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The Artists’ and Writers’ Cookbook is a collection of personal, food-related stories with recipes from 76 contemporary artists and writers.
Inspired by a book from 1961, The (original) Artists' & Writers' Cookbook included recipes from the likes of Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Marianne Moore, and Harper Lee. This new, vibrantly illustrated version includes stories and recipes from Anthony Doerr, Leanne Shapton, Joyce Carol Oates, John Currin and Rachel Feinstein, Ed Ruscha, Neil Gaiman, Edwidge Danticat, Aimee Bender, Gregory Crewdson, James Franco, Francesca Lia Block, Swoon, Nelson DeMille, Rick Moody and Laurel Nakadate, Nikki Giovanni, T.C. Boyle, Lev Grossman, Roz Chast, Heidi Julavits, Marina Abramović, Curtis Sittenfeld, Julia Alvarez, and many others.
In The Artists’ and Writers’ Cookbook, Anthony Doerr lures us out into the wild to find huckleberries and happiness. Neil Gaiman makes a perfectly eerie cheese omelet while Ed Ruscha associates his cactus omelet with “a time of doom.” Yiyun Li eats rations in Beijing while Edwidge Danticat prepares a soup to celebrate freedom. Nelson DeMille reminisces about a meal he ate 40 years ago when serving in Vietnam; Kamrooz Aram recalls childhood “picnics” in his basement in Tehran during air raids. Sanford Biggers updates a soul food classic—“something tasty to lessen the bitter taste of consistent, systematic oppression.” Paul Muldoon and Aimee Bender conjure food-related apocalyptic visions. Marina Abramović shares a dish best consumed on top of a volcano, Elissa Schappell dreams of playing Serge Gainsbourg records to snails, and Padgett Powell tastes a dish that reverses time and space. Daniel Wallace woos with an eggplant sandwich. Francesca Lia Block tells us how to fall in love.
The essays are at turns comedic and heart-wrenching, personal and apocalyptic, with recipes that are enchanting to read and recreate. One part cookbook and one part intimate self-portrait, The Artists’ and Writers’ Cookbook is a portal into the kitchens and personal lives of an unmatched collection of contemporary artists and writers.
About the Author
Natalie Eve Garrett is an artist, writer, and editor who likes to cook. Her work can often be seen on The Hairpin. A graduate of Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania's School of Design, Natalie lives in a town just outside DC and along the Potomac River with her husband and two children.
"[The] book tells a collective story about more than just how to prepare food. It tells the story of what it sometimes means to be human: hungry, heartbroken and hopeful."
—Los Angeles Times
"The Artists' and Writers' Cookbook is far from anything traditional and that’s exactly what makes it so inspiring. There are proper ingredients and measurement listings, yes, but more important are the imaginative, artful narratives conjured up around everyday foods."
"The Artists' and Writers' Cookbook, Natalie Eve Garrett’s imaginative and beautiful new compilation, is a goldmine . . . It's one of the most exciting, poignant, and eclectic 'cookbooks' I've come across in a long time―maybe ever."
"[The] recipes . . . are insightful and surprising―with stories that mix art-making, writing, and cooking. Each ingredient in a soup, color used in an illustration, and word modifying a sentence provides a trace of deep-seated emotional experience."
"Perhaps because food is so inseparable from our creaturely existence, undergirding these culinary curations are reflections—sometimes rapturous, sometimes poignant, often redemptive, always deeply humane—on life’s most inescapable commonalities: love, grief, growing up, the messy, unhandsome, absolutely beautiful journey of becoming who we are."
"This is no mere cookbook . . . [It contains] narratives as delightful to your literary palette as the recipes are to your culinary one."
"What we eat is emblematic of who we are, where we come from, and what matters most to us. This is the basic and delicious premise behind
The Artists' and Writers' Cookbook."
"[A] new gem of a book. . . . What makes [it] especially endearing are the common themes that run through recipes, from happy and sad memories of childhood, to the comforts of home and family, to reflections on romance, heartbreak, grief, and even disaster."
"In this lovely new book, Garrett—herself an artist and writer—has collected stories and recipes from a quirky selection of dozens of writers and artists. The authors here have scavenged their pasts, their families, their relationships, and their personal tragedies. They give us stuff to eat, too."
"Do you like eating? Do you like whimsical, beautifully-illustrated recipes written by your favorite novelists, cartoonists and other creative geniuses? Then The Artists' and Writers' Cookbook is for you."
"A collection of juicy and impassioned stories with colorfully illustrated recipes."
"Readers [are] sure to appreciate the thoughtful curation of this most unusual cookbook."
"[The] book provides an enthralling look into the lives and creative processes—via the food they cook and consume—of everyone from Anthony Doerr and Joyce Carol Oates to Ed Ruscha and Marina Abramović."
— VICE / Munchies
"Taking its inspiration from a 1961 book of the same title, Garrett’s collection is anything but a traditional cookbook. Instead, it’s a gustatory diary . . . travers[ing] an emotional spectrum that uses the personal to consistently point outwards."
"Very rarely have I found writing so consistently charming, or a book so unwaveringly lovable! This is an instant classic that all of us, readers and eaters that we are, have no choice but to absolutely adore."
—Porochista Khakpour, author, The Last Illusion and Sons and Other Flammable Objects
"Proust knew what was what: Food is rarely just a meal, and memories are made over plates, in front of stoves, at tables, and, of course, in the mouth. This is a book of the best gustatory recollections—great writers and artists offering us their own personal madeleines. It's a delicious 76-course literary meal."
—Darin Strauss, author, Half a Life and Chang & Eng
"The joy of Natalie Eve Garrett's charming cookbook isn't just in the recipes, it's in the personal vignettes attached to each dish—altogether funny, heartbreaking, and redeeming—from some of our most beloved writers and artists. Inside, you'll find recipes to be recreated, but more importantly, stories to be treasured. This is a book that belongs on your kitchen shelf as well as on your bedside table."
—Kevin Pang, James Beard Award-winning food writer
"A who's-who of every artistic mind you're a fan of, all sharing deliciously intimate stories and even recipes, so you can literally ingest some of this book's brilliance."
—Michelle Tea, author, Black Wave and How to Grow Up
"This book is the most rewarding and nourishing of Venn diagrams: story and food. Trust me—you will never see more beautifully-crafted, heartbreaking, or provocative first sentences in recipes; this is a cookbook that was meant to be read. I never knew I wanted Padgett Powell's gumbo recipe, or to read Sharon Olds' early ideas about food—but I did. You will find yourself in the night kitchen with Leanne Shapton and remote cabins with Anthony Doerr, reading rituals of healing and joy."
—Megan Mayhew Bergman, author, Almost Famous Women and Birds of a Lesser Paradise
"The Artists' and Writers' Cookbook has the two best things: great writing and great food. In Natalie Eve Garrett's careful hands, neither one outshines or unbalances the other, and combined, they make for a smart, delicious, well-rounded book that you'll want to give to anyone who likes to read and eat or eat and read."
—Jessica Soffer, author, Tomorrow There Will be Apricots
"The Artists' and Writers' Cookbook gives the reader the distinctly wonderful feeling of hanging out in the kitchen with some of the most interesting people writing and creating art today. Even if you're not a cook, this gorgeous book is a joy—you'll want to read it cover to cover."
—Gabi Moskowitz, author, The BrokeAss Gourmet Cookbook, producer of "Young & Hungry" on Freeform
AS SEEN IN: The New York Times, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Bon Appétit, Garden & Gun, Teen Vogue, Hyperallergic, Sweet Paul Magazine, Lucky Peach, HelloGiggles, BLOUIN ARTINFO, Marie Claire Italia, Edible Brooklyn, Edible Manhattan, Edible DC, Brit + Co, The New Food Economy, BravoTV.com, The Hairpin, Tasting Table, Literary Hub, VICE / The Creators Project, Southern Foodways, Open Culture, Artsy