"Fascinating." Moira Hodgson, Wall Street JournalMouthwatering.Eater.com A beloved culinary historians short takes on six famous women through the lens of food and cookingwhat they ate and how their attitudes toward food offer surprising new insights into their lives.Everyone eats, and food touches on every aspect of our livessocial and cultural, personal and political. Yet most biographers pay little attention to peoples attitudes toward food, as if the great and notable never bothered to think about what was on the plate in front of them. Once we ask how somebody relates to food, we find a whole world of different and provocative ways to understand her. Food stories can be as intimate and revealing as stories of love, work, or coming-of-age. Each of the six women in this entertaining group portrait was famous in her time, and most are still famous in ours; but until now, nobody has told their lives from the point of view of the kitchen and the table. Its a lively and unpredictable array of women; what they have in common with one another (and us) is a powerful relationship with food. They include Dorothy Wordsworth, whose food story transforms our picture of the life she shared with her famous poet brother; Rosa Lewis, the Edwardian-era Cockney caterer who cooked her way up the social ladder; Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady and rigorous protector of the worst cook in White House history; Eva Braun, Hitlers mistress, who challenges our warm associations of food, family, and table; Barbara Pym, whose witty books upend a host of stereotypes about postwar British cuisine; and Helen Gurley Brown, the editor of Cosmopolitan, whose commitment to having it all meant having almost nothing on the plate except a supersized portion of diet gelatin....
|Title||:||What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories|
|Number of Pages||:||307 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » What » What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories|
What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories Reviews
I loved the concept of this book, that we can learn about people through the food they eat, and how they interact with and talk or write about food. I wonder if food biography is a genre, not food memoir, but biography. I'd love to learn about more people through their food.
Laura Shapiro's "What She Ate" was my introduction to culinary history as a genre, and to a brand of feminism so timless that I kinda hate myself for not thinking about food as a legitimate angle to telling the stories of women, earlier. Hell! Everyone has a "food story". But historically, women have cooked, served and of course, eaten food for so much of their lives that you cannot tell their stories without talking about food.
Biographers, according to Shapiro, have often omitted food from the ...more
Very enjoyable. An assemblage of almost randomly chosen women from literature and history whose stories are retold by a gifted food writer. Intellectually lively and historically interesting with each section just the right length for my bedtime reading. I confess I read the section on Eva Braun(cyanide and champagne) first. The more admirable women are Dorothy Wordsworth (lake fish), Rosa Lewis (pigeon pie), Eleanor Roosevelt (mutton and Home Economics), Barbara Pym (wilted salads), and Helen G ...more
"Whether or not we spend time in a kitchen, whether or not we even care what's on the plate, we have a relationship with food that's launched when we're born and lasts until we die."
"It turns out that our food stories don't always honor what's smartest and most dignified about us. More often they go straight to what's neediest."
"Pursuing these women through their own writing, through their biographers, through the archives, pouncing on every clue that might help me figure out what they cooked or ...more
This is a book about what 6 women in history ate. Dorothy Wordsworth, sister of poet William Wordsworth, Rosa Lewis, a female chef in England, which was rare in her time, Eleanor Roosevelt, Eva Braun, Hitler's mistress until they married shortly before their suicides, and Barbara Pym, a British author, and Helen Gurly Brown. I only knew about 3/6 when I started the book. Don't know what I expected but I ended up disliking the 3 I knew about AND the three I didn't. VERY much disliking. This made ...more
Oh what a hard review to write. I expected to love this book, especially after reading the excellent, even exciting, introduction. We were going to read about six fascinating women and their food stories, what they cooked, how they grocery shopped, what they ate! Always my favorite part of any story, real or fiction.
Unfortunately each of the six stories were mini biographies which yes, did mention food, in some cases more than others. But many pages of all the bios featured lots of other inform ...more
What She Ate is a biography of six famous, infamous, or just plain interesting women told through the food they ate. Subjects include Dorothy Wordsworth; an 19th century caterer; Eleanor Roosevelt; Eva Braun; author Barbara Pym; and Helen Gurley Brown, editor of Cosmopolitan. Since I'm all about quirky micro-histories, I was so here for this.
Like many micro-histories, this book starts with a narrow topic but leads the the reader on a journey through many fascinating and otherwise unconnected st ...more