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Salty: Lessons on Eating, Drinking, and…
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Salty: Lessons on Eating, Drinking, and Living from Revolutionary Women (edition 2022)

by Alissa Wilkinson (Author)

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811,918,128 (2)None
If you could have a dinner party with anyone dead or alive, who would it be? That's the question film critic and food writer Alissa Wilkinson answered as she gathered a hypothetical table of women who challenged norms and defied conventional wisdom. Ella Baker, Alice B. Toklas, Hannah Arendt, Octavia Butler, Agnes Varda, Elizabeth David, Edna Lewis, Maya Angelou, Laurie Colwin: these smart, engaging, revolutionary, and creative twentieth-century women were all profoundly influenced by their own relationships to food, drink, and other elements of sustenance. In Salty, Wilkinson explores the ways food managed to root these women into their various callings. For some, it was cultivating perseverance in the face of hardship. For others, it was nurturing a freedom to act, even in the face of opposition, toward justice and equality. For others, it was an examination of what it means to be human with all its desire, heartbreak, sacrifice, isolation, and liberty. Salty is Alissa Wilkinson's invitation to you. Join these sharp, empowered, and often subversive women and discover how to live with courage, agency, grace, smarts, snark, saltiness, and sometimes feasting--even in uncertain times. Ultimately you will leave this table with a greater understanding of food, drink, gathering, thinking, loving, and navigating the world.… (more)
Member:PhyllisReads
Title:Salty: Lessons on Eating, Drinking, and Living from Revolutionary Women
Authors:Alissa Wilkinson (Author)
Info:Broadleaf Books (2022), 194 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:**
Tags:library-book, nonfiction, food-cooking, feminism, recipes

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Salty: Lessons on Eating, Drinking, and Living from Revolutionary Women by Alissa Wilkinson

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I was disappointed in this book and found it didn’t deliver. The concept is that author Alissa Wilkinson imagines if she had invited a group of women to a dinner party. This specific group were women who challenged norms and defied conventional wisdom.

She chose Ella Baker, Alice B. Toklas, Hannah Arendt, Octavia Butler, Agnes Varda, Elizabeth David, Edna Lewis, Maya Angelou, and Laurie Colwin. Yes, they were smart, engaging, revolutionary, and creative twentieth-century women. But not all of these women had obvious relationships to food and drink as the book’s subtitle promises: “Lessons on eating, drinking, and living from revolutionary women.”

So I think it was a stretch to connect all these women through food and drink. The author tried to explore the ways food managed to root these women into their various callings. But most of the time I felt the author had done a lot of research and reading and was just writing a mini-biography of each woman that she had taken from a few other sources. For example, when she inserts the same quote about Ella Baker on page 73 and then again on page 76, I had to ask: where was the editor and/or proofreader? Didn’t Wilkinson herself notice the same quote?

Wilkinson explains her choices, “I’ve spent some time with each woman [through her research] interested especially in how their lives, work, and ideas tell us something about living a life of feasting. Some of them have a lot to say about eating and drinking. Others are experts on friendship, failure, and activism.” Reading Wilkinson’s personal impressions of these women and the inspiration imparted by them was the highlight of the book. I didn’t need to read a rehash of previously written biographies and profiles.

As Wilkinson reveals in her prologue, she began this book just weeks after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the world. I agree that this was a great project to stay occupied and productive, but instead of writing this book, she should have used the research she acquired and written something else. And circling back to the original concept, I would have liked her to gather these women around the dinner table together and create a conversation for us to imagine joining. Now that would be something I’d enjoy reading. ( )
  PhyllisReads | Sep 23, 2022 |
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If you could have a dinner party with anyone dead or alive, who would it be? That's the question film critic and food writer Alissa Wilkinson answered as she gathered a hypothetical table of women who challenged norms and defied conventional wisdom. Ella Baker, Alice B. Toklas, Hannah Arendt, Octavia Butler, Agnes Varda, Elizabeth David, Edna Lewis, Maya Angelou, Laurie Colwin: these smart, engaging, revolutionary, and creative twentieth-century women were all profoundly influenced by their own relationships to food, drink, and other elements of sustenance. In Salty, Wilkinson explores the ways food managed to root these women into their various callings. For some, it was cultivating perseverance in the face of hardship. For others, it was nurturing a freedom to act, even in the face of opposition, toward justice and equality. For others, it was an examination of what it means to be human with all its desire, heartbreak, sacrifice, isolation, and liberty. Salty is Alissa Wilkinson's invitation to you. Join these sharp, empowered, and often subversive women and discover how to live with courage, agency, grace, smarts, snark, saltiness, and sometimes feasting--even in uncertain times. Ultimately you will leave this table with a greater understanding of food, drink, gathering, thinking, loving, and navigating the world.

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