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Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My…

Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites (edition 2014)

by Kate Christensen (Author)

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Title:Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites
Authors:Kate Christensen (Author)
Info:Anchor (2014), Edition: Reprint, 368 pages
Collections:Your library

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Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites by Kate Christensen

  1. 00
    Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton (baystateRA)
    baystateRA: Food memoirs that both start out with the authors' relationships to their mothers and childhood family mealtimes.

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I have very mixed feelings about this. I was so horrified by the father's violence and then the abuse at the Waldorf School that I never quite got pas t that - so the NY years and the marriages all felt a bit like chatter and the food, totally trivial. I also read the essay she'd written for Elle about coming to terms with the abuse and how she didn't even realize the impact of it until after she'd written the memoir. So I mostly felt discombobulated and upset.

I'm not sure how much you really learn about her as a writer but as a survivor, yes. ( )
1 vote laurenbufferd | May 19, 2018 |
I'm of mixed minds about this book.

It's very readable, and well-written with that as a criterion. The subtitle- "An Autobiogrpahy of My Appetites" is appropriate; her main appetites are food, lust, and writing. Christensen has lead a very eventful life, and her accounts of it are fascinating.

However- as she got older, but emphatically refused to gain insight into the same aspects of her life that were making her miserable, I grew impatient. Every new love is her Forever Soulmate!!!! until it blows up, of course. She seems like the sort of difficult person who enjoys being difficult; even as it makes her miserable, she will not consider another approach. She's stuck- and thus so are we, the readers.

The food writing- which I read this for- is excellent, and I am going to try several of the recipes. ( )
  cissa | Jan 18, 2016 |
I almost stopped reading this memoir several times, but something kept compelling me forward. The woman depicted here, though real, almost seems like a character from a novel (and indeed, though I have never read anything else by this author, her descriptions of her own fiction protagonists seem modeled on aspects of herself). Careening from adversity to
adventure and back again, at an almost dizzying pace, Kate Christensen's life seems like a whirlwind, informed by her relationships with food and the place eating has in her life. The book is punctuated by recipes for dishes that hold a particularly important place in her life. The straightforward manner of her prose is almost a little off-putting, as if she wants to recount as much of her roller-coaster life and intimate relationships while still keeping the reader at arm's length; an odd voice for such a tale. ( )
  karenchase | Aug 20, 2015 |
Author Kate Christensen's memoir of life growing up in the 70's and 80's, loving food, struggling with romance and sense of self, and coming to terms with her complicated interaction with family including a father lost to her while young. All of this strikes a resonant chord with me. While there are references to food and recipes throughout, this is not a 'foodie' memoir, a la Michael Ruhlman, Anthony Bourdain, Gabrielle Hamilton, et al. Food takes a subsidiary role, not a primary one. The focus here is largely on relationships and personal growth. I would love to read any memoir of her mother -- a fascinating character. ( )
  michigantrumpet | May 20, 2015 |
I'm a fan of Christensen's fiction and a follower of her blog. She writes well and shares her life without oversharing. I found her childhood fascinating and her pursuit of pleasure inspiring. Very enjoyable. ( )
  ccayne | Dec 10, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385536267, Hardcover)

That the greatly admired novelist Kate Christensen has turned to the memoir form after six novels makes this book an event. Readers of memoirs of high literary quality, particularly those with food themes—most conspicuously Ruth Reichl's Comfort Me with Apples and Gabrielle Hamilton's Blood, Bones, and Butter—as well as admirers of M. F. K. Fisher and Laurie Colwin will be a large and eager audience.

This memoir derives from Kate's popular foodcentric blog (http://katechristensen.wordpress.com), in which she shares scenes from an unusual upbringing and an unusually happy present-day life, providing an audience for this book that is already primed. That it is written by Kate Christensen means it will be a delicious reading experience in every sense—a compulsively readable account of a knockabout life, full of sorrows and pleasures, many of the latter of the sensual, appetitive variety.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:56 -0400)

Builds on the author's popular food-centric blog to recount her unconventional upbringing and her unusually happy and occasionally sorrowful life of literary and culinary sensuality.

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