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A Slice of Life [Hardcover]

By Bonnie Marranca (Editor) & Betty Fussell (Introduction by)
Our Price $ 22.91  
Retail Value $ 26.95  
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Item Number 443147  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   400
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.5" Width: 6.25" Height: 9"
Weight:   1.7 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Publisher   Overlook Hardcover
ISBN  1585674729  
EAN  9781585674725  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
A Slice of Life is a collection of contemporary food writing that readers can really sink their teeth into: one that examines the ineluctable link between nourishment, literature, and society. Represented here are some of the world's best known writers, many of whom-like Julia Child, Marcella Hazan, and Anthony Bourdain-are well known for their alimentary musings, while others, like Roland Barthes and Susan Sontag are better known for their writings in other genres; all speak eloquently on the nature of food, language, and the adaptability of social customs.

Organized into chapters addressing descriptions of actual meals, autobiographical memories, the cultural spectacle of eating, the concept of want, the celebration of good food, and the philosophical, spiritual, and ethical aspects of food, author Bonnie Marranca has cooked up a tempting meal of writing that reflect on how the consumption of food-or the lack of it-takes on larger social significance. Charles Simic eulogizes tomatoes and questions bioengineering, Wole Soyinka delves into the nature of fasting, Umberto Eco declaims on in-flight dining, and Emily Prager reminisces, in an original essay, about Swedish food and the rejuvenating possibilities of a trip to Ikea-among others.

Garnishing the feast are Marranca's tantalizing introduction and Betty Fussell's meditation on the essential connection between food, existence, and writing. A Slice of Life is a banquet that readers will savor through its many courses.

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More About Bonnie Marranca & Betty Fussell

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Bonnie Marranca is co-editor of "Performing Arts Journal," as well as the author of "Ecologies of Theater" and "Theatrewritings," which received the George Jean Nathan Award; the editor of "American Dreams: The Imagination of Samp Shepard" and "The Theatre of Images."

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Cooking, Food & Wine > Gastronomy > Essays   [237  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Cooking, Food & Wine > Gastronomy > General   [76  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A Perfect Anthology  Mar 10, 2004
I can't resist a good anthology. Honestly, I can't resist any anthology on food or travel, but so many are disappointing. A Slice of Life does not disappoint.

A Slice of Life is subtitled "Contemporary Writers on Food" and the essays range in time from the early 1950s to 2003, with the majority from the 1990s. Note also the emphasis on "writers." With a few exceptions, these pieces are written by people who make their living writing, not by cooking or eating. Therefore, the standard is high, and the result is impressive. Russell Baker, Umberto Eco, Calvin Trillin, Isabel Allende, and Jane Kramer are among the fine essayists whose work is represented here. However, even the exceptions, such as Julia Child's memory of her first TV shows, are superb.

I enjoyed revisiting favorite authors: Anthony Bourdain, Adam Gopnik, Jeffrey Steingarten, Sallie Tisdale. And I always hope to discover writers I've never read. Now that I know about Nigel Slater and Jay Parini, I will be looking for more of their work. This is what I love about anthologies.

Riffs, meditations and memories  Nov 16, 2003
This impressive collection features meditations on life and food from writers as diverse as M.F.K Fisher, Russell Baker, Isabel Allende, Maxine Kumin, Ntozake Shange and lots more stars of the literary and culinary firmament.

There are some breathtakingly poignant pieces, chief among them Cara de Silva's story of the cookbook compiled in a concentration camp, which made its way across a quarter century and through numerous hands to reach its author's daughter. Or Chitrita Banerjee's essay following her mother's Bengali widowhood, a cultural sentence of privation.

Some are actually about food itself - Elizabeth David's piece on herbs, Nigella Lawson's sensual celebration of cooking, Corby Kummer's sojourn at a coffee plantation, New Hampshire poet Charles Simic's ambivalence about the bio-engineered tomato - but most are about life's associations with food.

Jay Parini began a career of writing in restaurants in the hubbub of Lou's diner in Hanover, NH. Putting together a New Year's feast for her young daughter inspires a tirade of cultural memory in Ntozake Shange. Historian Rachel Laudan dispatches the nostalgia for "slow food" with a healthy dash of historical reality. Roland Barthes meditates on chopsticks and Umberto Eco muses on the psychology of airplane food.

Editor Marranca has chosen, above all, writers. Wide ranging in subject, mood and style, these pieces all share a commonality of quality. A repast to sample and savor.


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