Weekend Cooking: As Always, Julia

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs…

I’ve got letters on the brain at the moment, mostly because I’m taking part in The Month of Letters Challenge during February. However, I’ve always enjoyed collections of letters–they give such an intimate glimpse into the mind of the writer, which can be particularly fascinating if they are by someone whose life you already have an interest in reading about.

As I was surfing the web today, I came across this collection of letters between Julia Child and Avis DeVoto (whom some of you may remember from Julie & Julia, another book worth reading):

Goodreads summary: With her outsize personality, Julia Child is known around the world by her first name alone. But despite that familiarity, how much do we really know of the inner Julia? Now more than 200 letters exchanged between Julia and Avis DeVoto, her friend and unofficial literary agent memorably introduced in the hit movie Julie & Julia, open the window on Julia’s deepest thoughts and feelings. This riveting correspondence, in print for the first time, chronicles the blossoming of a unique and lifelong friendship between the two women and the turbulent process of Julia’s creation of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, one of the most influential cookbooks ever written.Frank, bawdy, funny, exuberant, and occasionally agonized, these letters show Julia, first as a new bride in Paris, then becoming increasingly worldly and adventuresome as she follows her diplomat husband in his postings to Nice, Germany, and Norway. With commentary by the noted food historian Joan Reardon, and covering topics as diverse as the lack of good wine in the United States, McCarthyism, and sexual mores, these astonishing letters show America on the verge of political, social, and gastronomic transformation.

I find Julia Child to be a fascinating personality, and as someone who has also experienced being an American expat in France, I’m interested in finding out more about her life, particularly in 1950’s Paris. This one is definitely going on my TBR list, and will hopefully give me some inspiration for my own letter-writing this month!


17 thoughts on “Weekend Cooking: As Always, Julia

  1. Diane (bookchickdi)

    I’ve seen this book around and it too has piqued my curiosity. I’m looking forward to your review. Have you ever seen the Julia Child exhibit at the Smithsonian in Washington DC? They have her kitchen in there and it is fascinating!

    1. Beth Post author

      I haven’t seen that, but would love to! I’ve not had the chance to get back to D.C. in years, but would love to take the trip sometime with my girls.

  2. Trish

    I haven’t heard of this one but ever since Julie and Julia came out I’ve been really interested in learning more abut Julia Child. I thank Merle Streep–who I will always envision as Julia Child (visa versa really).

  3. Uniflame

    I guess I am one of the few that hasn’t been a huge fan of Julia Childs. I have seen the movie Julie & Julia, and every time the actress who play Julia opens her mouth, I get goosebumps and not in a good way. Maybe it is a silly reason, but I have been put off by Julia Child ever since 😉


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