAN by Ntozake Shange

IF I CAN COOK/YOU KNOW GOD CAN

By Ntozake Shange

Pub Date: Feb. 25th, 1998
ISBN: 0-8070-7240-0
Publisher: Beacon

 A decidedly episodic and savory blend of memoir and cookbook, by the playwright and novelist (Lilianne: Resurrection of the Daughter, 1994, etc.). Alternating recollections of time spent in Cuba, Nicaragua, the Caribbean, and Brazil, as well as descriptions of her life in various regions of the US, with a variety of straightforward and appealing recipes (from French fried chitlins to Brazilian hominy and chicken-fried steak), Shange weaves together a book that is both a celebration of the nourishing symbolism of food and community in African-American and Caribbean life (``a true connection to the past and what is to be as well as all that went between'') and a gentle introduction to the craft of preparing wholesome food. Too scattered to be a memoir and too eccentric to serve as a thorough cookbook, If I Can Cook is nonetheless an entertaining and deeply personal celebration of African-American cuisine and the life (and history) it represents.