The Virago Book of Food: The Joy of Eating, ed Jill Foulston
Sunday 01 November 2009
This mouthwatering anthology caters for every taste: the greedy, the curious, the lonely, the in love... Food spreads itself into many areas of life, and topics covered here in bite-size form are as diverse as kitchen cooking and food as a form of art. "The place I like best in this world is the kitchen," writes Banana Yoshimoto, while Angela Carter's protagonist seeks succour in the "domestic geography" of a new house – identity hinges on a slice of currant cake.
The excesses of gastronomic desire are foregrounded in "Unrestrained Appetites", from the "dark creamy sweetness" of chocolate evoked by Diane Mott Davidson, to Grace Nichols' poem "Sugarcake Bubble" ("Sugarcake, sugarcake/ Bubbling in a pot... I could eat the lot"). "Festive Fare" explores food celebrations, from those in a remote Afghan region to George Eliot's evocation of Christmas pud in Mill on the Floss. But among the most powerful accounts are from those deprived of food. Anne Frank describes Miep's account of an engagement party – the hors d'oeuvre with eggs and roast beef a stark contrast to her two spoons of porridge. But whether loving or loathing, all reveal the intimate connection between food and identity.
Grace Dent on TVtv
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
‘Remember the attackers are a cold-blooded, crazy minority’, says Blek le Rat
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 3 Nineteen-year-old student left gifts for parents before taking her own life
- 4 Deliberately urinating before sex can increase risk of urinary tract infections
- 5 Winston Churchill: From accusations of anti-Semitism to the blunt refusal that led to the deaths of millions
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
David Cameron says anyone criticising Eric Pickles' letter to Muslims 'really has a problem'