Home - is where I want to be / But I guess I'm already there /I come home -
she lifted up her wings /
Guess that this must be the place...
- Talking Heads, "Naive Melody"

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

As Always, Julia

Every summer, we visit the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. Most summers, we manage a visit to Meredith, and the Innisfree Bookshop, and do our part toward keeping this fine little business in operation. Now that we have the three kids, we are spending more time and money in the toy section than we used to, but I try to keep my purchases weighted toward the written word. This year's find for me was a delightful volume of letters exchanged between Julia Child and a woman who became her good friend, Avis DeVoto.

I don't generally go in for biography or for recent history, but I found this book absorbing and delightful. The writers' personalities come across brilliantly. It's a fascinating story, not only of how a well-loved cookbook came to be but of the times that saw it come into being. The 50s were not so long ago, but sometimes we think that we know them better than we do. The politics sound awfully familiar (at least we don't have McCarthy to deal with right now!), but in a pre-second wave feminism, pre-food revolution world, the minutia of daily life are strikingly alien.

It's a quick read, and a fun one for anyone interested in Ms Child and her culinary offspring.

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