Six-time novelist Kate Christensen has written another beautiful book, and this one's a memoir, out now from Random House. It’s called Blue Plate Special, after the home-cooked, simple but sustaining meals her mother used to make. As I read Kate’s “autobiography of appetites”—some food-based but others not; this is a story of life told through food in the venerable tradition of M.F.K. Fisher, Laurie Colwin, and Ruth Reichl, and its scope is much greater than what’s on a plate—I laughed and cried, and sometimes I snacked. As Kate writes in her prologue, “to taste fully is to live fully. And to live fully is to be awake and responsive [...]
Recently, I read Kate Christensen's Blue Plate Special - which was a sharp, satisfying page-turner; go buy it – and found myself vibing hard on the section where she talks about food in children's books. "The absolute greatest pleasure I knew when I was little was to eat along with characters in books I was reading," she writes. "A keenly piercing brain hunger gripped me whenever a character in a book ate anything." Christensen mentions "the gigantic, caloric, wonderful Little House on the Prairie breakfasts," and I thought, no way, you know what was even better? Farmer's Boy. In this book, Almanzo Wilder (who, incidentally, [...]
Possibly the most reassuring thing you could ever read about someone who is now a functional, successful person who has written books?
I took another year off. I graduated having no idea what I was going to do. I stayed in Portland. I had a crush on a guy who had dumped me twice already, I don’t know what I was thinking. But I hung around him anyway. I worked as a cocktail waitress, I worked in a bookstore, and I sort of cobbled together a living. But I didn’t write a word during that year. I was just depressed and hanging out with my depressed gay friend.