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Death by Pad Thai

And Other Unforgettable Meals

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In this collection of 20 essays—including a number of recipes—by some of the country’s finest writers, food is the central player in memories both exquisite and excruciating.

Food isn’t just a gustatory pleasure; it is the stuff of life. At its best and most memorable, a meal becomes a story—and a story becomes a feast. In this anthology, Richard Russo relates the celebratory day he and his wife spent eating their way through haute Manhattan—and departing utterly famished. Steve Almond recounts the gleeful daylong preparation of a transcendent lobster pad thai dish. Sue Miller reveals that after a lifetime of practical cooking, she is finally fed by a man who presents food as an offering, made just for her. Aimee Bender ponders her lifelong envy of what everyone else is having for lunch.

Expertly compiled and edited by Douglas Bauer—including pieces by Amy Bloom, Peter Mayle, Jane and Michael Stern, Ann Packer, Andre Dubus III, Michael Gorra, Elizabeth McCracken, Michelle Wildgen, Claire Messud, Henri Cole, Margot Livesey, David Lehman, Michelle Huneven, Lan Samantha Chang, and Diana Abu-Jaber—this unforgettable collection presents food as education, test, reward, bait, magnet, and, most of all, gift. Gathered here are meals that sate our most complex palate, the appreciation of life.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Jul 24, 2006 – Though Bauer's introduction invokes M.F.K. Fisher—in the early 1970s he escorted her for a magazine story on New Orleans restaurants—this collection of 20 essays concentrates more on nostalgia than on the actual pleasures of the table. From such writers as Amy Bloom, Claire Messud, Andre Dubus III, Richard Russo and Peter Mayle, Bauer gathers pieces about meals that were "unforgettable by occasion"—if not savoriness. Sue Miller's contemplative opener touches on the stupendous appetite of her teenage son, memories of her mother's dreadful cooking and the first meal her husband made for her. The reliable Jane and Michael Stern, here writing separately, provide the most humorous essays. In "Stir Gently and Serve," Jane details the first—and only—Thanksgiving she hosted, after which even the bulldog wouldn't eat the leftovers. Michael recalls a "night of a thousand embarrassments" in "My Dinner with Andy Warhol's Friends," when the Sterns took a Swiss art dealer to a fish house in Hoboken, N.J. Steve Almond's gem of a title story serves as one of the more appetizing tales, a funny, wonderfully descriptive account of a sensational homemade pad thai involving fresh Maine lobster. "Words are inadequate," Almond writes, but the reader will be salivating.
Death by Pad Thai
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Cookbooks, Food & Wine
  • Published: Oct 24, 2006
  • Publisher: Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 240 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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