StudioTulsa
2:37 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

The Noted Author of "Blue Plate Special," a Popular Memoir Just Out in Paperback, Visits Tulsa

On this edition of ST, we listen back to a great conversation we had last year with Kate Christensen, the award-winning author of several novels as well as a memoir --- "Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites" --- which is just out in paperback. Christensen will be reading from and signing copies of this book tonight (Tuesday the 6th) at a Book Smart Tulsa eevent at Pohlenz Cucine Moderne (at 3402 South Peoria); this event is free to the public and begins at 7pm. "Blue Plate Special" was praised by Kirkus Reviews for its "deliciously engrossing exploration of her life through the two major passions that have defined it: food and writing.... [It's] a Rabelaisian celebration of appetite, complete with savory recipes, that genuinely satisfies." And further, as Publishers Weekly noted: "Christensen...describes her 1970s upbringing in Arizona in this unpretentious memoir. The oldest daughter of a Marxist lawyer and Waldorf-educated cellist, Christensen always modeled herself after her tough, uncompromising, iconoclastic father, whose manic rages nonetheless ruptured the family, sending the Christensen, her mother, and two sisters to start life in Tempe, Ariz., where her mother took up graduate studies in psychology. The three girls flourished, immersed in the era's consciousness-raising feminist literature and instant or experimental food, recipes for which Christensen dandles along her narrative without much ado (e.g., farmers fritters, camping peas). Her efficient, chronological chapters treat some of the details those years, such as her mother's boyfriends and her own crushes, even the sexual predator at the Waldorf school she attended briefly in high school in Spring Valley, N.Y., but mostly the undercurrent eddies around the author's persistent loneliness, which she indulged by solitary writing and gorging on comfort food like bread and granola. A stint in France (flageolets en pissenlits), followed by college in Portland at Reed, graduate school in Iowa City, and work in New York round out this frank memoir, with appropriate culinary offerings for the writer's darker moods (bachelorette puttanesca)."

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