An Extravagant Hunger: The Passionate Years of M.F.K. Fisher

Anne Zimmerman, Counterpoint, $26 (352p) ISBN 978-1-58243-546-6
Zimmerman, a contributor to, explores the privileged yet emotionally turbulent world of the pioneering American food writer Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher. In her sympathetic yet critical biography of the life behind Fisher's celebrated writings, Zimmerman finds a passionate woman defined by "lifelong hungers." Using access to Fisher's private letters and with help from the family, Zimmerman paints Fisher's emotions and discoveries that she realized in those moments where her personality and adventurous palette intersect. "Her desire for food, for love and for attention of any kind, was relentless," writes Zimmerman. "Food helped her understand the world." In turn, Zimmerman's carefully crafted narrative urges readers to connect Fisher's expanding self-awareness to the literary career she built. It also maps the unique tastes Fisher found, then sensuously described along her way from a California childhood to her European (mostly French) and Mexican odysseys; three marriages; and the suicides of her second husband, Tim Parrish, in 1941 followed by that of her brother David a year later. This focused, smart, and engaging view serves MFK Fisher as both culinary writer and cultural icon. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/31/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
Open Ebook - 273 pages - 978-1-58243-869-6
Paperback - 261 pages - 978-1-58243-804-7
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