WOMEN WRITING THEIR LIVES: AUTHORS IN CONVERSATION
June 5, Books Inc., 1760 Fourth Street Berkeley, CA, 7:00 pm.
Join two award-winning memoir writers as they read from and discuss their new books and talk about their personal writing journeys. They will touch on themes and messages in memoir, the sometimes-difficult decisions that must be made, and answer questions about their writing process.
Judith Newton, Professor Emerita, UC Davis, Women and Gender Studies
Author of Tasting Home: Coming of Age in the Kitchen (She Writes Press)
Linda Joy Myers, Founder and President of the National Association of Memoir Writers
Author of Don’t Call Me Mother (She Writes Press)
ROOTS : A NEW ANTHOLOGY OF FOOD WRITING, COMING IN JUNE . (Includes material from Tasting Home.)
Roots is a love story about food—an exploration of its rich interconnectedness with culture, memory, and discovery, penned by over forty authors and personalities from the culinary blogosphere. The anthology’s deeply personal essays serve up family history, local lore, and tantalizing stories of worlds newly discovered through food, accompanied by original photography and a collection of recipes that, no matter how far flung, taste like home. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17938134-roots
Leicester Square Station
I was to meet my daughter, Hannah, in London where she was taking dreamy courses like “The British Museum,” “Shakespeare,” and “Contemporary Drama” at U. C. Berkeley’s campus abroad. We were to find each other outside the Tube stop at Leicester Square and, as I approached the station, I began to look around. When she left home she’d been dressed in her uniform of jeans, polo shirt, sweatshirt, and sneakers. But the young woman I saw from a distance was wearing boots, a long black skirt, and a stylish, close-fitting, suede jacket. Hannah? I wondered. Continue reading
DAVIS, Calif.—On May 17, 7:30 pm, at the Avid Reader, 617 2nd St, Davis, CA 95616, award-winning memoir writers Linda Joy Myers and Judith Newton will read from and discuss their recently published memoirs, Don’t Call Me Mother and Tasting Home: Coming of Age in the Kitchen. Moderated by Sacramento Book Talk columnist Trina Drotar, the event will focus on the authors’ personal writing journeys, themes and messages in memoir, the sometimes-difficult decisions that must be made, and questions from the audience. Continue reading
I went to Italy this April, having failed to lose the weight I gained on our October cruise. October, as you know, is followed by Thanksgiving and by Christmas, and, oh, never mind. Let’s just say I promised myself I would stick to vegetables and fish this time around. Continue reading
My husband Bill and I sit in To Kokker (Two Cooks), a wood-beamed, wood-paneled restaurant in Bergen Norway. The paneling and beams of the restaurant have been painted rose and the table cloths are a pale pink with napkins folded into shells. This is a fine restaurant, very Norwegian in its feel, and I am about to order Whale Carpaccio and Filet of Reindeer, two Norwegian specialties that I have never tasted and am unlikely ever to taste again.
Fabulous blogger Edith ONuallain, having written about her own favorite five books, tagged me to write about mine. Please visit Edith here and see the end of this blog for other participants whose choices you will want to peruse.
So many books and so few slots for them to fill! I have to go with the books that most shaped my life and that have stayed with me the longest. Four of them are from the British nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (that’s her home above). Continue reading
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Tagged charles dickens, d.h. lawrence, favorite books, George Eliot, jane austen, laura esquivel, Like Water for Chocolate, Middlemarch, Our Mutual Friend, Pride and Prejudice, Women in Love
In the summer of 1985 I was living with three men—-my first husband, Dick, who now had a boyfriend named Ed; my second husband, Max, a labor lawyer whom I married (with many misgivings) the summer before; and Nigel, a tall and pleasant British historian and long-time friend of Max, who was researching nineteenth-century labor relations in Philadelphia.
Mastering the Art
Berkeley, September 1964: I placed my hands in a bowl of butter and flour with the intention of rubbing them together until they resembled flakes of oatmeal. Mother had never used anything but a fork to mix her dough, but I was following Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. And Mastering the Art strictly maintained that “a necessary part of learning how to cook is to get the feel of the dough in your fingers.”
I didn’t mind getting my fingers all gummy with the dough because, in my imagination, this messy procedure completely divorced my venture into baking from my mother’s pastry practices—and from the sorrows of my relationship to her. No pie crust here! I was mixing “sweet short paste,” which called for a quarter-pound of butter and only three tablespoons of shortening—in clear opposition to my mother’s Basic Pie Crust recipe, with its cup of Crisco, half-cube of margarine, and secret pinch of baking powder. Continue reading
Condensed from Tasting Home: Coming of Age in the Kitchen
Had we but world enough and time / This coyness, lady, were no crime/. . . My vegetable love should grow /Vaster than empires, and more slow. – Andrew Marvell, “To His Coy Mistress”
In Berkeley, in 1966 I moved in with the only man I’d ever wanted to marry, the man who’d told me, “I think I love you,” the one who’d said, on a San Francisco corner, that “If it weren’t for you I’d be homosexual.” Living as I had begun to live—with the only man I’d ever wanted–what could I do but spend long hours in the kitchen? Thanks to my childhood, it was the only sure way I knew to create and sustain a sense of home. I was aware, of course, that despite my mother’s cooking and baking, her marriage had been “difficult,” our family connection had been confined to holidays, and I, as one of her two children, had been miserable until I moved far away from home . Continue reading
Excerpt from Tasting Home: Coming of Age in the Kitchen
(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1968-1977)
Before I entered the women’s group at Penn, I didn’t much trust other women. (Mother had left me wary about members of our sex.) In the end, I would have a long history with such groups—and the menus would become increasingly elaborate– but it was Claire who prepared me, who first opened me to the love and care of women.
Sometime in 1966, when we were still in Berkeley, Jake had presented Dick and me to the new woman in his life, Claire. Claire had a fragile elegance that was very appealing. She wore glamorous, sometimes vintage, clothes—a pair of forties-style white pants, say, with a beige, loose-sleeved blouse printed in muted, rosy flowers. Her heavy hair, the color of dark honey, hung well below her shoulders. The thinnest of eyebrows floated about her long, large, hazel eyes. And her voice was whispery, as if full of secrets you’d like to share. Continue reading