Crazy in the Kitchen
Food, Feuds, and Forgiveness in an Italian American Family
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During Louise DeSalvo's childhood in 1950s New Jersey, the kitchen becomes the site for fierce generational battle. Louise's step-grandmother insists on recreating the domestic habits of her Southern Italian peasant upbringing, clashing with Louise's convenience-food-loving mother; Louise, meanwhile, dreams of cooking perfect fresh pasta in her own kitchen. But as Louise grows up to indulge in amazing food and travels to Italy herself, she arrives at a fuller and more compassionate picture of her own roots. And, in the process, she reveals that our image of the bounteous Italian American kitchen may exist in part to mask a sometimes painful history.
Louise DeSalvo is a writer, professor, lecturer, and scholar who lives in New Jersey. Her many books include the memoirs Vertigo, Breathless, and Adultery; the acclaimed biography Virginia Woolf: The Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse on her Life and Work; and Writing as a Way of Healing. Recently, she edited Woolf's early novel Melymbrosia and coedited The Milk of Almonds: Italian American Women Writers on Food and Culture.
A Book Sense 76 pick in hardcover
"Louise DeSalvo packs about six courses of emotional wallop into her slim memoir...[A] tough, courageous story, one of hard-won wisdom and memory."-San Francisco Chronicle
"Illuminate[s] the difficulties of reconciling past and present...DeSalvo celebrates the table of her ancestors by savoring her own rediscovered history."-New York Times Book Review
- Bloomsbury Publishing, December 2008
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