Food Memoirs Written by Women

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Food Memoirs Written by Women

Food is about so much more than sustenance; It's about community and healing. It's love, exploration, and comfort and these memoirs prove just that. Each book, written by women, illustrates the richness that the culinary world provides in life, whether it's a tool for grieving, a conduit for friendship, a form of connection, or a purpose of life. You'll devour each book and the lessons learned will stay with you long after you finish.

Climbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in India by Madhur Jaffrey 

Madhur Jaffrey, cookbook author and actress, shares memories of her childhood and provides a colorful account of her family along the way. Her stories are often rooted in food and meals, illustrating the power of taste to connect us to our past. The memoir is both humorous and reflective. It’s a delightful meandering devoid of heavy conflict, but full of reverence and introspection.

 

All the Wild Hungers: A Season of Cooking and Cancer by Karen Babine 
Karen Babine seeks to make sense of the nonsensical. When her mother is diagnosed with cancer, Babine tries nourishing her mother by cooking absolutely anything she might eat. Written in vignettes, Babine explores the relationship between food, illness, and healing. In a world where we have such little control, Babine finds comfort in cooking. 

 

The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food by Judith Jones
Have you ever considered the power of a publisher? Without Judith Jones the world may never have known Anne Frank or Julia Child. Though two very different books, each have shaped our world and cookbook aficionados owe it to Judith Jones for making the industry what it is today. Alongside recipes, Jones chronicles her life from living in Paris to becoming life-long friends with titans of the food industry like James Beard, M.F.K. Fisher, and Julia Child. 

 

The Comfort Food Diaries: My Quest For the Perfect Dish to Mend a Broken Heart by Emily Nunn 
After losing her brother to suicide, going through a crushing breakup, and having a psychotic break in Chicago, Emily Nunn finds herself on a Comfort Food tour of America in hopes of eating her way to healing. She travels the country, visiting family and friends, both new and old, who serve her their own most nostalgic comfort food. Through the tour Nunn confronts her traumatic childhood and searches for peace with her past. While the topics at hand are heavy, Nunn approaches them with humor, grace, and proves that, yes, sometimes all you need is a home-cooked meal to know you are loved.

 

Save Me The Plums: My Gourmet Memoir by Ruth Reichl
Ruth Reichl is no stranger to the memoir. While her previous memoir Tender at the Bone focuses on her coming-of-age, and Garlic and Sapphires reflects on her time spent as a food critic, her this most recent memoir details her years serving as the final Editor-in-Chief at Gourment. It’s an honest account of the lavish life of a Conde Nast editor complete with the cut-throat moments of the industry. Reichl holds no punches as she chronicles the beginning of her career with Gourmet to the heartbreaking end of it.

 

My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud'homme
One simply cannot discuss food memoirs and exclude Julia Child from the conversation. In her memoir, Child discusses how she came to learn to cook in her early thirties while living in France for her husband’s job. She details all her success and blunders in the kitchen in a way only Julia Child can. She also writes about the grueling process of writing and publishing
Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Child’s eccentric personality shines through in her writing and readers cannot help but adore her brilliance.