- Hardcover: 432 pages
- Publisher: Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (Dec 1 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0547417713
- ISBN-13: 978-0547417714
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.4 x 22.9 cm
- Shipping Weight: 635 g
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #488,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto Hardcover – Dec 1 2010
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"An absorbing portrait of an unexpected friendship."
"The spirit of the indomitable Julia Child lives on in Joan Reardon’s AS ALWAYS, JULIA, a saucy soup-to-nuts compilation of the correspondence between Child and lifelong friend Avis DeVoto. As Julia said, ‘Life itself is the proper binge.’ Let’s live it up!"
– Elissa Schappell, Vanity Fair, Dec. issue
-Booklist, starred review
"This epistolary testament to a close friendship will surely appeal to Child fans."
- Kirkus Reviews "Witty, enlightening and entertaining, these letters serve as a compelling companion volume to Mastering the Art of French Cooking."
- Publishers Weekly
From the Back Cover
A National Bestseller
Winner of an International Association of Culinary Professionals Award for Literary Food Writing
An absorbing portrait of an unexpected friendship. Entertainment Weekly
Julia s inimitable voice shines through . . . These letters offer [a] glimpse of how the truly great can merge heart and soul in the pursuit of excellence. Wall Street Journal
Julia is known around the world by her first name alone. But how much do we really know of the inner Julia Child? Through this riveting correspondence between Julia and Avis DeVoto, her pen pal and literary mentor, we hear Julia s deepest thoughts and feelings and witness the blossoming of a unique and lifelong friendship. We see, too, the turbulent creation of one of the most influential cookbooks ever written. Frank, bawdy, funny, exuberant, these astonishing letters show an America on the verge of political, social, and gastronomic transformation and two women deeply engaged in the making of that new world.
[Child] comes booming back to life in these dishy missives . . . A delicious read. People (31/2 of 4 stars)
Blazingly alive and entirely irresistible. Boston Globe
JOAN REARDON is a culinary historian, cookbook author, and biographer. She publishes and edits a quarterly newsletter for Les Dames d Escoffier Chicago and serves on the advisory board of Gastronomica.
" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
Each additional book I read increases my respect for her and her cooking co-authors. The amount of work to convert French cooking ingredients to an American home kitchen of the 1950's - cuts of meat, poultry and fish, close substitutions, oven types, cooking ware types, etc., and then all the recipe variations, is amazing. No wonder it took a decade to complete.
And yes, she collected a large selection of cookware and utensils, but most of her cooking was done in what we would consider today a rather inadequate kitchen. All it took was passion and determination, and the support of her wonderful husband Paul..
And for all the people who criticize her for her recipes being too rich - Julia never ate large portions, like the French. Remember quality, not quantity. And she lived to a ripe old age.
And for all the people who criticize her for using too many pots and pans for a recipe - like any good cook, she washes up as she goes along.
Her writing takes you back in time when US woman were geting out of those card board frozen dinners/t
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
This is a "book of many colors". It is historical. It is political. It is about relationships. It contains elements of hope; frustration; despair; persistence; and,ultimately, triumph over what at times must have seemed like overwhelming odds.
I am only 21% of the way through these fascinating letters be Julia Child and Avis DeVoto so this is but a very brief review of this work, however, it is also the only time I have been so engrossed in a book that I find it valuable to write a review as a "work in progress".
As an amatuer cook given to experienting will numerous styles of cuisine, I am not sure what I expected when I ordered this book in Kindle format but I assure those who read this that what I received is far more than what I believed the book would be. I guess I expected, well, a cookbook. To this point in my reading I have come to see this work as something far more important and, for those interested in history and travel, something totally unexpected.
If you are familiar with Julia Child through her cookbooks and PBS shows, then you, like I, don't know Julia as a person outside of her known field of expertise. Born in the mid-1940's, much of what is discussed in the letters relative to the political climate of the United States, post-World War II resonates with what I, and every other "Baby-Boomer" grew up with in the 50's and beyond. It provides an interesting perspective of what Julia and Avis (both obviously staunch Liberals) see as dangerous within the U.S.; Julia as an American living abroad with her husband working for the State Department, and Avis living in the U.S. married to a successful, if too liberal, author.
Highly recommended for cooks and those who aspire to be cooks; historians and those who think history is boring.
The preceding 4 paragraphs are from the original review.
Throughout these letters and Reardon's commentaries, we see a progression as the "pen-pal" friendship blossoms. The letters become more intimate. Attitudes and prejudices surface revealing much about both Julia and Avis. Julia loves France but seems, at times. to dislike the French. Avis mentions friends with a "certain condition", namely, that they are lesbians - revealing the deep-seated prejudice against gays and lesbians prevalent up until very recently (when viewed in the context of history). The use of the word "gay" in some of the letters is quickly explained to mean the true definition of the word as opposed to the sexual orientation it has come to represent.
Nothing in these letters serves to diminish the accomplishments of Julia, Simca, and Avis in the authorship and publication of Julia's and Simca's recognized masterpiece; nor, Julia's success as a star on PBS. These letters show what life was like from the late 40's through Avis' death and, in the Epilogue, beyond to further discuss (in commentary) Julia's continued success as an author and television personality.
Deserves more than 5-stars but that's all that are available.
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