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Deer Hunting in Paris: A Memoir of God, Guns, and Game Meat (Travelers' Tales Guides)by Paula Young Lee
Synopses & Reviews
What happens when a Korean-American preachers kid refuses to get married, travels the world, and quits being vegetarian? She meets her polar opposite on an online dating site while sitting at a café in Paris, France and ends up in Paris, Maine, learning how to hunt. A memoir and a cookbook with recipes that skewer human foibles and celebrates DIY food culture, Deer Hunting in Paris is an unexpectedly funny exploration of a vanishing way of life in a complex cosmopolitan world. Sneezing madly from hay fever, Lee recovers her roots in rural Maine by running after a headless chicken, learning how to sight in a rifle, shooting skeet, and butchering animals. Along the way, she figures out how to keep her boyfriends conservative Republican family from mistaking” her for a deer and shooting her at the clothesline.
About the Author
Paula Lee is a food writer, architectural historian, and backwoods cook. She is the author of Meat, Modernity, and the Rise of the Slaughterhouse, Gorgeous Beasts: Animal Bodies in Historical Perspective, and Game: A Global History, in press. Her work has been supported by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the Humanities Institute at Arizona State University, and other institutions.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Prologue: What its like growing up a Korean-American preachers kid with food allergies in rural Maine.
Chapter 1. Chase. I am in Paris, France, when I meet John via an internet dating site. I move in with him but refuse to marry him.
Chapter 2. A Liver with Onions. Johns family in Maine feasts on a deer shot by his brother Patrick, who brings a new girlfriend to dinner. The entire bunch is conservative Republican. I am a liberal. It is a problem.
Chapter 3. Bite Me. Johns father shoots squirrels from the kitchen window. I ponder the implications of squirrel meat for the 2008 elections, and discuss Korean food made from acorns.
Chapter 4. Sex Ed Chicks. Baby chickens arrive at the house. The rooster proves to be very loud. John hands me a rifle and tries to teach me how to handle it. I am a very bad shot.
Chapter 5. The O in the No. John sights in a rifle by shooting at political signs. I object to this. He shoots them anyway.
Chapter 6. Coyote Mobile. We chop the head off a sick chicken. The headless chicken keeps running for a very long time. The carcass gets hung up for the coyotes, which ignore it.
Chapter 7. Girls in the Man Cave. I go to Cabelas to buy arrow tips and ammo. I end up buying candy instead.
Chapter 8. Playing Possum. Johns brother Patrick builds a bonfire and accidentally burns off all the hair on his head. A beagle disappears, and a coon hound puppy is given away.
Chapter 9. Hiking the Appalachian Trail. John and I scout for moose sign, otherwise known as looking for moose poop.” We stumble onto a mama grouse and a pair of naked lesbians in the woods.
Chapter 10. When Worlds Collide. John runs into a black bear, and my estranged brother arrives from California to celebrate my dads 80th birthday. Both the bear and my brother survive the encounter.
Chapter 11. Bard the Joint. I cook a grouse, and shoot skeet in the front yard.
Chapter 12. Dont Pee Near the Tree Stand. A tree stand is a portable balcony for deer hunters. Hunters sit and wait for the deer to walk up to them. This method does not seem to work.
Chapter 13. Be Vewy, Vewy Quiet. We are Hunting Wabbits! We take the beagles out for a rabbit hunt, and spend hours hunting in the winter woods. We do not get any rabbits, but we work up big appetites.
Chapter 14. Vampires Suck. Patrick shows me how to skin a fresh rabbit. I experiment with rabbit recipes.
Chapter 15. A Coozy Story. It is Christmas, and Patrick proposes to his girlfriend by hiding a ring in a coozy. John and I go for a snowmobile ride and get stuck in deep snow.
Chapter 16. Dont Shoot the Deer in the Ass. John misses a large buck. Frustrated, he buys hunting widgets such as a buck grunter,” scent patches, and doe urine. To my great surprise, the widgets work: a buck walks up to his tree stand, and he shoots it.
Chapter 17. Blood and Guts. The men dress the buck in the woods. It is messy and intense. They show me how to hang and skin a deer.
Chapter 18. Suet for Chickadees. I butcher the deer. Unexpectedly, this experience gives me a different perspective on my mothers death.
Chapter 19. Fish Heaven. John goes fly fishing with his son. I get munched by mosquitos, and think impolite thoughts about life in the woods. Patrick and his girlfriend Christie elope.
Chapter 20. Ham Supper for 227. A whole pig gets roasted to celebrate their wedding. Coyotes steal some of the meat. Johns father finally says something nice to me.
Epilogue. The dog dies.
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