My Kitchen Wars
A veteran of the era's domestic battles takes no prisoners in a fierce and funny memoir.
My Kitchen Wars is a war story, but the warrior is a woman, and the battleground is the kitchen. Her weapons-the batterie de cuisine of grills and squeezers and knives-evoke a lifelong need to make dinner, love, and war. With these implements, Betty Fussell pries open the past, giving voice to a generation of women whose stories were shaped but also silenced by an era of global conflict, from World War II to Vietnam. This is also a love story, as Fussell is liberated from the tyrannical puritanism of her family by a veteran of the "Good War," a young writer named Paul Fussell. But in the role of bride, Fussell finds herself captive as faculty wife and mother. She hungers for both a life of the mind and carnal pleasures. Her inner war to unite body and intellect brings down the marriage, in a denouement as brutal as the whack of a cleaver. Yet Fussell, however bloodied, emerges to cook another dinner and to tell this blackly comic tale.
Betty Fussell is the author of nine books, including The Story of Corn (NPP, 1999). A contributor to publications ranging from The New York Times to the Journal of Gastronomy, she has lectured widely on food history. She lives in New York City.
by: Betty Harper Fussell