The Comfort Food Diaries: My Quest for the Perfect Dish to Mend a Broken Heart

Emily Nunn. Atria, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4516-7420-0
Gorgeous and moving, Nunn’s memoir will enlighten readers on how closely food can be intertwined with healing. Nunn, a former New Yorker arts editor, reflects early on that “the very idea of comfort food is often a scattershot longing, an elastic and suggestible concept,” and recounts how comfort food helped her heal after the death of her brother. In straightforward prose, Nunn describes her alcoholism in the wake of her brother's suicide and her subsequent stint in the Betty Ford Center. Along the way, readers meet those in Nunn’s life who share their recipes and stories with her while she rebuilds her idea of family. She includes recipes for the key comfort food meals of her life, such as a recipe for cream cheese and olive sandwiches, which she ate as a fourth grader with a “nervous stomach”; a recipe for the Bolognese ragù she made while staying with her aunt Mariah, trying “to get it together”; and a recipe for the collard soup prepared by her friend Portia as they discussed AA meetings. With powerful prose and rich details, her memoir is simultaneously uplifting and heartbreaking. (Sept.)

This review has been updated with the correct pub date.

Reviewed on: 06/12/2017
Release date: 09/26/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4516-7427-9
Hardcover - 497 pages - 978-1-4328-4231-4
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-5082-4167-6
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-1-4516-7422-4
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