Life, Death & Bialys
A Father/Son Baking Story
By Dylan Schaffer
(Bloomsbury USA, Hardcover, 9781596911925, 272pp.)
Publication Date: September 5, 2006
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When Dylan Schaffer's father, Flip, asked him to take an intensive bread making class at a fancy culinary school in New York, the idea seemed considerably less than half-baked. Dylan hadn't seen much of his father--not since he left Dylan and his siblings in the care of their crazy mother thirty years before. Neither knew the first thing about making bread. And Flip's cancer was expected to kill him long before the class was set to begin. But Flip made it. The pair spent seven days at the French Culinary Institute becoming artisanal bakers and seven tumultuous nights in a shabby Bowery hotel getting to know each other. As moving as it is irreverent, Life, Death & Bialys is about how an imperfect father said goodbye to his son and to his city and how a reluctant son discovered the essence of forgiveness.
Dylan Schaffer is the author of Misdemeanor man and I Right The Wrongs. He is a criminal defense lawyer who has served as appellate counsel in more than fifty murder cases, including death penalty cases. He has represented defendants in the San Francisco dog mauling case, the Billionaire Boys Club case, the Repressed Memory Murder case and the John Gotti/Gambino family prosecution. He lives in Oakland, California.
"If somebody told me they wrote a book about learning to bake bread with their curmudgeonly, dying father, I would have said, 'Break out the violins and wake me up when it's over.' But Dylan Schaffer has created something genuinely sharp and entertaining here. What a fantastic surprise."—Beth Lisick, author of Everybody in the Pool