Harvard Book Store welcomes celebrated local authors and contributors LAURA VAN DEN BERG and CLAIRE MESSUD for a discussion of Eat Joy: Stories & Comfort Food from 31 Celebrated Writers. They will be joined in conversation by artist and writer NATALIE EVE GARRETT, the editor of Eat Joy.
This collection of intimate, illustrated essays by some of America’s most well-regarded literary writers explores how comfort food can help us cope with dark times―be it the loss of a parent, the loneliness of a move, or the pain of heartache.
Lev Grossman explains how he survived on “sweet, sour, spicy, salty, unabashedly gluey” General Tso’s tofu after his divorce. Carmen Maria Machado describes her growing pains as she learned to feed and care for herself during her twenties. Claire Messud tries to understand how her mother gave up dreams of being a lawyer to make “a dressed salad of tiny shrimp and avocado, followed by prune-stuffed pork tenderloin.” What makes each tale so moving is not only the deeply personal revelations from celebrated writers, but also the compassion and healing behind the story: the taste of hope.
“Natalie Eve Garrett’s Eat Joy does this magical thing where it makes you remember the tastes of the heaviest times in your life, while reminding you that everyone on earth has experienced the taste of love and loss, though none of our tastes are the same. This is the first collection that ever made me want to sensually eat, cook, write, and thank all the wonderful makers of the most memorable memories in my life.” ―Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy
“Food is a key to unlocking memories. The nourishing stories in Eat Joy show us that thinking about what we’ve eaten is the easiest way to remember the bitter, the beautiful, and everything in between.” ―Julia Turshen, author of Small Victories and host of Keep Calm and Cook On
“Food binds this book together, and each beautifully told story circles life’s truths in ways that are surprising, often revelatory, and always moving. It’s impossible not to love Eat Joy, and equally impossible not to want to bake and eat these dishes while reading. It’s an extraordinary collection.” ―Dorie Greenspan, James Beard Award–winning author of Everyday Dorie
Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.