Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Dear Julia Child and Avis DeVoto,

I've been reading your book. You know, the one that's made up of the couple hundred letters that you two began exchanging in the 50s after your husband, Avis, wrote an article about the dearth of good knives in America, and you, Julia, sent him a great knife from France?

Reminds me of some of my long-distance friendships, minus the shipping of knives. It's a delight to observe the winding path to publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and it's delicious to discover tidbits about the book's creation that I didn't know. Your correspondence  practically demands, nay, screams, for a glass of cabernet to be by my side as I dive into your book at the end of a long day.

 As Always, Julia is like ... what? Like yakking on the phone with someone who gets it. And you two are so witty and intelligent and fun, and you both adore food -- what's not to love?

You also make me want to write letters. Long, rambly, this-is-what-I-think-and-I-just-know-you-do-too letters.

Maybe I'll go write one tonight. After I read a few more of your epistles and finish a glass of wine.

As always,


Ana Braga-Henebry said...

Love Julia Child. Tell me more!

Karen Edmisten said...

Ana, if you love Julia, I think you'll love this book.

The relationship began after Julia Child read an article by Bernard DeVoto in Harper's magazine. The article was about the quality of kitchen knives, and Child responded with a sort of "fan" letter and the gift of the knife. DeVoto's wife handled much of his correspondence, and the two women immediately recognized kindred spirits, and they simply kept writing to one another. DeVoto had ties to Houghton Mifflin, and when she found out that Julia was working on a cookbook, she encouraged her to forget the small-and-not-doing-much-good publisher with whom she was in initial talks, and pitch to HM. The rest is history, of course. :)

Andrea said...

Does this mean I'm getting a letter in the mail?? hee hee

Melissa Wiley said...

Mail! I want mail! (I also now want to read this book.)

Karen Edmisten said...

Looks like I'll be writing letters this weekend instead of reading .... :)