Writing in the Kitchen: Essays on Southern Literature and Foodways

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David A. Davis, Tara Powell
Univ. Press of Mississippi, Aug 4, 2014 - Literary Criticism - 320 pages
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Scarlett O'Hara munched on a radish and vowed never to go hungry again. Vardaman Bundren ate bananas in Faulkner's Jefferson, and the Invisible Man dined on a sweet potato in Harlem. Although food and stories may be two of the most prominent cultural products associated with the South, the connections between them have not been thoroughly explored until now.

Southern food has become the subject of increasingly self-conscious intellectual consideration. The Southern Foodways Alliance, the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, food-themed issues of Oxford American and Southern Cultures, and a spate of new scholarly and popular books demonstrate this interest. Writing in the Kitchen explores the relationship between food and literature and makes a major contribution to the study of both southern literature and of southern foodways and culture more widely.

This collection examines food writing in a range of literary expressions, including cookbooks, agricultural journals, novels, stories, and poems. Contributors interpret how authors use food to explore the changing South, considering the ways race, ethnicity, class, gender, and region affect how and what people eat. They describe foods from specific southern places such as New Orleans and Appalachia, engage both the historical and contemporary South, and study the food traditions of ethnicities as they manifest through the written word.

 

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Contents

Foreword
Culinary Conversations of the Plantation South
Revisions of Labor and MiddleClass Identity
Transitional Narratives in Southern Foodways
Eating Poetry in New Orleans
Racial Intimacy Domestic Labor and Civil Rights
The Embodied Politics of Remembering
Foodways in Contemporary Southern Poetry
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About the author (2014)

David A. Davis is assistant professor of English and southern studies at Mercer University.

Tara Powell is associate professor of English at the University of South Carolina.

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