An author whose fiction has been praised by Mary Gaitskill ("Passionate, intelligent, and piercingly beautiful. . . an altogether striking debut") and Darcy Steinke ("Nani Power. . . shows that sensuality pervades all of life and is too powerful to be contained in the bedroom alone"), Nani Power turns her incredible storytelling talents to memoir, crafting a sublime work of nonfiction centered around a life of travel, eclectic dining, and dealing with her decidedly eccentric Southern bohemian family. Consumption is the real American pastime. Through the prism of food, we all see our pasts differently. Like the finest food writers, Power brings readers directly into her world through the evocative depiction of the experience of eating. From her childhood on a rambling farm in Virginia -- during which she witnessed a saga of fighting, disowning, silencing, and other regrettable acts -- to her peripatetic and international adult life, Power's reflections are surprising, enthralling, and entertaining. She has a deep understanding of the cuisines of Peru and Mexico, Iran and India; her stints as a sandwich seller in Rio, a waitress in the East Village, a funeral caterer in the Deep South, and on a food junket to Japan all seem familiar as she relates each experience to us through its cuisine. A wealth of detailed recipes throughout the book offer a chance to recreate Power's memories in perpetuity. Lyrical and uplifting, unflinching and brave,Feed the Hungryis a supple, evocative memoir of food, travel, Americana, and family history, written with all the creativity, tenderness, grit, and verve we have come to expect from this uncommonly gifted writer.
"Please teach me Indian cooking! I will bring ingredients and pay you for your trouble. I would like to know about your culture as well."And with this posting on Craigslist, so begins Nani Power's journey to learn traditional Indian cooking in the most ancient of ways - woman to woman. Welcomed warmly into the homes of strangers, Power meets women of all ages and backgrounds, and from them learns the skills that were passed on to them from their own mothers. Power takes the reader into a culture, a cuisine, and the female psyche, with recipes and stories from each chapter revealing the struggle of modern women, both American and of Indian descent, searching for identity and a definition of what it means to be a woman today.The recipes shared in this collection are far from ordinary; they are treasured family recipes from vegetarian homes in India - from homemade cheese cubes in a rich cilantro and almond curry to coconut-stuffed okra and luscious potato-curry dumplings. Power's recipes and stories pave the road to understanding a culture that is at the same time ancient and so very much part of our modern world.