Books

TASTING HOME: COMING OF AGE IN THE KITCHEN. She Writes Press, March 1, 2013.

The history of a woman’s emotional education,  a romantic tale of a marriage between a straight woman and a gay man, and an exploration of the ways in which cooking can lay the groundwork not only for personal healing and intimate relation but for political community as well. Organized by decade and by the cookbooks that influenced the author’s life, Tasting Home draws us into an extraordinary journey through the cuisines, cultural spirit, and politics of the 1940s through the 2000s. It comes with recipes.

AWARDS

Starred Review Publisher’s Weekly Select
London Book Festival, First Place: Autobiography/Memoir
ForeWord Book of the Year, Silver: Women’s Studies.
I
ndependent Publishers: Bronze Award for Memoir
Hollywood Book Festival: Honorable Mention, Autobiography/Memoir
Readers’s Favorite:  Finalist, Autobiography
National Indie Excellence Awards, Finalist, Memoir
Independent Reader “Approved”
Southern California Book Festival, First Honorable Mention, Autobiography/Memoir
New York Book Festival, Honorable Mention, Autobiography/Memoir

AVAILABLE HERE

READ ESSAYS BASED ON THIS MEMOIR:

A VALENTINE FOR MY GAY EX-HUSBAND”

“RECLAIMING THE KITCHEN: WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH MEETS THE FOOD JUSTICE MOVEMENT”

“ON SAYING GOODBYE TO A DIFFICULT MOTHER”   

SEE PICTURES FROM TASTING HOME AT http://pinterest.com/judithnewton/

REVIEWS OF TASTING HOME:

“In this . . . elegantly written work Newton has completely taken us by surprise.  . . . there’s a sense of tension, of expectation, of waiting for the other shoe to drop that creates a subliminal buzz. Her vibrant writing has . . .  energy and  momentum . . .. [and through] her personal story, Newton manages to weave in the entire course of the culture, a reflection of her skills as an historian and an accomplished writer as well as a born storyteller.” –Jeanette Ferrary, author of Out of the Kitchen: Adventures of a Food Writer  and M.F.K. Fisher and Me.

“In this captivating memoir, Newton draws the reader into a world where major events
are brought to life with poignant food memories. Each vignette is pitch-perfect, lively, and engaging, striking a delicate balance between self-disclosure and universal themes of acceptance, love, community-building, and political engagement.” — Janet A. Flammang, author of The Taste for Civilization: Food, Politics, and Civil Society

Tasting Home  is more than a food memoir. Influenced by the civil rights struggle, the women’s movement, and the AIDS epidemic, it is an odyssey of emotional, intellectual, and spiritual growth.  Cooking serves as a powerful metaphor for the difficulties and pleasures of relations among mothers and daughters; husbands and wives; gays and heterosexuals; and racial-ethnic groups.  Tasting Home, like a grand meal, is a resounding success. —–Belinda Robnett, How Long? How Long? African-American Women in the Struggle for  Civil Rights.

This evocative memoir creates a tapestry of the personal and the political, weaving together stories of family, friendship and community, of love, birth and death.    Punctuated by favorite recipes for thoughtfully prepared meals, this vivid narrative celebrates matter of both the kitchen and the heart. —Wendy Martin,  We are The Stories We Tell and More Stories We Tell.

This is a baby-boomer’s dream: a book full of anecdotes about coming of age in during the sexual revolution of the sixties — with recipes! . . . an ingeniously conceived, tightly written, and beautifully packaged memoir, a vibrant portrait of the American feminine cultural experience from the 1950s forward. –Independent Publisher Review. Full Review at http://www.independentpublisher.com/review.php?page=3541&title=Tasting%20Home:%20Coming%20of%20Age%20in%20the%20Kitchen

I absolutely love this book. Each chapter of this delightful memoir combines a story from the author’s life with a corresponding recipe. This book is divided into five sections, each representing a different era. Newton’s memories come to life on the pages in delicious detail.  I love the author’s unique way of sharing her memories, and matching them to her recipes was a brilliant idea. “Tasting Home” is a clever and fun way to try some new delicious recipes. I highly recommend it. –Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers’ Favorite

Whether she is discovering hippie health foods, testing the rich cuisine of Italy and France, or entertaining grandly at home in the Southwest a la Martha Stewart, Newton is talking the talk and walking the walk, and we are trailing along behind her, happily picking up the crumbs.–Barbara Bamberger Scott at Curled Up With a Good Book.  Full review at http://www.curledup.com/tasting_home.htm.

EXCERPT FROM TASTING HOME:

By the summer of 1975, Dick was staying at the apartment and I at our home, though we spent many nights together in the latter. The need to lessen my dependence on him was pressing hard upon me, and my analyst, who by that time was convinced that Dick was bisexual, was urging me to “move beyond” my marriage: “Bisexuals generally need to have sex with both sexes,” he told me.  Insecure as I still was when it came to love, I thought I couldn’t tolerate sharing Dick if that were true. I went to Berkeley for a month, to gather myself together, and when I returned in August, I called Dick and we arranged to have dinner out. I would meet him first at his apartment for a drink.

I was nervous about seeing Dick. I had slept with someone else in Berkeley out of a longing for the passionate connection that Dick and I had lost and never recovered, and I felt that somehow he would know.  The sun was setting when I arrived, and the glassed-in porch with its Provençal curtains was full of golden light.  I hugged Dick.

“It’s good to see you.”

“Likewise.  Would you care for some wine?”

“Sure.”

Dick disappeared into the kitchen returning with the wine and crackers and a bowl of spinach dip he’d made himself. I sat at the edge of the white sofa feeling like a guest. I was in the apartment that had become his home, not ours, not mine, and I wasn’t used to having him serve me food.  He looked handsome in his jeans and sandals, the sleeves of his striped shirt rolled up on his slender forearms. He’d taken to wearing a leather belt with a very large buckle which struck me as unusually assertive.

“How was your trip?” he asked.

“Good,” I said, “but it’s different being in Berkeley now. I feel like a tourist.” At the mention of Berkeley, fear began to squeeze my stomach and my throat. What if Dick had been with someone else as well?

“Dick,” I said did you see other people while I was away?”  I had no right to ask, but my head and ears felt swollen as if all the cavities of my head were full of water. Dick stared at the spinach dip, then looked at me.

“Yes,” he said.

“Did you sleep with someone?”

“Yes.”

“A woman?” I felt myself beginning to slip into an endless hole.

“No.” I paused.

“A man?”

Dick nodded. “I answered an ad in the newspaper and I went to his room.  He was just an ordinary guy, older than me, with a twin bed.”

I felt my stomach and my chest letting go, the swelling in my head begin to fade. I was still the only woman in his life.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


From Panthers to Promise Keepers: Rethinking the Men’s Movement.
 Rowman and Littlefield, 2004.  AVAILABLE AS E-BOOK AT  books.google.com

From Panthers to Promise Keepers draws on intimate observations of the men and networks involved in what some have called “the men’s movement” and tells us why these networks mattered.  Focusing on the decades between 1950 and 2000, Judith Newton argues that while public, structural change is necessary for gender equality, getting men involved in efforts at social justice may well depend on their making changes with respect to feelings, unconscious fears, and anxieties.

“This profound, original, and engaging book leaps boldly and imaginatively across disciplinary fences to tackle the ultimate feminist riddle: what do men want? Drawing upon ethnography, literary criticism, psychoanalysis, and historical and sociological analysis, From Panthers to Promise Keepers plumbs the sources and meanings of contemporary men’s movements from urban guerillas and mythopoetic drum-beaters to charismatic Christians and queer activists. The mystifying terrain of contemporary masculinities has no more sage or sympathetic feminist oracle than Judith Newton.”  Judith Stacey, NYU

“Newton takes seriously recent calls by scholars to bring emotions back to the study of social movements. Her book should prove of substantial value for collections in social movements and gender studies. Highly recommended.” Choice

“An important and provocative book.”  Michael A. Messner, University of Southern California

“A pioneering work that connects African American social movements of the 1960s to men’s movements of the 1970s and 1980s. [Newton’s] approach is innovative, weaving together a sophisticated theoretical argument with personal narrative. This well-grounded book adds considerably to our knowledge of how ideas and ideologies spill over to other social movements.”   Belinda Robnett,  U.C. Irvine


 

Starting Over: Feminism and the Politics of Cultural Critique. University of Michigan Press, 1994.

NOW AVAILABLE AS E-BOOK.

For more than a decade Judith Newton has been at the forefront of defining and promoting materialist feminist criticism. Starting Over brings together a selection of her essays that chart the establishment of feminist literary criticism in the academy and its relation to other forms of cultural criticism, including Marxist, post-Marxist, new historicist, and cultural materialist approaches, as well as cultural studies.

The essays in Starting Over have functioned as exemplars of interdisciplinary thinking, mapping out the ways in which reading strategies and the constructions of history, culture, identity, change, and agency in various materialist theories overlap, and the ways in which feminist-materialist work both draws upon, revises, and complicates the vision of nonfeminist materialist critiques. They are shaped by an awareness that public knowledge is always informed by the so-called private realm of familial and sexual relations and that cultural criticism must bring together investigations of daily behaviors, economic and social relations, and the dynamics of race, class, gender, and sexual struggle.

Starting Over is a brilliant synthesis of literature, history, anthropology, the many influential trends in contemporary theory, and the politics of feminism.

“Written over the course of the last decade or so, several of the eassys collected in Judith Newton’s Starting Over can be classed among the most influential and incisive critiques of contemporary critical practice within or beyond Victorian studies. Reprinted here without much revision such essays as “History as Usual?” (1987) and “Historicisms New and Old” (1989) have been widely read and cited because they have revised the geneaologies of Marxism and New Historicism from a feminist perspective, and thus challenged masculinist assumptions about who makes (and what counts as) history, theory, and politics.” Victorian Studies.


 

Women Power, & Subversion: Social Strategies in British Fiction 1778-1860. Methuen, 1986.

In this volume Judith Newton explores the changing ways in which women writers in nineteenth-century Britain responded to the inequities of power between men and women that their historical situation imposed.  In a series of carefully argued chapters on Fanny Burney’s Evelina, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Charlotte Bronte’s Villette, and George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss Newton places women’s literature of the period in a historical context and focuses on both the material conditions of women’s lives and the ideologies through which they experienced those conditions.

“A carefully wrought and deeply convincing study which combines Marxist criticism and feminist analysis.” Phyllis Kriegel, New Directions for Women.


 

Feminist Criticism and Social Change: Sex, Class, and Race in Literature and Culture.  Edited with Deborah Rosenfeld. Methuen, 1985.

This lively and controversial collection of essays sets out to theorize and to practice a ‘materialist-feminist’ criticism of literature and culture. Such a criticism is based on the view that the material conditions in which men and women live are central to an understanding of culture and society. It emphasizes the relation of gender to other categories of analysis, such as race and class and considers the connection between ideology and cultural practice, and the ways in which all relations of power change with changing social and economic conditions.


 

Sex and Class in Women’s History. Edited with Mary P. Ryan and Judith R. Walkowitz. Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1983.

A classic collection of essays on the relations of class, sex, and gender in nineteenth-century Britain and America.


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