Thursday, May 30, 2013

Three novels that concern food but aren't in love with food

Jessica Soffer earned her MFA at Hunter College. Her work has appeared in Granta, the New York Times, and Vogue, among other publications. She teaches fiction at Connecticut College and lives in New York City.

Soffer's new novel, her debut, is Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots.

For NPR she tagged three books that concern food but aren't in love with food, including:
The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg.

At the heart of this novel is the sad truth that relationships with food, complicated and all-consuming as they can be, can wreak havoc on a marriage, a family and, of course, on a body. Edie Middlestein, our protagonist, is 5 years old and already 62 pounds when the novel begins, and upward of 332 as an adult when it ends. In between, she eats and eats and eats, and we learn the ways in which her eating has damaged her daughter, her husband, and even her relationship with her grandchildren. Food runs and ruins the lives of everyone in this book. Toward the end of the novel, we are given a food scene that smacks vaguely of deliciousness, of lust, of more traditional foodie fiction, and we're enticed — but only momentarily, as it's just a foil, a segue to the book's most heartbreaking moment, and perhaps its most inevitable.
Read about another book on the list.

Visit Jessica Soffer's website and learn about ten of her favorite endings in books.

Writers Read: Jessica Soffer.

My Book, The Movie: Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots.

--Marshal Zeringue