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As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto: Food, Friendship, and the Making of a Masterpieceby Joan Reardon
"But, oh, the delightful journey of As Always, Julia, the collection of letters between Julia and Avis from that first missive in 1952 through 1961 and the book's publication. Joan Reardon — a biographer, cookbook author and culinary historian — culled through a wealth of correspondence archived in collections at the Schlesinger Library in Cambridge, Mass., arranging the letters to let the women speak for themselves, adding only brief introductions to different sections and footnotes on the parade of people and current affairs the women refer to." Peggy McMullen, The Oregonian (Read the entire Oregonian review)
Synopses & Reviews
With her outsize personality, Julia Child is known around the world by her first name alone. But despite that familiarity, how much do we really know of the inner Julia?
Now more than 200 letters exchanged between Julia and Avis DeVoto, her friend and unofficial literary agent memorably introduced in the hit movie Julie & Julia, open the window on Julias deepest thoughts and feelings. This riveting correspondence, in print for the first time, chronicles the blossoming of a unique and lifelong friendship between the two women and the turbulent process of Julias creation of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, one of the most influential cookbooks ever written.
Frank, bawdy, funny, exuberant, and occasionally agonized, these letters show Julia, first as a new bride in Paris, then becoming increasingly worldly and adventuresome as she follows her diplomat husband in his postings to Nice, Germany, and Norway.
With commentary by the noted food historian Joan Reardon, and covering topics as diverse as the lack of good wine in the United States, McCarthyism, and sexual mores, these astonishing letters show America on the verge of political, social, and gastronomic transformation.
"Culinary historian Reardon's collection of the correspondence between Child and her pen pal, Avis DeVoto (portrayed in the film Julie & Julia by Deborah Rush), bubbles over with intimate insights into their friendship. In 1952, Child was living in Paris when she wrote to Cambridge, Mass., historian Bernard DeVoto after reading his Harper's article about knives. Her letter was answered by his wife, Avis, who soon became her confidante, sounding board, and enthusiastic fellow cook. The two met finally met in person two years later. As a part of the publishing community, Avis (who died in 1989) was responsible for securing the publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, steering the book first to Houghton Mifflin and then to its eventual home at Knopf. Their letters span a wide range of topics, from cookbooks, menus, recipes, and restaurants to Balzac, sex, goose stuffing, gardening, learning languages, the political climate, Sunday afternoon cocktail parties, and proofreading. Witty, enlightening and entertaining, these letters serve as a compelling companion volume to Mastering the Art of French Cooking. (Dec. 1)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
With her outsize personality, Julia Child is known around the world by her first name alone. But despite that familiarity, how much is really known of the inner Julia? Now more than 200 letters exchanged between Julia and Avis DeVoto, her friend and unofficial literary agent, open the window on Julia's deepest thoughts and feelings.
With commentary by the noted food historian Joan Reardon, and covering topics as diverse as the lack of good wine in the United States, McCarthyism, and sexual mores, these astonishing letters between Julia and her unofficial literary agent show America on the verge of political, social, and gastronomic transformation.
The never-before-published fascinating correspondence between America’s queen of food, Julia Child, and her confidante and mentor, Avis DeVoto
This dishy and delightful, never-before-published correspondence between America's queen of food, Julia Child, and her confidante and mentor Avis DeVoto, shows not only the blossoming of a lifelong friendship, but also an America on the verge of political, social, and gastronomic transformation.
A National Bestseller
Winner of an International Association of Culinary Professionals Award for Literary Food Writing
“An absorbing portrait of an unexpected friendship.” — Entertainment Weekly
“Julias inimitable voice shines through . . . These letters offer [a] glimpse of how the truly great can merge heart and soul in the pursuit of excellence.” — Wall Street Journal
Julia is known around the world by her first name alone. But how much do we really know of the inner Julia Child? Through this riveting correspondence between Julia and Avis DeVoto, her “pen pal” and literary mentor, we hear Julias deepest thoughts and feelings and witness the blossoming of a unique and lifelong friendship. We see, too, the turbulent creation of one of the most influential cookbooks ever written. Frank, bawdy, funny, exuberant, these astonishing letters show an America on the verge of political, social, and gastronomic transformation and two women deeply engaged in the making of that new world.
“[Child] comes booming back to life in these dishy missives . . . A delicious read.” — People (3½ of 4 stars)
“Blazingly alive and entirely irresistible.” — Boston Globe
About the Author
Culinary historian, cookbook author, and biographer Joan Reardon is the author of M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, and Alice Waters: Celebrating the Pleasures of the Table, M.F.K. Fisher Among the Pots and Pans, Poet of the Appetites: The Lives and Loves of M.F.K. Fisher, and Oysters: a Culinary Celebration. Reardon, who has a PhD in English literature, won an IACP Award for culinary writing, publishes and edits a quarterly newsletter for Les Dames dEscoffier Chicago, and serves on the advisory board of Gastronomica magazine.
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