Food in Literature
Helen Garlick loves both food and reading. In this series for Talking of Food, she chooses food-related extracts from some of her favourite authors and books. Helen says:
There are hundreds of good books that will take you through memorable accounts of food in literature. Dickens alone has filled several. Everyone knows his account of Christmas dinner at the Cratchitt's. Everyone also knows Ratty’s description of his picnic basket, Mrs Ramsey’s boeuf en daube and Marcel Proust’s madeleines. The last two would make my list of favourites but I have only selected extracts from books I have read and loved. They are random, not in any order but I hope you enjoy them.
In Part 9 of Food in Literature, Helen Brings us excerpts from The Gate of Angels, by Penelope Fitzgerald, and the short story The Cut Glass Bowl by Scott Fitzgerald in Babylon Revisited.
Part 10 of Helen's excursion through Food in Literature includes extracts from The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann and extracts from Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler.
Part 11 of Food in Literature brings together three extracts from Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens.
In Food in Literature part 12, Helen gives us extracts from Expiation by Elizabeth von Arnim, The Last Chronicle of Barset by Anthony Trollope, As They Were by MFK Fisher, and a further extract from Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens. All four extracts concern butlers or waiters.
Part thirteen starts with Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart. The novel won the Booker Prize in 2020. It is a masterpiece and should become a classic, that will be read a hundred years from now.
The Sandwich: in this article in the Food in Literature series, Helen Garlick brings us the sandwich, with extracts from The Cold Table by Helen Simpson, The Raj Quartet by Paul Scott, Kitchen Essays by Agnes Jekyll, from With Bold Knife and Fork by MFK Fisher, Unnatural Death by Dorothy Sayers, and The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde.
Part 15 begins with extracts from Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus, in which the heroine has a TV cookery show. That is followed by A Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester.
Georgette Heyer and Bruce Chatwin have nothing in common, save that in these extracts from two of their novels there is a common theme, that gourmet food served in grand surroundings can be deeply depressing if the company and the mood are unsympathetic.