Tuesday, March 11, 2014

MFK Fisher Book Discussion

The library will host a discussion of Serve It Forth by M. F. K. Fisher on Monday, March 17 at 7:00 PM. The program will be free and open to the public.

Readers will find Serve It Forth collected in Fisher’s omnibus volume The Art of Eating. The program is the second in the library’s discussion series featuring American food writing, led by writer and editor Linda Landrigan.

Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher (1908 – 1992) is regarded as one of America’s premier food writers, the author of some 27 books of which the first, in 1937, was Serve It Forth. It was hailed by the New York Times as “erudite and witty and experienced and young . . . stamped on every page with a highly individualized personality.”

Raised in California, Fisher left college to marry and move to Dijon, France, at the time considered one of the culinary centers of the world. For the next several decades, she divided her life between California, France, and Switzerland, writing and publishing steadily, but slow to win wide recognition. As late as 1982, the New York Times Book Review lamented, “In a properly run culture, Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher would be recognized as one of the great writers this country has produced in this century.” She died in 1992 in California at the age of 83, having long suffered from Parkinson’s disease and arthritis.

“It seems to me,” Fisher wrote, “that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the love of it and the hunger for it.”

The library’s series on food writing will conclude on Monday, April 21 with a discussion of Third Helpings by Calvin Trillin (collected in The Tummy Trilogy).

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