Like the savory, simple dishes she favored, M. F. K. Fisher's writing was often "short, stylish, concentrated in flavor, and varied in form", writes Joan Reardon in her introduction to this eclectic, lively collection. Magazine writing launched and helped to sustain Fisher's long, illustrious career and in these 57 pieces, we experience again the inimitable voice of the woman widely known to have elevated food writing to a literary art.
A Stew or a Story covers five decades of Fisher's writing for such notable and diverse publications as Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Ladies Home Journal, Atlantic Monthly, Harper's Bazaar, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Vogue. But collected here also are articles nearly impossible to find from lesser-known, more ephemeral magazines. Essays on people, places, and of course food, mix here with delightful fiction to become a delectable feast.
©2006 Robert Lescher, as trustee of the Literary Trust u/w/o M. F. K. Fisher (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
I'm Audible's first Editor-at-Large, the host of In Bed with Susie Bright -- and a longtime author, editor, journo, and bookworm. I listen to audio when I'm cooking, playing cards, knitting, going to bed, waking up, driving, and putting other people's kids to bed! My favorite audiobooks, ever, are: "True Grit" and "The Dog of the South."
I worship M.F.K. Fisher the way she worships Brillat-Savarin. Those tangerine segments, dried on the radiator, bursting with juice on a lonely gray afternoon, sit in my memory as if I'd experienced them first-hand.
"A Stew or A Story," lost peices from periodicals does nothing to quell my ardor. Here are the wry observations, proud food snobbery, and passionate enthusiasms of her more well known works.
New to me is the fineness of Fisher's short fiction. She brings her gifts for description and internal struggle to a whole new world of lonely schoolmistresses and displaced children. These are women's stories through the prickly judgement and sympathies of Fisher.
Plus, it's a wonderment to see that even in the Forties (and I'm sure before) writers were asked to make lists of "Top Ten Food Books of All Time." The listicle—it's nothing new, and M.F.K. is better at them than anyone working for Buzzfeed.
Carolyn Cook, narrates with just the tone of a world traveling, boarding school alum from California. That is, she's perfect.
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