Appetite for Life
The Biography of Julia Child
By Noel Riley Fitch
(Anchor, Paperback, 9780307948380, 608pp.)
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
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Julia Child entered the lives of millions of Americans with her bestselling cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking; her popular and long-running cooking show, The French Chef; and her beloved memoir, My Life in France. In this intimate and revealing biography, based on exclusive interviews and scores of private letters and diaries, Noel Riley Fitch leads us through her incredible life.
We travel with Julia from her exuberant youth in California to her raucous days at Smith College; from her volunteer service with the OSS during World War II to the day she met Paul Child, the man with whom she would enjoy a fifty year marriage. We’re with her when she takes her first culinary course at 37 and discovers her true calling; when she begins work on her landmark cookbook and suffers the rejections of most publishers in New York. And when finally her vision strikes a chord with a generation of Americans tired of bland cuisine, we’re there to share in the making of a legend.
Julia Child became a household name by resisting fads and narrow conventions, by being the quintessential teacher and an inspiration to modern women, and by doing it all with her trademark humor and aplomb. Appetite for Life is her truly remarkable story.
Noel Riley Fitch is the author of Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation: A History of Literary Paris in the Twenties and Thirties and Anais: The Erotic Life of Anais Nin, as well as other books chronicling the French-American artistic experience. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles and on the Left Bank in Paris.
“A delicious recounting of the life of the woman who has inspired confidence in generations of American cooks.”
—Town & Country
“Marvelous. . . . Mesmerizing.”
“Fitch’s richly detailed biography of Child describes how a plainspoken woman who loved food inspired millions to pick up a whisk and make a fine French dinner from scratch.”
“A deep dish on the food world.”
“An incredible adventure.”
—The Boston Globe
“Because Child allowed Fitch complete access to her papers, we get a real feel for the relentless work that went into the much-massaged Mastering.”
—The Washington Post
“Entertaining and informative—represents the best of biographical writing.”
“I thoroughly enjoyed reading Appetite for Life. . . . Our admiration and love for Julia grows stronger as we keep reading. . . . The narration reads like a thriller, vivid and engrossing. . . . This well-written, lively tale brings to life a complex, multifaceted personality, endearing, and, at times, heroic.”