As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child & Avis DeVoto

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Dec 1, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 434 pages

This revealing correspondence between the legendary French chef Julia Child and her dear friend is “a delicious read” (People).

With her outsize personality, Julia Child is known by her first name alone. But 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 her deepest thoughts and feelings.

This riveting correspondence 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. 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 food historian Joan Reardon, and covering topics as diverse as the lack of good wine in the United States, McCarthyism, and sexual mores, these letters show America on the verge of political, social, and gastronomic transformation.

“An absorbing portrait of an unexpected friendship.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Two housewives, each in her 40s ... let rip about all kinds of things, from shallots, beurre blanc and the misery of dried herbs to politics, aging and sex ... Funny and forthright opinions about food and life.”—The New York Times

“Entirely irresistible.”—The Boston Globe
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - tkcs - LibraryThing

This is an interesting insight into Julia's life and the times. She and Avis write back and forth about what food items are available in France vs the US, recipes, politics (both liberals - a lot of discussion about McCarthy), and about the process of getting a book published. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - SESchend - LibraryThing

Hardly a book I expected to find so engrossing and detailed and personal; with very minimal bridging materials and introductions, this collection of letters between the title women is engrossing for ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Culinary historian, cookbook author, and biographer Joan Reardon is the author of M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, and Alice Waters: Celebrating the Pleasures of the Table, M.F.K. Fisher Among the Pots and Pans, Poet of the Appetites: The Lives and Loves of M.F.K. Fisher, and Oysters: a Culinary Celebration. Reardon, who has a PhD in English literature, won an IACP Award for culinary writing, publishes and edits a quarterly newsletter for Les Dames d’Escoffier Chicago, and serves on the advisory board of Gastronomica magazine.

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