Laura Hewett, January 3, 2012 (view all comments by Laura Hewett)
This book is a must read for everyone with or without food allergies. I laughed and cried on nearly every page because Sandra Beasley's descriptions of her own experience parallel mine in so many ways. As someone with a lot of severe food allergies it was great to read a book that finally allowed me to relate to another person like me - and a funny book on top of that. It's a great read, entertaining and informing. I beg everyone I know to read it because it gives such an accurate glimpse into what my life is like on a daily basis and demonstrates that people with food allergies are capable of a normal life on a regular basis.
sals, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by sals)
It was a great read! I have a five year old with multiple severe food allergies and it was refreshing to read a book from the perspective the author delivered. Personal stories paired with the science and research that are related was my favorite aspect of the book.
rmreinke, September 17, 2011 (view all comments by rmreinke)
I strongly recommend reading this book whether you have food allergies or not. Sandra Beasley gives great information about food allergies, along with a dose of humor. Those of us that live with food allergies can sympathize with Sandra's heartache of growing up with allergies. For those people that don't have food allergies or believe that they don't exist, you get a glance behind the curtain and really see that this can be life threatening.
Jennifer Short, August 4, 2011 (view all comments by Jennifer Short)
Have you ever read a book that made you want to eat an omelet with hazelnut chocolate sauce with a glass of soy milk? Well, I never had until I read this book! I wanted to celebrate being able to eat these foods! In Don't Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life , Sandra Beasley presents a sad but at the same time humorously written account of life with multiple food allergies. Weddings? As careful as she is, nearly half of them have left her gasping for air during an allergic attack. Traveling overseas? Don't forget plenty of meds, they may not have the same items available. Family reunion? What a joy when a doctor relative gifts you with six months of allergy samples. While this is a memoir, I learned a lot about food allergies and some of the theories behind them. Did you know that China doesn't have the incidence of peanut allergies the United States does? Does dry roasting peanuts make a difference in the higher rate of peanut allergies in America? While that's not known, she does present some interesting facts about food allergies sprinkled through the book. From childhood until now, she chronicles what life was like without whining, but instead making it almost laugh out loud funny. From being "Fish Girl" in college to rejoicing at receiving raisins in her Trick-Or-Treat bags, or not being able to kiss a boyfriend after he ate a forbidden to her food, she shows how life, all of life, is affected by food allergies. This is a fantastic book, and one of the best I've read this year!
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"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"In this intelligent and witty memoir, poet Beasley (I Was the Jukebox) recounts her lifelong struggle to live a normal life while waging a battle against deadly food allergies. The author is one of 'more than 12 million Americans who have been diagnosed with food allergies, a figure that includes almost 4% of all children.' The title of this enthralling book is not hyperbole. As little as a kiss or hug from a family member or a friend who had eaten cake or ice cream at a birthday party could cause Beasley to break out in hives or, worse, suffer anaphylactic shock. She calls sherbet 'sweet, icy death in a bowl.' Beasley details her vigilant parents' never-ending routine for keeping her safe during her childhood until she left for college, how she and her friends coped with 'the thousand minor hassles of living with' her food allergies during college, and the perils of eating while traveling. Throughout this thoughtful and well-written book, Beasley closes the knowledge gap surrounding food allergies. She writes entertainingly about the history of allergies, and current research findings; religious issues surrounding food allergies; and processed foods and their hidden ingredients. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Award winner Beasley (e.g., Barnard Women Poets) offers a cultural study of living the “allergic life.” --Library Journal
"For readers who suffer from allergies, or care for someone who does, for parents who wonder why they can no longer send their child to school with the American staple, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or for anyone curious about how Sandra Beasley handles a lifelong challenge successfully, this book is for you. Winning, wise and humorous, you'll think twice when someone says, ‘Pass the peanuts.’"--Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of Don't Sing at the Table
SANDRA BEASLEY is the author of the poetry collections I Was the Jukebox, winner of the 2009 Barnard Women Poets Prize, and Theories of Falling, which won the 2007 New Issues Poetry Prize. Her honors include a DCCAH Individual Artist Fellowship, the Friends of Literature Prize from the Poetry Foundation, and the Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award from Poets & Writers, Inc. She lives in Washington, D.C., where her prose has been featured in the Washington Post Magazine.
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