Death by Pad Thai: And Other Unforgettable Meals

Front Cover
Douglas Bauer
Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale, Feb 10, 2010 - Cooking - 240 pages

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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kutsuwamushi - LibraryThing

This is a collection of stories about food - most of which are apparently forgettable, because not long after reading this book, I couldn't think of anything that really stuck out in my mind as ... Read full review

Death by Pad Thai: And Other Unforgettable Meals

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Most people have a good story about the best meal they've ever eaten or about one that went awry. Many can recount their experiences in laughter-or tears. Here, freelance writer and editor Bauer ... Read full review

Selected pages


IntroductionDouglas Bauer
FoodumsSue Miller
La Divina CommediaAmy Bloom
Fried PeppersMichael Gorra
FullElizabeth McCracken
HomeAndre Dubus III
Food EnvyAimee Bender
Stir Gently and ServeJane Stern
How I Learned to EatPeter Mayle
My Life in FoodAnn Packer
Dinner with SeamusHenri Cole
The Longest HourMargot Livesey
A Feast ofPreparationsDavid Lehman
The Handsome Tutorat LunchMichelle Huneven
YesLan Samantha Chang
The PlaceWe Came FromDiana AbuJaber

Surf and TurfRichard Russo
Beach FoodMichelle Wildgen
By the River CousinClaire Messud
My Dinner withAndy Warhols FriendsMichael Stern
Death by LobsterPad ThaiA CounterPhobic Paean toFriendship Crustaceans andOral TranscendenceSteve Almond
About theContributors
Also edited by Douglas Bauer

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About the author (2010)

Winner of the PEN/New England Book Award for What Happens Next? Matters of Life and Death, Douglas Bauer is the editor of Prime Times and the author of Prairie City, Iowa; Dexterity; The Very Air; and The Book of Famous Iowans.

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