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Blog: Galley Cat (Mediabistro) (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Herman Wouk is turning 100 next week. To celebrate, he is writing a book.
His book “Sailor and Fiddler: Reflections of a 100-Year-Old Author” will come out from Simon & Schuster this December. The memoir will cover Wouk’s years in the Navy during World War II, the inspiration for his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Caine Mutiny.” The new book is already available for presale on Amazon.
The Associated Press has more: “In a statement issued through Simon & Schuster, Wouk calls his new work a “light-hearted memoir” and thanks readers who have stayed with him “for the long pull.””Add a Comment
Blog: cynsations (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Cynthia Leitich Smith
Check out the cover for Borrowed Time by Greg Leitich Smith (Clarion, Nov. 2015). From the promotional copy:
In this exhilarating time-travel adventure and sequel to Chronal Engine, Max Pierson-Takahashi and his friend Petra find themselves whisked back to the treacherous, dinosaur-packed Cretaceous Period.
Soon they discover they have more to worry about than dinosaurs when they encounter a girl from the 1920s with a revolver and one thing on her mind—to avenge the death of her father, Isambard Campbell, whom she believes was killed by Max.
Meanwhile, Max’s then-thirteen-year-old uncles, Nate and Brady, have inadvertently time-traveled from 1985 and have problems of their own as they face mosasaurs, tyrannosaurs, and other dangers. The two pairs must not only fight for survival, but join forces to find their way home to their respective decades. Mind-bending time twists and white-knuckle encounters with deadly creatures plus a realistic peek into the age of the dinosaurs make this a perfect choice for anyone looking for a survival story with nonstop action.
Congratulations to Greg, whose novel Little Green Men at the Mercury Inn (Roaring Brook, 2014) has been nominated for the Rhode Island Children's Book Award!
More News & Giveaways
Bombing Through It by Dave King from Writer Unboxed. Peek: "The actual process of getting the story down on paper has a unique intimacy and particularity. Stories are organic. You’ve got to let them grow as you write, even if you’ve already built a trellis."
The Symbiosis of Science & Poetry by Sylvia Vardell from Poetry for Children. Peek: "...people who feel uncomfortable with science often feel very comfortable with language arts, so a poem might be the perfect way to introduce a science topic."
How to Read with Rising Kinders and First Graders This Summer by Jill Eisenberg from Lee & Low. Peek: "...the ultimate goal here is to show our beginning and soon-to-be readers how reading can be a joyful, positive experience. This mindset will set them up for the best start to their school journey." See also Let the Summertime Reading Hoopla Begin by Frances Lee Hall from ReaderKidz.
Lee & Low Announces 16th Annual New Voices Award Contest from Lee & Low. Peek: "The Award will be given for a children’s picture book manuscript by a writer of color. The Award winner receives a cash prize of $1000 and our standard publication contract, including our basic advance and royalties for a first time author. An Honor Award winner will receive a cash prize of $500."
Depression Has No Straight Lines, Only Lies by Kelly Jensen from Disability in Kid Lit. Peek: "Depression feels like it needs a cause or a destination. The truth is, though, that depression is chemical; it’s a brain misfiring and miswiring in ways that don’t have an easy-to-point-to reason for happening."
Nancy Sondel's 13th Annual Pacific Coast Children's Writer Workshop & Retreat will take place Oct. 2 to Oct. 4 in Santa Cruz, California. Faculty: HarperCollins executive editor Kristen Pettit and agent Stephen Barr of Writers House.
Writing During Summer Travels by Kristi Holl from Writer's First Aid. Peek: "You may have activities planned (or planned for you) that don’t seem to show any gaps of free time. If so, look again."
- signed copy of The Neptune Challenge by Polly Holyoke (Hyperion, 2015), plus glass dolphin pendant and earrings
- signed set of books by Claire Legrand: The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls (Simon & Schuster, 2012), The Year of Shadows (Simon & Schuster, 2013), The Cabinet of Curiosities (Greenwillow, 2014), and Winterspell (Simon & Schuster, 2014)
- signed copy of The Cost of All Things by Maggie Lehrman (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, 2015)
- signed copy of Dress Me! by Sarah Frances Hardy (Sky Pony, 2015)
Don't miss the Kissing In America (by Margo Rabb (HarperCollins, 2015)) Audio Tour & Giveaway!
This Week at Cynsations
- Kristi Helvig on Incorporating Science into Science Fiction
- Sarah Frances Hardy on Writing a Companion Picture Book
- Amy & David Axelrod on The History of Magic & The Bullet Catch: Murder by Misadventure
|What This Story Needs Is a Pig in a Wig (HarperCollins) with Emma J. Virjan & Greg Leitich Smith.|
|The lovely & brilliant author-illustrator!|
Congratulations to Varsha Bajaj (Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood (Albert Whitman, 2014)), SCBWI's Crystal Kite winner for the Texas/Oklahoma region! See the full list of winners.
Congratulations to Vicky Lorencen for signing with Erin Murphy of Erin Murphy Literary Agency, and congratulations to Erin for signing Vicky!
|TX/OK Crystal Kite Winner!|
- The Avengers, Superhero Diversity & The United Struggle
- DC's Legends of Tomorrow
- Meet Lupe Ruiz-Flores from WordMothers
- Spider Rain in Australia
- Four Rare Clouded Leopard Cubs
- America's Best BBQ
- Texans Offer Sanctuary to Endangered Rhinos
- Girls Scouts Welcome Transgender Girls
- Girls More Likely to Be Bullied, Even As Overall Rates Decline
- What Would Your Name Be If You Were Born Today
- SpaceX's Retro-Style Mars Tourism Posters
- Jumping Japanese Businessmen
- Hilary Clinton as Feminist Children's Literature Hero
- Photos of Africa, Taken from the Sky
Join Cynthia at 11 a.m. May 30 in conjunction with the YA Book Club at Cedar Park Public Library in Cedar Park, Texas.
Cynthia will serve as the master class faculty member from June 19 to June 21 at the VCFA Alumni Mini-Residency in Montpelier, Vermont.
Join Cynthia from July 30 to Aug. 2 at GeekyCon in Orlando, Florida. See more information.
Cynthia Leitich Smith will lead a YA Writing Retreat for A Room of Her Own Foundation from Aug. 10 to Aug. 16 at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico.
Cynthia will lead a breakout session on "Diversity in Children's and YA Literature" Aug. 22 at East Texas Book Fest at the Harvey Hall Convention Center in Tyler, Texas.
Cynthia will speak Sept. 19 at the Mansfield, Texas Book Festival.
Cynthia will speak Sept. 29 at Richardson Public Library in Richardson, Texas. Add a Comment
Blog: John Nez (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: #childrensbooks, #kidlit, #kidlitart, #pblit, #picturebooks, step by step illustration, Add a tag
“Subtle world-building, well-observed relationships, lovely layouts and a great ending to the first issue.” – Alec Worley (Judge Dredd, Judge Anderson)
Read more at:http://news.indyfestusa.com/2015/05/22/sam-roads-and-kat-nicholson-launch-silicon-heart-kickstarter/
Blog: Studio Bowes Art (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Blog: drawboy's cigar box (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Blog: The Mumpsimus (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Add a CommentBack in the United States, writers could secretly imagine the same imminent fate for themselves: that when the revolution came in America, they would become its heroes—or even its leaders.
This grandiosity helps explain why apparently intelligent writers would sign on to a project so manifestly unintelligent as America’s invasion of Iraq, confident it would go exactly as planned. We find a clue in a children’s book published in 1982 by Paul Berman, The Nation’s onetime theater critic, who went on to a career as a self-described “liberal” booster of Dick Cheney’s adventure in Iraq, framing it as an existential struggle against Islamic fascism. It was called Make-Believe Empire: A How-To Book, and it is described by the Library of Congress as “A fantasy-craft book which tells how to construct a capital city and an imperial navy…. Provides instructions for writing laws, decrees, proclamations, treaties, and imperial odes.”
Left or right, it doesn’t much matter: it sure is a bracing feeling for the chair-bound intellectual to imagine himself the drivetrain in the engine of history. Or at the very least a prophet, standing on the correct side of history and looking down upon moral midgets who insist the world is more complicated than all that.
Oh, and don't forget to follow Moe on Twitter: @inthesestones
Tagline: I’m not really a coffee addict, I just play one on TV.
Any other questions for Moe? Now's the time to ask.
Blog: Studio Bowes Art (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Blog: andrea joseph's sketchblog (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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lapin for the first time too. I also drew his hat. But that hangs in his home.
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Blog: Storywraps-Wrap your mind and heart around a good story (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Blog: The National Writing for Children Center (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Today is Day 10 of the 10-day virtual book tour for Help Your Child to Thrive, sponsored by the National Writing for Children Center.
Today, read a review of the book at As the Page Turns. Just click here:Add a Comment
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Title: Tony Takezaki’s Neon Genesis Evangelion Genre: Comedy, Parody Author: Tony Takezaki Publisher: Dark Horse (US) / Kadokawa Shoten (JP) Serialized In: Young Ace Release Date: May 27, 2015 Review copy provided by the publisher. Is there such a thing as “Evangelion fatigue?” If so, the fandom certainly hasn’t felt it, as the manga spinoffs ... Read moreAdd a Comment
Blog: Becky's Book Reviews (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Southwark, London, May 1838
That night, the night the showman came, the moon was the color of mud.
Do you love historical mysteries? compelling historical mysteries set in Victorian London?! Wild Boy is definitely one I'd recommend.
This murder-mystery stars two unlikely friends: the Wild Boy, a sideshow "freak," and Clarissa, a young acrobat and the daughter of the circus ringmaster. These two enemies--Wild Boy doesn't really have many friends--are pushed together under some strange circumstances. Wild Boy agrees, for better or worse, to help Clarissa find a rich person to pickpocket. What they pocket isn't money, but, a mysterious note warning someone--but WHO--that his (or her) life is in great danger. Wild Boy, who knows it is oh-so-risky to leave his sideshow "home," decides to brave it. He'll go in search of the would-be recipient. Surely he can figure out who the note was meant for before it's too late...
He does manage to find out WHO, and just in time to witness the crime--the murder. But the murderer was wearing a mask, and, I believe a cape as well. There are a handful of clues for him to work with, however. If he gets the chance. For Wild Boy, within minutes of the crime, becomes the prime suspect. He's an animal, after all, right?!
For Wild Boy to live long enough to solve the mystery, he'll need a little help from others...
I really LOVED Wild Boy. I loved Wild Boy himself. I loved the narrative. He had me hooked from the start. I also loved Clarissa. I thought the way these two were brought together was great. The atmosphere of this one--the setting, the description, the detail--it all worked quite well.
Have you read Wild Boy? What did you think of it?
© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews Add a Comment
Blog: But What Are They Eating? (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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An excerpt from Edible Memory: The Lure of Heirloom Tomatoes and Other Forgotten Foods by Jennifer A. Jordan
How could anything as perishable as fruits and vegetables become an heirloom? Many things that are heirlooms today were once simple everyday objects. A quilt made of fabric scraps, a wooden bowl used in the last stages of making butter, both become heirlooms only as time increases between now and the era of their everyday use. Likewise, the Montafoner Braunvieh—a tawny, gorgeously crooked-horned cow that roams a handful of pastures and zoos in Europe, a tuft of hair like bangs above her big brown eyes—or the Ossabaw pigs that scurry around on spindly legs at Mount Vernon were not always “heirlooms.” Nor were the piles of multicolored tomatoes that periodically grace the cover of Martha Stewart Living magazine or the food pages of daily newspapers. What happened to change these plants and animals from everyday objects into something rare and precious, imbued with stories of the past? In fact, food has always been an heirloom in the sense of saving seeds, of passing down the food you eat to your children and your children’s children, in a mixture of the genetic code of a given food (a cow, a variety of wheat, a tomato), and also in handing down the techniques of cultivation, preservation, preparation, and even a taste for particular foods. It is only with the rise of industrial agriculture that this practice of treating food as a literal heirloom has disappeared in many parts of the world—and that is precisely when the heirloom label emerges. The chain is broken for many people as they flock to the cities and the number of farmers and gardeners declines. So the concept of an heirloom becomes possible only in the context of the loss of actual heirloom varieties, of increased urbanization and industrialization as fewer people grow their own food, or at least know the people who grow their food. These are global issues, relevant to hunger and security and to cultural memory, community, and place. This book addresses one aspect of the much larger spectrum of issues around culture and agricultural biodiversity, focusing on these old seeds and trees.
In some ways heirlooms become possible (as a concept) only because of the industrialization and standardization of agriculture. They went away, there was a cultural and agricultural break, placing temporal and practical distance between current generations and past foods. In the meantime, gardeners and farmers quietly saved seeds for their own use. And then, as I discuss in much greater detail below, these heirloom foods began, tomato by tomato, apple by apple, to return to some degree of popularity.
In the United States, newspaper article after article, activist after activist, describes heirloom varieties as something one’s grandmother might have eaten. The implication is that there has been a significant break—that the current generation and their parents lost touch with these fruits, vegetables, and animals but that their grandparents might not have. “Heirlooms are major-league hot,” a reporter marveled in 1995. “As we become more of a technological society, people are reaching into the garden to get back that simple life, the simple life of their grandparents.” Concepts like “old-fashioned,” “just like Grandma ate,” and even “heirloom” can feel very American. But this is a mythical grandmother. The grandmothers of today’s United States are a diverse crew whose cooking habits are just one of the ways they differ. Gender is also obviously a vital element of the study of food production and consumption. Women are perceived as (and often are) the primary cooks and shoppers, and there are many gendered understandings of our relationships to food. Many people, men and women alike, have little time to cook, despite recent exhortations to engage in more home cooking. My own grandmother (the niece of my great-great-aunt Budder whom I write about in the prologue) smoked cigarettes and drank martinis with gusto, and for her, making Christmas cookies consisted of melting peanut butter and butterscotch chips, stirring in cornflakes, and forming the mixture into little clumps that would harden as they cooled. I loved them as a child, and when I make them today, I am invoking my grandmother just as much as other people may when serving up a platter of ancestral heirloom tomatoes.
In the context of food, however, the word “heirloom” also has a genetic connotation. The object itself is not handed down. Heirloom tomatoes are either eaten or they rot. Old-fashioned breeds of pigs are slaughtered and end up as pork chops; they rarely live a long life like Wilbur in Charlotte’s Web, without the help of a literate spider and a film career. The “heirloom,” then, what is handed down, is the genetic code. Heirloom foods are products of human intervention, ranging from selecting what seeds to save for the next growing season to deciding which tom turkey should father poults with which hen.
The genetic heirloom takes on a physical expression in the form of a pig or a tomato, for example, to which people may then attach all kinds of meanings—not only the physical appetite for the flavor of a particular tomato or pork chop, but also the sense that edible heirlooms connect us to something many people see as more authentic than supermarket fare. Over and over, in conversations and newspaper articles, orchards and public lectures, I have heard people articulating a search for a connection to the past, even as they also sought out appealing flavors, colors, and textures. The appetite for an heirloom food commonly leads, of course, to the destruction of its embodiment—in a Caprese salad, say, or an apple pie—but it is precisely the consumption of its phenotype that ensures the survival of the genetic code that gave rise to it.
A guide to heirloom vegetables describes heirloom status (of tomatoes and other produce) in three ways:
- The variety must be able to reproduce itself from seed [except those propagated through roots or cuttings]. . . .
- The variety must have been introduced more than 50 years ago. Fifty years, is, admittedly, an arbitrary cutoff date, and different people use different dates. . . . A few people use an even stricter definition, considering heirlooms to be only those varieties developed and preserved outside the commercial seed trade. . . .
- The variety must have a history of its own.
The term “heirloom” itself generally applies to varieties that are capable of being pollen fertilized and that existed before the 1940s, when industrial farming spread in North America and the variety of species grown commercially was significantly reduced. Generally speaking, an heirloom can reproduce itself from seed, meaning seed saved from the previous year. When growing hybrids, you have to buy new seed each year (for plants that reproduce true to seed; apples, potatoes, and some other fruits and vegetables are preserved and propagated through grafts or cuttings rather than seeds). In other words, if you save the seeds of a hybrid tomato and plant them the next year, you more than likely won’t be pleased with what you get, if you get anything at all. Furthermore, simply because they are “heirloom” tomatoes does not mean they are native. In fact, tomatoes are native not to the United States, but to South and Central America, and many heirloom varieties such as the Caspian Pink were developed in Russia and other far-off places. People also use the term “heirloom” to describe old varieties of roses, ornamental plants, fruit trees (reproduced by grafting rather than from seed), potatoes, and even livestock.
As the US Department of Agriculture’s heirloom vegetable guide explains, “Dating to the early 20th C. and before, many [heirloom varieties] originated during a very different agricultural age—when localized and subsistence-based food economies flourished, when waves of immigrant farmers and gardeners brought cherished seeds and plants to this country, and before seed saving had dwindled to a ‘lost art’ among most North American farmers and gardeners.” Fashions, tastes, and technology changed, but “since the 1970s, an expanding popular movement dedicated to perpetuating and distributing these garden classics has emerged among home gardeners and small-scale growers, with interest and endorsement from scientists, historians, environmentalists, and consumers.” In Germany they speak of alte Sorten, “old varieties,” but this phrasing does not carry the same symbolic, nostalgic weight as the homey word “heirloom.” In French heirloom varieties may be called légumes oubliés, “forgotten vegetables,” or légumes anciennes. Of course, once vegetables are labeled forgotten, they’re not really forgotten anymore. In general, the United States has a different relationship to its past than European countries do. Thus there are regional gardening and cooking traditions in the United States, as well as a particular form of nostalgia that allows the term “heirloom” to apply to fruits, vegetables, and animals in the first place. The idea of an heirloom object can be very homespun. Certainly an heirloom can be something of great monetary value, but it can also be a threadbare quilt, a grandfather’s toolbox, or in my case the worn and mismatched paddles my great-great-aunt used in the last stages of making butter. The word “heirloom” can be a way to preserve biodiversity, but it can also be inaccurate and misused, a label slapped on an overpriced tomato. There is always the danger that dishonest grocers and restaurateurs will exploit the desire for local, seasonal, and heirloom food.
Heirlooms of all sorts are often wrapped up in nostalgic ideas about the past. Patchwork quilts and butter churns evoke not only idyllic images of yesteryear, but often difficult lives circumscribed by poverty and dire necessity as much as by simplicity and self-sufficiency. They speak of times (and, when we think globally, of places) when life may have been (or may still be) not only technologically simpler but also much, much harder. Old-fashioned farm implements in the front yards of rural Wisconsin, or in living history museums, evoke nostalgic feelings. But there’s a reason they’re in museums or front yards and not hitched to a team of horses or in the hands of a farmer, at least in Wisconsin. These are backbreaking tools whose functions have wherever possible been transferred to machines.
Even today, while it may surprise people who pick up a book like this, when I first tell someone about my work, I routinely have to explain what an heirloom tomato is. On a recent trip to a Milwaukee farmers’ market, I heard an older man say to his female companion, “Heirloom tomatoes? Never heard of ’em.” He’s not alone. While some food writers and restaurant reviewers may feel that heirloom tomatoes are yesterday’s news, plenty of consumers are still encountering them for the first time.
Heirloom varieties are just one form of edible memory, but they offer a unique opportunity to understand the powerful ways memory and materiality interact, and how the stories we tell one another about the past shape the world we inhabit. I write about heirlooms not because I think they’re the only way to go, but because they present an intriguing sociological puzzle (How can something as perishable as a tomato become an heirloom?) and because they are the subject of so much activity by so many different people. These efforts, all this work, are also just the latest turn in the twisting path of fruit and vegetable trends, of the relationship of these plants to human communities. This book recounts my search for endangered squashes, nearly forgotten plums, and other rare genes surviving in barnyards, gardens, and orchards, this intertwining of botanical, social, and edible worlds.
I relish the moments I have spent with the old-fashioned farm animals at the Vienna zoo, standing in the stall with the zookeeper to scratch the fluffy head of a newborn lamb or the vast forehead of that speckled black-and-white cow, one of only a few of her breed remaining on the planet, who had just dutifully produced a calf that looked exactly like her. I also relish the meals I’ve prepared from multicolored potatoes or tomatoes; and, given a free Saturday, I can spend hours at farmers’ markets, contemplating what I can do with a bucket of almost overripe peaches (freeze them for my winter oatmeal) or a pile of striped squash (a spectacularly failed attempt at whole wheat squash gnocchi, which may still be lurking in the back of my freezer). And I have my own history of deep attachment to processed spice cake and the unctuous taste of a rare glass of whole milk—a reminder that “edible memory” goes far beyond the relatively narrow confines of heirloom food.
But I am also a sociologist, so in this book, while I am fond of many of the places, people, and foods I discuss, I also aim, ultimately, to tell a sociological story. I did not, like Barbara Kingsolver in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, try to raise turkeys or can a heroic quantity of heirloom tomatoes. Unlike Michael Pollan in the journey he undertook for The Omnivore’s Dilemma, I did not try to shoot anything or make my own salt. Along the way, however, I did get involved; I immersed myself in these rich landscapes, markets, and texts and in conversations with diverse groups and individuals who often, unknown to anyone else, managed to hold on to vital and beautiful collections of genes in the form of old apple trees or tomato seeds, turnips or taro. I set out not to grow these plants and raise these animals myself, but to talk with and observe the diverse and committed gardeners, farmers, curators, seed savers, animal breeders, and other people who make possible the persistence of these plants and animals on this planet. I set out to understand in particular where these plants have come from, the threats they face, the kinds of places that are created in the attempt to save them, and the stories they tell us about the past and about ourselves, as well as how they figure in the broader patterns of human appetites, trends and fashions, habits and intentions.
The research for this book comprised seven years of observation and analysis. In my efforts to understand how tomatoes became heirlooms and apples became antiques, I set out on multiple journeys, of varying sorts. I drove down Lake Shore Drive to the Green City Market and urban farms and gardens in Chicago, traveled across town in Milwaukee to Growing Power and other urban growers, flew across the Atlantic to Vienna, took a streetcar over the bridges of Stockholm to get to the barnyards and gardens of the Swedish national open-air folk museum, and got lost on the tangle of bridges and highways between Washington, DC, and rural Virginia in search of Thomas Jefferson’s vegetable garden and George Washington’s turkeys. I also took more philosophical journeys: literary and archival travels through the pages of government reports, scholarly periodicals, and popular and scientific books. I traveled through recipe collections and the glossy pages of food magazines, through the digital universe of online databases, and through correspondence with colleagues and informants in far-off places. The collection of these journeys, of this movement through gardens, barnyards, orchards, and markets, as well as thickets of printed and digital information, accounts for the story I tell here.
This book emerged in part from solitary hours in front of the computer, taking notes, with stacks of books at my side, reading newspaper articles and academic journal articles on everything from apple grafting to patent law. I analyzed thousands of newspaper articles, charting the emergence of the term “heirloom” in popular food writing and looking for changes in the quantity and quality of the discussion over time as well as differences and similarities across different kinds of foods. Much of this book is based on the ways heirloom varieties register in public discussions, especially the media, and the ways they get taken up by organizations and individuals, both in and out of the limelight. Blogs and other food writing have also figured centrally in my analysis of the heirloom food movement as markers of popular discussions, and I have relied on hundreds of secondary sources (see the bibliography) for historical information about specific foods. I read encyclopedias and fascinating scholarly and popular books, charting the rise and fall of particular foods and their historical transformations. And I drew on the insights of my colleagues in sociology and neighboring academic disciplines and the ways they think about things like culture, memory, and food.
Occasionally I would take a break and cook one of the recipes I came across, and I also left my desk and set out to visit the farms and gardens, camera and notebook in hand. I scratched the noses of wiry old pigs, walked through fragrant herb gardens, and tasted hard cider and fresh bread, the hems of my jeans coated in mud and my nose sunburned from a long day in an Alpine valley or at a midwestern heirloom seed festival. I spoke formally and informally with gardeners, farmers, and chefs, activists, seed savers, academics, and all kinds of people devoted to food. I visited farms and gardens and living history museums and farmers’ markets, and I attended conferences and public lectures and delivered some of my own to smart crowds full of eager gardeners, eaters, and thinkers. I also spoke with the gardeners of less well-known historical kitchen gardens across Europe and the United States, quiet conversations about their enthusiasm for their work and about their assessments of the changing public perceptions of edible biodiversity over recent decades. Many of these farmers and gardeners became good friends, and our late-night conversations over good meals in my dining room or cheap beer at a rooftop farm in Chicago’s Back of the Yards also came to shape my sociological understanding of these trends. Sifting through the stacks of papers on my desk in the depths of winter, and wandering through gardens, barnyards, and farmers’ markets in the heat of summer, I wanted to see what patterns I might find.
Finding Edible Memory
What I found was something I came to call “edible memory.” And I want to emphasize that I did not expect to find it. Edible memory emerged out of these documents, landscapes, and conversations. This book focuses largely on the contemporary United States, with occasional examples drawn from elsewhere. But the fundamental ideas and questions can help us to think about other times and places as well. For sociologists, the study of human behavior— of what people actually do, and do in large enough numbers to register as visible patterns—is at the heart of our work. Many of us are studying what happens when people are highly motivated, when they are so passionate about something that the passion provokes action. That said, many of us are also deeply interested in the small actions of habit, the little steps we take every day that add up to this big thing called society. What we eat for breakfast, who we spend time with and how, what we buy, even what we ignore— these are all crucial to understanding how and why things are as they are. This book is about the fervent devotees, the people who can’t not plant orchards full of apple trees or spend countless hours saving turnip seeds. But it is also about the ways millions (perhaps even billions) of people make small decisions every day about what to serve their families, about how to feed themselves.
When I began to look in scholarly and popular writing, and in kitchens, gardens, farms, and markets, I saw more and more evidence of edible memory: in the rice described by geographer Judith Carney, in the gardens of Hmong refugees in Minnesota, in the hard-won community gardens of New York’s Lower East Side, and in the appetites and memories of friends and strangers alike. Edible memory appears in the reverberations of African foods in a range of North American culinary traditions, in the efforts to cultivate Native American foods today, in the shifting appetites of immigrant populations and ardently trendy folks in Brooklyn or Portland. It goes far beyond the heirloom, but heirlooms were my way in, a way to narrow, at least temporarily, the scope of the investigation and to explore one particularly potent intersection of food, biodiversity, and tales of past ways of being. Edible memory is a widely applicable concept, and I hope it will resonate well beyond the boundaries of the examples I have included in this book.
Edible memory is also in no way the sole province of elites. Much of what people understand as heirloom food today is expensive and out of reach, justifying the pretensions sometimes assigned to heirloom tomatoes, farmers’ markets, or the pedigreed chicken in the television show Portlandia. Food deserts, double shifts, cumbersome or expensive transportation, and straight-up poverty greatly reduce access to a wide range of foods, heirlooms included. But to assume that edible memory is strictly connected to privilege ignores the vital connections people have to food at a range of locations on the socioeconomic scale. Poverty, and even hunger, does not preclude (and indeed may intensify) the meanings and memories surrounding food. As many researchers have discussed, the various alternative approaches to food— heirlooms, but also farmers’ markets, organic and local foods, and artisanal foods—tend to be expensive, eaten largely by elites—well-off and often white. However, while that may characterize what we might call mainstream alternative, both edible biodiversity and edible memory happen across the socioeconomic spectrum. There are vibrant, successful projects in which people worlds away from expensive restaurants and farmers’ markets grow and eat many of the same kinds of memorable vegetables, in rural backyards, small urban allotments, and school gardens. Chicago alone is home to many farms and gardens supplying food and often employment and other projects in low-income communities, projects like the Chicago Farmworks, Growing Home, Gingko Gardens, or the Chicago location of Growing Power, which is even selling its produce in local Walgreens, trying to improve access to locally grown produce in predominantly low-income and African American neighborhoods. The numerous farms and gardens profiled on Natasha Bowen’s blog and multimedia project, The Color of Food, also offer examples across the country of farmers and gardeners with a deep commitment to many of the same foods that find their way into high-priced grocery stores or expensive restaurant dinners.
At the same time, I do not want to argue that edible memory is a universal concept. We can ask where and how it appears and matters, but we should not assume that it is everywhere either present or significant. It is certainly widespread, based on the research I have conducted, but it is not universal. For some people food may be a way to imagine communities, to understand their place in the world and connect to other people, but for others it is simply physical sustenance or transitory pleasure.
To read more about Edible Memory, click here.Add a Comment
Blog: Galley Cat (Mediabistro) (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Authors, Publishing, Jeff Vandermeer, Sally Harding, Sean McDonald, Add a tag
Author Jeff VanderMeer has inked with Macmillan for a new novel.
Borne is slated to be released in 2016. Sean McDonald, an executive editor and vice president at Farrar, Straus and Giroux, negotiated the deal with Sally Harding, a literary agent at The Cooke Agency.
Here’s more from The Hollywood Reporter: “Borne is set in the future, where a woman named Rachel, scavenging for usable detritus, stumbles upon a creature she calls the Borne, whose origins and composition are mysterious. Is it an animal or plant? A deity, or a cruel experiment?” (Photo Credit: Kyle Cassidy)Add a Comment
Blog: Galley Cat (Mediabistro) (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Comic Books, Videos, Batman, Add a tag
A trailer has been unleashed for Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard Around the World. The video embedded above stars a five year old leukemia patient named Miles Scott who yearned to be Batman for one day.
The story chronicles how more than 25,000 people came together to make that wish come true. A limited theatrical release has been scheduled for June 26th. (via USA Today)Add a Comment
Blog: Kristi Helvig YA Author (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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But just because it’s summer doesn’t mean we should stop reading and writing. I’ve teamed up with the YA Chicks and many participating authors on a global campaign to encourage readers, writers, students, and teachers to share pictures all of the places—both ordinary and extraordinary—where they are reading and writing. This is open to all readers/writers of both middle grade and young adult books!
You can also take part in…
A MONSTER GIVEAWAY!
I’ll be giving away a copy of my new release STRANGE SKIES:
So are you ready?
Here are my 5 clues:
1. This place is in the capital city in Colorado.
2. There is a fabulous planetarium here which helped inspire my BURN OUT series.
3. Aside from the T-Rex in this picture, there are currently unicorns, mermaids, and dragons in this place.
4. I would normally do my writing or reading in the cafe area of this place, but the T-Rex made for a cooler picture.
5. My kiddos love coming here, and are especially captivated by the gemstone exit.
Can you guess where I am?
Once you’ve figured out where I’m reading, head over to the YA Chicks site and:
Officially enter the giveaway by inputting each author’s name and your guesses about our locations. Every author location you guess correctly increases your chances to win.
For even more chances, post a picture of yourself reading or writing on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere (must have the hashtag).
For writer prize packs:
Post pictures of yourself writing in a fun location on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere. Then follow the directions on the Rafflecopter giveaway to let us know you did it.
For even more chances, gather your writer friends together and post a group shot with the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere (must have the hashtag). And hey, since you’re already together, why not host a write-a-thon?
For teacher prize packs:
Post pictures of your class reading or writing on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere (must have the hashtag). Then let us know you did it when you enter the Rafflecopter. If you don’t have a Twitter or Instagram, you can email your picture directly with the picture pasted directly into the email (no attachments–we won’t open them) AND the subject, “Read or Write Anywhere.”
You can also check out the YA Chicks Read or Write Anywhere lesson plan, available on their site.
Now, what are you waiting for? Get out there and READ OR WRITE ANYWHERE!
#ReadOrWriteAnywhereAdd a Comment
Blog: Galley Cat (Mediabistro) (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Publishing, Harlequin, HarperCollins, Add a tag
For the first year of operations, the team behind Harlequin Audio plans to release 200 titles. The inaugural roster of audiobooks will come out on June 30th.
Here’s more from the press release: “Harlequin Audio, in conjunction with HarperAudio, will work directly with digital audio distributors to provide full distribution to the retail and library markets. Furthermore, Harlequin Audio will distribute physical CD versions of all titles through relationships with Blackstone Audio and Midwest Tape.”Add a Comment
Blog: Little Willow - Bildungsroman (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: books, lyrics, poetry friday, Add a tag
You are the moon
And I am the sea
Wherever you are
You've got pull over me
The whole of the sky
Wants to keep us apart
The distance is wearing
A hole in my heart
Someday your moonlight
Will blanket my skin
Someday my waves
Will pull all of you in
Someday I promise
The moon and the sea
Will be together
Forever you and me.
- from The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough
This song is written by one of the main characters in the novel, and performed as a duet by the two protagonists.
View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.
View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.
Learn more about Poetry Friday.
Blog: Poetry for Children (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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I'm pleased to post another installment in my ongoing "Poet to Poet" series in which one poet interviews another poet about her/his new book. This time it's Holly Thompson and Margarita Engle who have very generously volunteered to participate. Both of these women write verse novels (and other works) that explore the intersection of the cultural and the personal.
Holly Thompson is a poet and author who originally hails from Massachusetts, but lived in Japan for 20 years and writes about this cross-cultural, inter-cultural experience in sensitive and thoughtful novels in verse like Orchards, The Language Inside, and the forthcoming Falling into the Dragon's Mouth.
Margarita Engle is the award-winning author of many novels and biographical works in verse such as The Poet Slave of Cuba, The Surrender Tree, Tropical Secrets: Holocaust Refugees in Cuba, The Firefly Letters; A Suffragette's Journey to Cuba, Hurricane Dancers; The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck, The Wild Book, Mountain Dog, The Lightning Dreamer, and Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal. Her new book is Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir-- perhaps her most personal book yet!
Here, Holly asks Margarita about writing, memoir, childhood and culture in a series of very compelling and thoughtful questions and responses. Enjoy!
Sylvia: As a fellow traveler, I love that idea: of healing through travel. Thank you, Holly and Margarita for sharing so generously and for all your works that consider the intersection of the cultural, the personal, and the political. I am a big fan of you BOTH! And I think Enchanted Air is an amazing book, a beautiful blend of personal memories and a slice of history, as well as a coming-of-age story. I'm lucky enough to be able to dig deeply into this book to create a reader's guide for Enchanted Air-- more info on that later.
Meanwhile, head on over to Radio, Rhythm, and Rhyme where Matt Forrest is hosting Poetry Friday and has some good news of his own to share.
Blog: YALSA - Young Adult Library Services Association (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Conference, ALA Annual 2015, Conferences, San Francisco, Add a tag
This is a guest post from Susy Moorhead, a member of the Local Arrangements Committee for the ALA Annual conference in San Francisco.
In a little over a month Annual will be upon us! The conference is always an amazing event and I am sure this year’s will be another one. Sometimes though you just need a break from the hubbub and somewhere outside is often a perfect fit. These are my suggestions of some places to go right around Moscone when you need to take a walk outdoors or get some fresh air.
The Moscone Center is comprised of 3 halls – North, South, and West. North & South are underground, so you’ll definitely want to head outside periodically.
The main entrances of Moscone are located between 3rd & 4th streets off of Howard Street. If you have time between programs, for lunch, or even before or after your day at Moscone, here are some places close by to spend some time outside:
- Yerba Buena Gardens is the closest large park and it is located just west of the main entrances to the North & South halls. It is between 3rd & 4th and Mission & Folsom. Here you can see the beautiful Martin Luther King Jr. memorial which is behind the waterfall. You will want to walk in the memorial from the north side. The waterfall lands in the largest fountain on the West Coast. If you pay close attention to the detail in the stone around the waterfall you will see our often present fog represented – you’ll probably be in the fog too. You can easily get lunch in the Metreon, which you will see to the south, and eat it on the grass.
- Another park, a little farther from Moscone, where you can sit and eat lunch is South Park. Walk east and north four blocks to get there. It is between 2nd & 3rd street and Bryant & Brannan. This oval park was modeled after a London square in 1852. Initially it was only open to the residents immediately surrounding it. In the late 90s this was “ground zero” of the dot-com boom and after the bubble burst it quickly built up again as the site of web 2.0. It’s a beautiful spot away from the city. If you’ve read Confessions of Max Tivoli you might recognize this as a setting in the novel.
- If you walk another two blocks east you will get to AT&T Park and there are lots of benches all along the water to sit and look at the Bay. Even though Otis Redding actually wrote "(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay" while in Sausalito, you may feel moved to sing it here as you gaze at the Bay Bridge and the Port of Oakland. By the way, the Giants will be playing the Rockies during conference.
- A pleasant longer walk is along the Embarcadero from AT&T Park to the Ferry Building. Either way it is a beautiful loop, a little over 3 miles, which you can do from Moscone.
- You’ll get to walk under the Bay Bridge and marvel at how huge it really is.
- Along the Embarcadero you’ll see Cupid’s Span, inspired by San Francisco’s reputation as the home of Eros, by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. I always thought it was an ode to Tony Bennett’s signature song "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" and to me it can be both--and maybe you, too.
- At various spots along the Embarcadero you’ll find white posts topped with yellow and black stripes that tell some of San Francisco’s waterfront history.
- Be sure to go inside the Ferry Building. There are delicious and iconic food stands and restaurants from the Bay Area inside (just to name a few: The Slanted Door, Hog Island Oyster Company, and Cowgirl Creamery).
If you want to see more of San Francisco’s great outdoors there is going to be a bike ride around the City at 2pm on Friday. Here is a link to the Facebook invite – the ride is open to everyone. The ride will include the Mission Bay Branch Library, AT&T Park, the Embarcadero, Market Street, the Main Library, Valencia Street, Mission Branch Library, and the beautiful Mission Murals. There is a Bay Area BikeShare station close to Moscone at 3rd & Howard. It’s very easy to rent one for either 24 hours ($9) or 3 days ($22) – you just need a credit card. And if the entire ride isn’t for you, you can return your bike at other stations in the City (right now they are only downtown).
And last, if you want a drink to go with your fresh air there are a couple places close by to get one. Dirty Habit is 5 floors up from the street in the Hotel Palomar on 4th St. between Mission & Market. They open at 5pm every day except Sunday. A beautiful place to go, especially after dark, for drinks and a meal is Claude Lane. It is located on the other side of Market St. parallel and west of Kearny St. (what 3rd St. becomes on the other side of Market). There are French and Spanish cafes and restaurants with beautiful patios and twinkly lights. You’ll think you’re in Europe! Really close by, but technically not outside, is the View Lounge on top of the Marriott Hotel on the corner of 4th & Mission St. Needless to say the view is amazing; check it out even if you don’t stay for a libation.
Have fun and don’t forget your layers! San Francisco can be really cold in the summer and you’ll hear this over and over again as a lot of visitors don’t initially believe it. You’ve been warned.Add a Comment
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