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Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Childby Noel Riley Fitch
Synopses & Reviews
Julia Child became a household name when she entered the lives of millions of Americans through our hearts and kitchens. Yet few know the richly varied private life that lies behind this icon, whose statuesque height and warmly enthused warble have become synonymous with the art of cooking.
In this biography we meet the earthy and outrageous Julia, who, at age eighty-five, remains a complex role model. Fitch, who had access to all of Julia's private letters and diaries, takes us through her life, from her exuberant youth as a high-spirited California girl to her years at Smith College, where she was at the center of every prank and party. When most of her girlfriends married, Julia volunteered with the OSS in India and China during World War II, and was an integral part of this elite corps. There she met her future husband, the cosmopolitan Paul Child, who introduced her to the glories of art, fine French cuisine, and love. Theirs was a deeply passionate romance and a modern marriage of equals.
Julia began her culinary training only at the age of thirty-seven at the Cordon Bleu. Later she roamed the food markets of Marseilles, Bonn, and Oslo. She invested ten years of learning and experimentation in what would become her first bestselling classic, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Now, her career is legend, spanning nearly forty years and still going strong. Generations love the humor and trademark aplomb that have made Julia a household name. Resisting fads and narrow, fanatical conventions of health-consciousness, Julia is the quintessential teacher. The perfect gift for food lovers and a romantic biography of a woman modern before her time, this is a truly American life.
Julia Child entered the lives of millions of Americans with her bestselling cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking; her popular and long-running cooking show, The French Chef; and her beloved memoir, My Life in France. In this intimate and revealing biography, based on exclusive interviews and scores of private letters and diaries, Noel Riley Fitch leads us through her incredible life.
We travel with Julia from her exuberant youth in California to her raucous days at Smith College; from her volunteer service with the OSS during World War II to the day she met Paul Child, the man with whom she would enjoy a fifty year marriage. We’re with her when she takes her first culinary course at 37 and discovers her true calling; when she begins work on her landmark cookbook and suffers the rejections of most publishers in New York. And when finally her vision strikes a chord with a generation of Americans tired of bland cuisine, we’re there to share in the making of a legend.
Julia Child became a household name by resisting fads and narrow conventions, by being the quintessential teacher and an inspiration to modern women, and by doing it all with her trademark humor and aplomb. Appetite for Life is her truly remarkable story.
About the Author
Noel Riley Fitch is the author of Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation: A History of Literary Paris in the Twenties and Thirties and Anais: The Erotic Life of Anais Nin, as well as other books chronicling the French-American artistic experience. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles and on the Left Bank in Paris.
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