In this Book

summary
Edna Lewis (1916-2006) wrote some of America's most resonant, lyrical, and significant cookbooks, including the now classic The Taste of Country Cooking. Lewis cooked and wrote as a means to explore her memories of childhood on a farm in Freetown, Virginia, a community first founded by black families freed from slavery. With such observations as "we would gather wild honey from the hollow of oak trees to go with the hot biscuits and pick wild strawberries to go with the heavy cream," she commemorated the seasonal richness of southern food. After living many years in New York City, where she became a chef and a political activist, she returned to the South and continued to write. Her reputation as a trailblazer in the revival of regional cooking and as a progenitor of the farm-to-table movement continues to grow. In this first-ever critical appreciation of Lewis's work, food-world stars gather to reveal their own encounters with Edna Lewis. Together they penetrate the mythology around Lewis and illuminate her legacy for a new generation.

The essayists are Annemarie Ahearn, Mashama Bailey, Scott Alves Barton, Patricia E. Clark, Nathalie Dupree, John T. Edge, Megan Elias, John T. Hill (who provides iconic photographs of Lewis), Vivian Howard, Lily Kelting, Francis Lam, Jane Lear, Deborah Madison, Kim Severson, Ruth Lewis Smith, Toni Tipton-Martin, Michael W. Twitty, Alice Waters, Kevin West, Susan Rebecca White, Caroline Randall Williams, and Joe Yonan. Editor Sara B. Franklin provides an illuminating introduction to Lewis, and the volume closes graciously with afterwords by Lewis's sister, Ruth Lewis Smith, and niece, Nina Williams-Mbengue.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Foreword
  2. Kim Severson
  3. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Introduction
  2. Sara B. Franklin
  3. pp. 1-14
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  1. PART ONE: Encountering Miss Lewis
  1. What Is Southern? The Annotated Edna Lewis
  2. Jane Lear
  3. pp. 17-26
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  1. Polished
  2. Joe Yonan
  3. pp. 27-37
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  1. A Message from My Muse
  2. Toni Tipton-Martin
  3. pp. 38-44
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  1. Lunch with Miss Lewis
  2. Deborah Madison
  3. pp. 45-48
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  1. Paying Down Debts of Pleasure
  2. John T. Edge
  3. pp. 49-54
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  1. On Edna Lewis
  2. Alice Waters
  3. pp. 55-57
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  1. Edna Lewis and the Black Roots of American Cooking
  2. Francis Lam
  3. pp. 58-69
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  1. On Edna Lewis’s The Edna Lewis Cookbook
  2. Susan Rebecca White
  3. pp. 70-75
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  1. How to Talk about Miss Lewis? Home Cook. Writer. Icon. One Young Black Woman’s Act of Remembering
  2. Caroline Randall Williams
  3. pp. 76-86
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  1. PART TWO: Miss Lewis Standing in Culinary History
  1. Eu Tenho um Pé na Cozinha: Put(ting) Your Foot in It
  2. Scott Alves Barton
  3. pp. 89-105
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  1. Edna Lewis: African American Cultural Historian
  2. Megan Elias
  3. pp. 106-120
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  1. The African Virginian Roots of Edna Lewis
  2. Michael W. Twitty
  3. pp. 121-135
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  1. Edna Lewis: Selected Portraits
  2. John T. Hill
  3. pp. 136-140
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  1. Edna Lewis and the Melancholia of Country Cooking
  2. Lily Kelting
  3. pp. 141-155
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  1. Looking for Edna
  2. Patricia E. Clark
  3. pp. 156-170
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  1. PART THREE: At Table with Miss Lewis Today
  1. I Had, of Course, Heard about Her: An Interview with Nathalie Dupree, April 14, 2016
  2. Sara B. Franklin
  3. pp. 173-192
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  1. It’s Not All Fried Chicken and Greasy Greens
  2. Mashama Bailey
  3. pp. 193-199
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  1. Building an Appetite: Seasonal Reflections on the Farm
  2. Annemarie Ahearn
  3. pp. 200-219
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  1. The Wisdom in the Pages
  2. Vivian Howard
  3. pp. 220-225
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  1. Their Ideas Do Live on for Us: Edna Lewis, My Grandmother, and the Continuities of a Southern Preserving Tradition
  2. Kevin West
  3. pp. 226-239
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  1. Afterwords: A Family Remembers
  2. Ruth Lewis Smith and Nina Williams-Mbengue
  3. pp. 240-246
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 247-248
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 249-256
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 257-279
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781469641454
Related ISBN
9781469638553
MARC Record
OCLC
1023497438
Pages
272
Launched on MUSE
2018-02-20
Language
English
Open Access
No
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