Blue Plate Special

Blue Plate Special

An Autobiography of My Appetites

eBook - 2013
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Random House, Inc.

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.

Baker & Taylor
The PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author of The Great Man builds on her popular food-centric blog to recount her unconventional upbringing and her unusually happy and occasionally sorrowful life of literary and culinary sensuality.

Publisher: New York : Doubleday, 2013
ISBN: 9780385536271
Branch Call Number: eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


From Library Staff

List - Foodie Stories
IndyPL_LindsayH May 19, 2019

This memoir traces the author`s life through the food she grew up cooking and eating. She recounts her life, good times and bad, reflecting upon it.

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ChristchurchLib Nov 19, 2013

"Builds on the author's popular food-centric blog to recount her unconventional upbringing and her unusually happy and occasionally sorrowful life of literary and culinary sensuality." Biography and Memoir November 2013 newsletter

Aug 26, 2013

Painful to read. Couldn't even force myself to finish it.

Jane60201 Aug 21, 2013

I agree with Della V. It's really just another autobiography of someone with a screwed up life. I've never read her other works and don't think I'll be doing so.

Aug 21, 2013

Just another author of a blog that didn't really translate to an actual book. Yes, her life story is somewhat interesting in the way a friend at church or whatever is interesting. Not a "take home" friend, though. Recipes are grudgingly added at the end of the chapters like an afterthought, but she plugs other things she's written like she's applying for a job. Not interesting. Other food authors have done this same thing, only much better, not boring their audience with every picayune detail of their lives, but instead spicing or sprinkling vignettes from their lives in amongst the recipes, and the recipes are delivered with the same enthusiasm as the vignettes. Not so this story. Good beach book, because it doesn't really require the reader to be plugged in to it to get what the author is up to. Not a read-again.


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Aug 21, 2013

DellaV thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 40 and 55


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