"Food played a prominent part in my first book, a novel called The Oven House - it symbolized comfort and nurture, attempted to soothe the desolated landscape of lost love through the cherishing intensities of heat and taste. It is sprinkled, literally and metaphorically, through my poetry too: an unsettling chip shop owner, a bare-breasted woman striding past a grocery store, tomatoes, milk, bread, chestnuts, olives, eggs, a single golden apple." The Hungry Writer by Lynne Rees
I wanted to send that paragraph to my Reader at Lancaster University where I dropped out of a doctoral program dashing my plans to become Dr. Donna.
He thought food did not belong in any serious writing and totally failed to see that choices of what my characters ate SHOWED as much about their attitudes and relationships as being TOLD.
Showing vs. telling is a lesson that all beginning writers should learn with showing being the stronger. There were other problems, and despite him saying my writing was not publishable, Family Value was published with all food references.
The Hungry Writer is a fascinating combination of the Welsh author's experiences growing up in Wales, living in France, writing prompts for those writers that want to use it as a text book or to trigger their own writing and a cookbook.
As a long-time fan of her poetry, I doubt if many other writers could pull the combination off. She did, although she started it out as a weekly blog. The book feels like a book not a blog demonstrating her skill with not just the written word but with the manipulation of format.
Interwoven are bit and pieces of her life, which intentional or not, can be adapted to the reader's who may never have spent time in Wales or France, but can identify with a mate's accident, doing somethin to remember happily or regret.
This is a perfect book to settle down with on a rainy afternoon, a cup of tea and perhaps with the smell of welsh cakes (recipe page 61) hot from the oven.
Order here UK or here US.