This delightful collection of essays, reminiscences, and commentary takes us on a metaphorical tour of the American psyche. Food is basic not only to our survival, but also to our soul, as these recollections of eating delightfully demonstrate. Paul Auster recalls the onion tart that looked like his last meal in Provence and Lee Smith the "lady food" of her mother's bridge club, Jill McCorkle confesses to junk food addiction and Lorrie Moore to take-out Chinese on Christmas. Whether by gourmets or gourmands, a "picky eater" or a "nongourmet," those blessed with a heritage of taste or those with a white-bread tradition, the essays of We Are What We Ate tell about the spiritual substance of the sustenance in our lives.
We Are What We Ate benefits Share Our Strength, the nation's preeminent organization fighting hunger. It will be published to coincide with SOS's annual Writers Harvest National Reading, a nationwide benefit to be held on October 29, 1998, during which over 1,000 writers read their work at bookstores and on college campuses across the country.
"'I grew up in two-story brick house that never had an onion in it,' writes Winegardner in his introduction to the essays and reminiscences contributed by noted authors for the benefit of Share Our Strength, the national anti-hunger organization that also sponsors the annual Writers Harvest National Reading Day (Oct. 29th this year). Winegardner, who directs the creative writing program at Florida State University, recalls the spiceless meals of his youth to illustrate how food can provoke autobiography - and it's not just a matter of Proust and his madeleine. Here, julia Alvarez writes about being a picky eater, Jill McCorkle confesses to being a junk-food junkie ('My Chee-to Heart'), Stewart O'Nan recalls working as dishwasher for a synagogue caterer and Jessica B. Harris makes the connection between the collards her family cooks to the greens prepared by ancestors an ocean away." -- The Orlando Sentinel, October 18, 1998