Category Archives: Food in literature

Octopus for Christmas

December 25, 2013 No, not salmon, that eminently respectable candidate for a fishetarian dinner.  Octopus instead, still exotic and dubious-looking in this part of the world, but a common food staple in Japan and throughout the Mediterranean: in Spain, Portugal, … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, epic, Food in literature, Global South, oceans, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oscar Hijuelos, The Fourteen Sisters of Emilio Montez O’Brien

October 16, 2013 This week saw the passing of Oscar Hijuelos: guitar-playing, cake-loving (I suspect), also lover of bountiful, sometimes over-stuffed prose. His father was the morning-to-lunch shift cook at the Biltmore Hotel, so he definitely knew a thing or … Continue reading

Posted in Caribbean literature, Cities, Contemporary novel, Cuba, Diaspora, Food in literature, Latin America, Latino/a literature, Music | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On Philip Levine’s “Salami”

“Stomach,” the seat of our most basic, precognitive desires (hunger) and responses (the “gut reaction”), aptly opens a stanza rife with the smells and flavors of Spanish cuisine. But if the stomach is the logical destination of the food being … Continue reading

Posted in contemporary poetry, Food in literature, Global South, Mediterranean, Spanish | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Elizabeth Bishop: “Brazil, January 1, 2015” or “Manuelzinho:?

May 1, 2015 The Table of Contents, the print anthology as a finite, bounded object — they loom large.   While they do that, though, this blog is going to hold out for a little longer, not going there yet. … Continue reading

Posted in Americas, Brazil, Colonization, Food in literature, Global South, indigenous communities, Latin America, Poetry, Portuguese, Racial violence, Twentieth century literature, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Ntozake Shange, Alice B. Toklas: What Cooks Know

January 23, 2013 “The first effable gazpacho was served to us in Malaga,”  Alice notes.   She and Gertrude Stein would also find “entirely different but equally exquisite” versions of the that soup in Seville and Cordoba, cities once under Islamic … Continue reading

Posted in African-American literature, Cities, Contemporary novel, Diaspora, Ethnicity, Food in literature, Global South, Greek, Islam, Mediterranean, Middle East, Polish, Spanish | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ralph Ellison, Marianne Moore: Yams and Nectarines

January 16, 2013 The yams are as real as anything in Invisible Man.   The mere smell of them sends a “stab of swift nostalgia” coursing through the protagonist.   The years of his life seem so many yams eaten: candied, … Continue reading

Posted in African-American literature, China, Chinese art, Ethnicity, Food in literature, Gender, lyric, Poetry, Twentieth century literature | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mangoes: Richard Blanco, Sandra Cisneros

January 9, 2013 Conceived in Cuba, born in Spain, raised and educated in Miami– that’s Richard Blanco, as described by the inaugural planners. What poem would he be reciting on January 20? It’s not so easy to guess based on … Continue reading

Posted in Americas, Cities, Contemporary literature, Cuba, Diaspora, Ethnicity, Food in literature, Global South, Latino/a literature, Poetry, Spanglish, Vernacular dialects | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Soul food: Jack Kerouac, Charles Johnson

October 17, 2012 Japhy – Gary Snyder – has no interest in the Buddhism of Chinatown, he likes only the real thing, the Zen taught in Japan.   But Kerouac likes everything, especially after a feast of dim sum at Nam … Continue reading

Posted in African-American literature, Afro-Asian alliances, Buddhism, Catholicism, Christianity, Contemporary novel, Diaspora, Ethnicity, Food in literature, jazz, peripheral networks, Race, Religion, slavery, Twentieth century literature, World religions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Space Brownies: Alice B. Toklas, Brion Gysin, William Burroughs

May 16, 2012 Gertrude Stein was dead at that point; she had died in 1947.  In 1952 Alice signed a contract with Harper’s to write a cookbook. Then in her 70s, Alice was not as quick with her pen as … Continue reading

Posted in Arts communities, collaboration, Experimental poetry, film medium, Food in literature, Handwritten script, Interdisciplinarity, Media, Modern art, print medium, Publishers, Radio, Remediation, twentieth century art, Twentieth century literature, Visual arts, world literature | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments