Making Eating an Art

John Updike called her “the poet of the appetites.” W.H. Auden said, “I do not know of anyone in the United States who writes better prose.” And yet Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher, who published more than 20 books from 1937 on, remained largely on the periphery of American letters because of her subject matter: food and cooking. “It was woman’s stuff, a trifle,” she once said. Nowadays, of course, food is a huge, political, tome-worthy subject, not a trifle at all, and Fisher looks prescient. In a display of more than 50 items, “A Delicious Obsession: The Work of M.F.K. Fisher” gathers together rare editions of her works, including a first edition of her translation of Brillat-Savarin’s The Physiology of Taste, with illustrations by Wayne Thiebaud, along with broadsides, keepsakes, and pieces of ephemera. The exhibit marks the centenary of Fisher’s birth, and just happens to coincide with a resurgence of interest in what she called “good seasonal foods.” Tonight, Fisher biographer Joan Reardon discusses the life of the writer, who died in Glen Ellen in 1992.

A reception starts at 5 p.m., and Reardon speaks at 6:30.
Mon., Sept. 8, 5 p.m., 2008

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