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Caro



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 2931


Location: Owaka, New Zealand

PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 10:54 pm    Post subject: Food in books  Reply with quote

Michael mentioned a lovely food passage in his blog, and it made me wonder what novels (or other books) have had as their base food.  The one that comes to mind for me is Chocolat by Joanne Harris, which I haven't read but have seen the movie.  I was listening today to a review of a book by Isabel Allende and Aphrodite: a Memoir of the Senses was mentioned as a book about food.  But I can't think of classic fiction that has food as a main element.  Everyone knows about Oliver Twist's problems with a lack of enough nourishment, but it's not the main focus of the book.

A light (but delightful) NZ novelist, Sarah-Kate Lynch writes often with food as the main setting - The House of Peine is one set in France about wine-making, another is Blessed are the Cheese-Makers.  

All the ones I have mentioned combine food/wine and sensuousness; sex is openly enjoyed and celebrated.  Allende's Aphrodite book talks of food and sex in its sub-titling.  

But what other books are about food at their base?  Or have a different attitude to food?


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MikeAlx



Joined: 17 Nov 2008
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Location: Seaford, East Sussex

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim Crace's "The Devil's Larder" is one that springs immediately to mind. John Lanchester's "The Debt to Pleasure" is another (though I know it only by reputation).



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chris-l



Joined: 27 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John Lanchester's 'The Debt to Pleasure' is very much about food. I would not recommend any of the recipes, but it is a comic masterpiece!


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Castorboy



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
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Location: Castor Bay Auckland NZ

PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Caro, there is another NZ writer who brings food into her novels who Iím sure you have heard of, Nicky Pellegrino. The novels have titles such as Delicious, The Gypsy Tearoom and Recipe for life. Using her Italian heritage many of the novels are set in Italy with lavish descriptions of the meals her characters consume. Coincidently like Sarah-Kate Lynch she has also been an editor on the NZ Womanís Weekly.


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Green Jay



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
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Location: West Sussex

PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Vintner's Luck is very much about wine. The author's name escapes me (and no time to look it up.)

Joane Harris (Chocolat) wrote some other books, set in France, which revolve around food, before she went on to more thriller-ish topics. I have read one or two. Blackberry Wine?? Five Quarters of the Orange?

You can see I'm being very lazy tonight.  Smile


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Caro



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
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Location: Owaka, New Zealand

PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Vintner''s Luck is by another NZ writer, Elizabeth Knox.  

I hear Nicky Pellagrino on national radio, Castor Boy, but I have never read any of her books.  I think I might have been under the impression her books were too chick lit, but you have made them sound attractive.  I might give her a try soon.  

I haven't read any Joanne Harris though someone on this board really liked her early stuff, can't remember who it was.  Gareth?  Or someone not here regularly any longer, perhaps.


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TheRejectAmidHair



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
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Location: Staines, Middlesex

PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sadly, La Chartreuse de Parme wasn't about chartreuse at all. What a let-down! And you'd have thought Cakes and Ale would have something about food & drink in it!



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Chibiabos83
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Joined: 19 Nov 2008
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Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheRejectAmidHair wrote:
Sadly, La Chartreuse de Parme wasn't about chartreuse at all.

But there was some ham involved, right?


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Sandraseahorse



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot of Chicklit features food.  I haven't read that much of it but the books in that genre I have read usually feature a woman having a life-changing experience and then going off somewhere and adopting a new persona as a cook/chef or running a bakery/cake shop.


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TheRejectAmidHair



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
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Location: Staines, Middlesex

PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chibiabos83 wrote:
TheRejectAmidHair wrote:
Sadly, La Chartreuse de Parme wasn't about chartreuse at all.

But there was some ham involved, right?


Nah - not even ham. It was just about people. Boring or what?




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