Stories from the Kitchen

Penguin Random House

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Edited by Diana Secker Tesdell

Stories from the Kitchen is a one-of-a-kind anthology of classic tales showcasing the culinary arts from across the centuries and around the world.

Here is a mouthwatering smorgasbord of stories with food in the starring role, by a range of masters of fiction—from Dickens and Chekhov to Isaac Bashevis Singer, from Shirley Jackson to Jim Crace and Amy Tan. These richly varied selections offer tastes as decadent as caviar and as humble as cherry pie. They dazzle with the sumptuous extravagance of Isak Dinesen’s “Babette’s Feast” and console with a prisoner’s tender final meal in Günter Grass’s The Flounder. Choice tidbits from famous novels make an appearance: the triumphant boeuf en daube served in Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, Marcel Proust’s rhapsodic memories of the family’s cook preparing asparagus in Remembrance of Things Past, Émile Zola’s outrageously sensual “cheese symphony” scene from The Belly of Paris. Here, too, are over-the-top amuse-bouches by Gerald Durrell, Nora Ephron, and T. C. Boyle; a touching short story about food and love by M. F. K. Fisher; and a delightful account of the perfect meal by eighteenth-century epicure Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, who wrote, “Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.”

From a barrel of oysters endowed with powers of seduction to a dish of stewed tripe liberally spiced with vengeance, the fictional confections assembled here will tantalize, entice, and satisfy literary gourmands everywhere.

Published by Everyman’s Library
Oct 27, 2015 | 400 Pages | 4-1/2 x 7-1/4 | ISBN 9781101907597


Charles Dickens, “Love and Oysters” 
Guy de Maupassant, From Bel Ami
Saki, “Tea” 
M. F. K. Fisher, “A Kitchen Allegory”
Isaac Bashevis Singer, “Short Friday” 
Nora Ephron, “Potatoes and Love” from Heartburn
Lara Vapnyar, “A Bunch of Broccoli on the Third Shelf” 
Elissa Schappell, “The Joy of Cooking” 

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, “On the Pleasures of the Table” 
Anton Chekhov, “On Mortality” 
Virginia Woolf, From To the Lighthouse
Evelyn Waugh, “The Manager of ‘The Kremlin’’’
Isak Dinesen, “Babette’s Feast” 
Gerald Durrell, “Owls and Aristocracy” 
Shirley Jackson, “Like Mother Used to Make” 
Amy Tan, “Best Quality” 

Emile Zola, “The Cheese Symphony” from The Belly of Paris
Marcel Proust, From Swann’s Way
Alice B. Toklas, “Murder in the Kitchen” 
Günter Grass, “The Last Meal” from The Flounder
T. C. Boyle, “Sorry Fugu” 
John Lanchester, “A Winter Menu” from The Debt to Pleasure
Erica Bauermeister, “Lillian” 
Jim Crace, “#45” from The Devil’s Larder

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