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1 Beaverton Cooking and Food- Gastronomic Literature

As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto: Food, Friendship, and the Making of a Masterpiece

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As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto: Food, Friendship, and the Making of a Masterpiece Cover

ISBN13: 9780547417714
ISBN10: 0547417713
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Review-A-Day

"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

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"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)

Synopsis:

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.

Synopsis:

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.

Synopsis:

The never-before-published fascinating correspondence between America’s queen of food, Julia Child, and her confidante and mentor, Avis DeVoto

Synopsis:

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.

Synopsis:

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.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Pamela Ager, January 24, 2013 (view all comments by Pamela Ager)
Very enjoyable read of letters between Avis & Julia. Fun to read the trials & tribulations of getting her cookbook written & published & hearing all about the social & political situations going on at the time (1950s). This was my childhood, so it was very interesting, & somewhat disheartening to see that in 60 years not much has changed on the political scene. Even picked up a few cooking tips! Anyone interested in Julia Child will certainly be interested in reading this, i think anyone interested in today's politics would be too. Highly recommended.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Pamela Ager, January 24, 2013 (view all comments by Pamela Ager)
Very enjoyable read of letters between Avis & Julia. Fun to read the trials & tribulations of getting her cookbook written & published & hearing all about the social & political situations going on at the time (1950s). This was my childhood, so it was very interesting, & somewhat disheartening to see that in 60 years not much has changed on the political scene. Even picked up a few cooking tips! Anyone interested in Julia Child will certainly be interested in reading this, i think anyone interested in today's politics would be too. Highly recommended.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
takingadayoff, October 3, 2010 (view all comments by takingadayoff)
Who would have guessed that Julia Child was a control freak?

Judging by her own letters, it seems that she was often in various stages of irritation at her two co-authors of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, the book that launched her career. One co-author didn't do her share of the work, although in her defense, it's unlikely that any of them realized when they began, that they were embarking on what would be a 20-year-long project that was anything but smooth. Her other colleague was a hard worker, but something of a perfectionist, often second-guessing Julia's meticulous research. It's amazing the book was published at all.

Julia was an expert at French cooking, but she knew little about book publishing and oddly, little about American cooking. She had never cooked when she lived in America, and had learned everything she knew about cooking in Paris, so she had peculiar gaps in her knowledge, such as that Americans keep their fresh eggs in cartons in the refrigerator, not in a bowl on the counter. Avis was able to keep such clangers from getting into the book, as well as steering Julia to editors who would be open to the idea of such an ambitious cookbook.

Avis also acted as Julia's stateside researcher, answering questions such as whether cake flour was available, or just all-purpose flour. Avis alerted her to new trends in American cooking, such as the use of mono sodium glutamate (MSG) in the form of sprinkle-on Accent.

They wrote about politics as well, with Senator Joseph McCarthy and his hunt for communists the topic of the day. Julia and husband Paul moved from Paris to Marseilles to Germany to Oslo during the 1950s, and she told Avis how they were adapting to each new home and how their attempts at language learning were going. Julia loved getting to know new places, but her heart always belonged to Paris.

After two years of letter writing, Avis and Julia finally met in France, and they met a few more times over the years, until the Childs finally returned to the States for good and could see the Devotos on a more regular basis.

The letters span the years from 1952 to 1961 and are remarkably interesting despite their share of mundane matters such as the weather and who had what seasonal disease. Julia and Paul went to a play while they were visiting New York in 1957 and were impressed by the “young male lead, Richard Burton...he is English, I believe.” In a prescient letter dated 1952, Julia told Avis “I'm enjoying [teaching French cooking to Americans] immensely, as I've finally found a real and satisfying profession which will keep me busy well into the year 2000.”
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780547417714
Author:
Reardon, Joan
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin
Subject:
History
Subject:
Modern - 20th Century
Subject:
Editors, Journalists, Publishers
Subject:
Letters
Subject:
Anthologies-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20101231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
b/w photos throughout
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1.41 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » Cooking
Biography » General
Cooking and Food » Food Writing » Gastronomic Literature
Cooking and Food » General
Cooking and Food » Reference and Etiquette » Historical Food and Cooking
Cooking and Food » Regional and Ethnic » French
Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » General
Young Adult » General

As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto: Food, Friendship, and the Making of a Masterpiece Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) - English 9780547417714 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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)
"Review A Day" by , "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." (Read the entire Oregonian review)
"Synopsis" by , 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.
"Synopsis" by , 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.
"Synopsis" by ,
The never-before-published fascinating correspondence between America’s queen of food, Julia Child, and her confidante and mentor, Avis DeVoto
"Synopsis" by , 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.
"Synopsis" by , 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

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