Chekhov on oysters, Thoreau on watermelons, Hemingway on campfire
cooking, David Foster Wallace on lobsters, and Gary Snyder on steak: these are some of the many fascinating and unexpected writings on food gathered in a new book entitled Eating Words: A Norton Anthology of Food Writing. With a preface by Ruth Reichl, this ground-breaking volume is edited by Roger Porter, Professor of English at Reed College, and a James Beard nominated restaurant critic in Portland for many years, and Sandra Gilbert, an influential literary critic and author of The Culinary Imagination. The book gathers great food writing over the centuries, including food essays, food memoirs, and impassioned writing about a wide range of gastronomic subjects. The tome includes both the familiar and unexpected: readers will delight in passages by Julia Child, M.F.K. Fisher, Calvin Trillin, and A.J. Liebling, and uncover engrossing selections on cannibalism, rat restaurants in China, food phobias, and Alice B. Toklas on “murder in the kitchen.”
This masterful tome is arranged into seven sections:
Food Writing Through History: From Biblical Taboos to Upton Sinclair’s Stockyards
At the Family Hearth: Memory, Identity, Ethnicity
Hunger Games: The Delight and Dread of Eating
Kitchen Practices: Chefs, Cooks, and the Tools of the Trade
Cultural Tales and Tables: Our Diverse Gastronomic Ways
Food Politics: Disputes Over the Menu
Reading Food Writing: The Language of Taste
Eating Words: A Norton Anthology of Food Writing will be released on , and available for purchase wherever books are sold. This volume will make a welcome gift for the holidays, pleasing any reader who loves eating and relishes words. Roger Porter dedicated the anthology to three fellow Portlanders: the late Robert Reynolds, and Vitaly and Kimberly Paley of Paley’s Place restaurant. Porter will sign books at Imperial’s Cookbook Social event in Portland on from , and will give a reading and talk on Eating Words at Powell’s downtown Portland location on Tuesday, December 8, at .
About the Author:
Roger Porter is Professor of English at Reed College, where he has taught for many years. He’s the author of Self-Same Songs: Autobiographical Performances and Reflections, and Bureau of Missing Persons: Writing the Secret Lives of Fathers; and co-author of A Food Lover’s Companion to Portland and The Voice Within. He was a restaurant critic and food writer for Willamette Week and The Oregonian. He has taught literature in Cairo, Paris, Hong Kong, and Greece. Porter has directed numerous plays and was a co-founder of Portland Conservatory Theatre.
Eating Words: a Norton Anthology of Food Writing/ Edited by Sandra M. Gilbert & Roger J. Porter; with a foreword by Ruth Reichl. Published by W.W. Norton & Company, New York, NY.