"Food binds this book together, and each beautifully told story circles life's truths in ways that are surprising, often revelatory, and always moving. It's impossible not to love Eat Joy, and equally impossible not to want to bake and eat these dishes while reading. It's an extraordinary collection." --Dorie Greenspan, James Beard Award-winning author of Everyday Dorie
This collection of intimate, illustrated essays by some of America's most well-regarded literary writers explores how comfort food can help us cope with dark times--be it the loss of a parent, the loneliness of a move, the pain of heartache, or the fear of coming out. Accompanying each story is a recipe from the writer's own kitchen.
Lev Grossman explains how he survived on "sweet, sour, spicy, salty, unabashedly gluey" General Tso's tofu after his divorce. Carmen Maria Machado describes her growing pains as she learned to feed and care for herself during her twenties, beginning with nearly setting her kitchen on fire, then later by perfecting basil pesto. Claire Messud tries to understand how her mother gave up dreams of being a lawyer to make "a dressed salad of tiny shrimp and avocado, followed by prune-stuffed pork tenderloin, served with buttered egg noodles" for her family. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie remembers a childhood friend--who later died as a soldier in Sierra Leone--with a pot of fragrant jollof rice. What makes each tale so moving is not only the deeply personal revelations from celebrated writers, but also the compassion and healing behind the story: the taste of hope.
The visceral quality of food as it relates to memory is unparalleled—sometimes we eat our favorite foods as comfort during grief, or a dish prepared by a friend becomes healing food from then on. Eat Joy is a lively collection of autobiographical stories in which food plays a starring role (recipes included—and they are lovely!). A diverse selection of celebrated authors tell their stories of growth, loss, healing, and homecoming, and the resulting collection is nothing short of magical.