Poet of the Appetites: The Lives and Loves of M.F.K. Fisher
October 14, 2022 4:39 PM - Subscribe

In more than thirty books, M.F.K. Fisher forever changed the way Americans understood not only the art of eating but the art of living. Whether considering the oyster or describing how to cook a wolf, she addressed the universal needs "for food and security and love." Readers were instantly drawn into her circle of husbands and lovers, artists and artisans; they felt they knew Fisher herself, whether they encountered her as a child with a fried-egg sandwich in her pocket, a young bride awakening to the glories of French food, or a seductress proffering the first peas of the season.

Oldest child, wife, mother, mistress, self-made career woman, trailblazing writer-Fisher served up each role with panache. But like many other master stylists, she was also a master mythologizer. To retell her story as it really happened, Joan Reardon has made the most of her access to Fisher, her family and friends, and her private papers. This multifaceted portrayal of the woman John Updike christened our "poet of the appetites" is no less memorable than the personae Fisher crafted for herself.
2004 Joan Reardon
posted by winesong (1 comment total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
What I appreciated most about this book is the understanding between the image of an author, and the author as character-- particularly in the stories around families, lovers, friends.
There are accounts of her friends and children stating her exaggeration for effect, and in some cases literally not recognizing the events she describes in her writing. And it is illuminating to see the ways she casts herself as the "best" child, the "most beloved", the seductress, etc.
posted by winesong at 3:05 PM on October 15, 2022 [1 favorite]

« Older Movie: Ran...   |  Atlanta: Work Ethic!... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments