Food, Race, Gender

May 26, 2016

I’ve been in deepest Vermont for the past few days, teaching food writing at Sterling College. It’s a fantastic school that is also a working farm – and the students turned out to be wonderful. Really good writers.

One of the students is working on a moving piece about her Indian roots.  I promised to send a short list of pieces I admire that tackle the subject of food and race.  Then I threw in a couple on gender as well.

This is very preliminary, but I thought you might also be interested.


Junot Diaz:

Fae Ng:

Shoba Narayan:

Monique Truong:

Yvonne Durant:

William Least Heat-Moon:

Michael Twitty:

Francis Lam and Eddie Huang:

Lolita Hernandez:

Making Calaloo in Detroit




Chitra Banerji;

MFK Fisher:

Virginia Woolf:

The whole premise of A Room of One’s Own rests on the difference between the delicious food served at the men’s college in Oxford, and the terrible food at the woman’s college. It is the source of her famous quote about not being able to think well, etc. if one has not eaten well.

If any one complains that prunes, even when mitigated by custard, are an uncharitable vegetable (fruit they are not), stringy as a miser’s heart and exuding fluid such as might run in misers’ veins who have denied themselves wine and warmth for eighty years and yet not given to the poor, he should reflect that there are people whose charity embraces even the prune. (1.26)

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1 Comment

  • Jessica says:

    Wonderful list! Thank you so much for sharing. I’m a grad student in a creative writing program and find this so very interesting and useful.