Blue plate special : an autobiography of my appetites

by Christensen, Kate, 1962-

Format: Print Book [2013]
Availability: Available at 14 Libraries 14 of 14 copies
Available (14)
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ACLA Mobile Library Services Non-Fiction Collection PS3553.H716 Z46 2013
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CLP - South Side Biographies TX649.C495 A3 2013x
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Community Library of Allegheny Valley - Harrison Non Fiction 92 CHRISTENSEN
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Coraopolis Memorial Library Non-Fiction 818.54 CHR
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Monroeville Public Library Non-fiction 818.54 CHRISTENSEN
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Mt. Lebanon Public Library Non-Fiction 818.54 Chr
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Northern Tier Regional Library Biography BIO CHRISTENSEN
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Northland Public Library Biography B CHRISTENSEN
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Penn Hills Library Non-Fiction 92 CHRISTENSEN
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Pleasant Hills Public Library Nonfiction 92 CHRISTENSEN Kate
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Shaler North Hills Library Biography 92 CHRISTENSEN
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Summary

From acclaimed novelist Kate Christensen, Blue Plate Special is a mouthwatering literary memoir about an unusual upbringing and the long, winding path to happiness.

"To taste fully is to live fully." For Kate Christensen, food and eating have always been powerful connectors to self and world--"a subterranean conduit to sensuality, memory, desire." Her appetites run deep; in her own words, she spent much of her life as "a hungry, lonely, wild animal looking for happiness and stability." Now, having found them at last, in this passionate feast of a memoir she reflects upon her journey of innocence lost and wisdom gained, mistakes made and lessons learned, and hearts broken and mended.
   In the tradition of M. F. K. Fisher, Laurie Colwin, and Ruth Reichl, Blue Plate Special is a narrative in which food--eating it, cooking it, reflecting on it--becomes the vehicle for unpacking a life. Christensen explores her history of hunger--not just for food but for love and confidence and a sense of belonging--with a profound honesty, starting with her unorthodox childhood in 1960s Berkeley as the daughter of a mercurial legal activist who ruled the house with his fists. After a whirlwind adolescent awakening, Christensen strikes out to chart her own destiny within the literary world and the world of men, both equally alluring and dangerous. Food of all kinds, from Ho Hos to haute cuisine, remains an evocative constant throughout, not just as sustenance but as a realm of experience unto itself, always reflective of what is going on in her life. She unearths memories--sometimes joyful, sometimes painful--of the love between mother and daughter, sister and sister, and husband and wife, and of the times when the bonds of love were broken. Food sustains her as she endures the pain of these ruptures and fuels her determination not to settle for anything less than the love and contentment for which she's always yearned.
   The physical and emotional sensuality that defines Christensen's fiction resonates throughout the pages of Blue Plate Special . A vibrant celebration of life in all its truth and complexity, this book is about embracing the world through the transformative power of food: it's about listening to your appetites, about having faith, and about learning what is worth holding on to and what is not.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Novelist Christensen (The Astral, 2011) pegs her tangy memoir of a peripatetic life to the endless quest for sustenance and the nurturing of the self. In her first food memory, she's just eaten her favorite breakfast, soft-boiled eggs, when her father viciously attacks her mother. An anxious and overly responsible child, she vows to help her mother and relies on books for solace and enlightenment. I began with eating and moved on to cooking just as I began with reading and moved on to writing. Christensen tracks her food and literary adventures from California to Arizona, France, upstate New York, Oregon, Iowa, New York City, and New England, through tumultuous relationships and jobs as varied as short-order cook and corporate secretary. Harmonizing with her nostalgia for childhood comfort food, or blue plate specials, Christensen writes with savory, home-cooked clarity as she digs deeply into the pleasures and dangers of food, charting the culinary fads of the 1960s on as well as changes to women's lives while zestfully telling intimate, harrowing, and hilarious tales of appetites corrosive and nourishing. Recipes included.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Novelist Christensen (The Great Man) describes her 1970s upbringing in Arizona in this unpretentious memoir. The oldest daughter of a Marxist lawyer and Waldorf-educated cellist, Christensen always modeled herself after her tough, uncompromising, iconoclastic father, whose manic rages nonetheless ruptured the family, sending the Christensen, her mother, and two sisters to start life in Tempe, Ariz., where her mother took up graduate studies in psychology. The three girls flourished, immersed in the era's consciousness-raising feminist literature and instant or experimental food, recipes for which Christensen dandles along her narrative without much ado (e.g., "farmers fritters," "camping peas"). Her efficient, chronological chapters treat some of the details those years, such as her mother's boyfriends and her own crushes, even the sexual predator at the Waldorf school she attended briefly in high school in Spring Valley, N.Y., but mostly the undercurrent eddies around the author's persistent loneliness, which she indulged by solitary writing and gorging on comfort food like bread and granola. A stint in France ("flageolets en pissenlits"), followed by college in Portland at Reed, graduate school in Iowa City, and work in New York round out this frank memoir, with appropriate culinary offerings for the writer's darker moods ("Bachelorette puttanesca"). (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Christensen, Kate, -- 1962-
Food writers -- United States -- Biography.
Gourmets -- United States -- Biography.
Women authors, American -- 21st century -- Biography.
Authors, American -- 21st century -- Biography.
Food -- Anedotes.
Food -- Psychological aspects.
Appetite -- Psychological aspects.
Cooking -- Anecdotes.
Mothers and daughters -- United States.
Publisher New York :[2013]
Edition First edition.
Other Titles Autobiography of my appetites
Language English
Description 353 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 9780385536264 (hbk.)
0385536267 (hbk.)
Other Classic View