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Tender at the bone : growing up at the table

by Reichl, Ruth,

Format: Print Book 1998
Availability: Available at 3 Libraries 3 of 4 copies
Available (3)
Location Collection Call #
Bethel Park Public Library Nonfiction 641.5092 RE
Location  Bethel Park Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  641.5092 RE
Dormont Public Library Non-Fiction 92 R27
Location  Dormont Public Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  92 R27
Penn Hills Library Non-Fiction 92 REI
Location  Penn Hills Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  92 REI
Unavailable (1)
Location Collection Status
Avalon Public Library Nonfiction CHECKED OUT
Location  Avalon Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
For better or worse, almost all of us grow up at the table. It is in this setting that Ruth Reichl's brilliantly written memoir takes its form. For, at a very early age, Reichl discovered that "food could be a way of making sense of the world . . . if you watched people as they ate, you could find out who they were." Tender at the Bone is the story of a life determined, enhanced, and defined in equal measure by unforgettable people, the love of tales well told, and a passion for food. In other words, the stuff of the best literature. The journey begins with Reichl's mother, the notorious food-poisoner known for-evermore as the Queen of Mold, and moves on to the fabled Mrs. Peavey, onetime Baltimore socialite millionaress, who, for a brief but poignant moment, was retained as the Reichls' maid. Then we are introduced to Monsieur du Croix, the gourmand, who so understood and yet was awed by this prodigious child at his dinner table that when he introduced Ruth to the soufflé, he could only exclaim, "What a pleasure to watch a child eat her first soufflé!" Then, fast-forward to the politically correct table set in Berkeley in the 1970s, and the food revolution that Ruth watched and participated in as organic became the norm. But this sampling doesn't do this character-rich book justice. After all, this is just a taste. Tender at the Bone is a remembrance of Ruth Reichl's childhood into young adulthood, redolent with the atmosphere, good humor, and angst of a sensualist coming-of-age.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "New York Times restaurant critic Reichl understands the importance and significance of storytelling. Her memoir covers her early life, combining dozens of anecdotes with an occasional recipe. Reichl's storytelling mastery makes characters stand out vividly. Most memorable is her affectionate, exasperated portrait of her mother. Afflicted with manic depression, her mother prepared huge, elaborate dinners with aging foods from questionable sources, and her guests and family suffered from more than one bout of acute food poisoning. Reichl and her brother became masters of the art of pushing food about a plate in order to appear to be eating without actually ingesting anything. This talent no doubt proved useful in Reichl's later career. Reichl attended the University of Michigan, and her introduction to restaurants started in Ann Arbor with a stint of waitressing. The unpretentiousness of Reichl's prose has marked her Times success and makes her memoir equally satisfying. --Mark Knoblauch"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Reichl discovered early on that since she wasn't "pretty or funny or sexy," she could attract friends with food instead. But that initiative isn't likely to secure her an audience for her chaotic, self-satisfied memoirs, although her restaurant reviews in the New York Times are popular. Reichl's knack for describing food gives one a new appreciation for the pleasures of the table, as when she writes here: "There were eggplants the color of amethysts and plates of sliced salami and bresaola that looked like stacks of rose petals left to dry." But when she is recalling her life, she seems unable to judge what's interesting. Raised in Manhattan and Connecticut by a docile father who was a book designer and a mother who suffered from manic depression, Reichl enjoyed such middle-class perks as a Christmas in Paris when she was 13 and high school in Canada to learn French. But her mother was a blight, whom Reichl disdains to the discomfort of the reader who wonders if she exaggerates. The author studied at the University of Michigan, earned a graduate degree in art history, married a sculptor named Doug, lived in a loft in Manhattan's Bowery and then with friends bought a 17-room "cottage" in Berkeley, Calif., which turned into a commune so self-consciously offbeat that their Thanksgiving feast one year was prepared from throwaways found in a supermarket dumpster. Seasoning her memoir with recipes, Reichl takes us only through the 1970s, which seems like an arbitrary cutoff, and one hopes the years that followed were more engaging than the era recreated here. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Reichl, Ruth.
Cooks -- United States -- Biography.
Publisher New York :Random House,1998
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description x, 282 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN 0679449876
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