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Eat Joy
Cover of Eat Joy
Eat Joy
Stories & Comfort Food from 31 Celebrated Writers
Borrow Borrow
Named a Best Cookbook of the Year by Martha Stewart Living

"Magnificent illustrations add spirit to recipes and heartfelt narratives. Plan to buy two copies—one for you and one for your best foodie friend." —Taste of Home

This collection of intimate, illustrated essays by some of America’s most well–regarded literary writers explores how comfort food can help us cope with dark times—be it the loss of a parent, the loneliness of a move, or the pain of heartache.

Lev Grossman explains how he survived on “sweet, sour, spicy, salty, unabashedly gluey” General Tso’s tofu after his divorce. Carmen Maria Machado describes her growing pains as she learned to feed and care for herself during her twenties. Claire Messud tries to understand how her mother gave up dreams of being a lawyer to make “a dressed salad of tiny shrimp and avocado, followed by prune–stuffed pork tenderloin.” What makes each tale so moving is not only the deeply personal revelations from celebrated writers, but also the compassion and healing behind the story: the taste of hope.

"If you've ever felt a deep, emotional connection to a recipe or been comforted by food during a dark time, you'll fall in love with these stories."—Martha Stewart Living

Eat Joy is the most lovely food essay book . . . This is the perfect gift." —Joy Wilson (Joy the Baker)



Named a Best Cookbook of the Year by Martha Stewart Living

"Magnificent illustrations add spirit to recipes and heartfelt narratives. Plan to buy two copies—one for you and one for your best foodie friend." —Taste of Home

This collection of intimate, illustrated essays by some of America’s most well–regarded literary writers explores how comfort food can help us cope with dark times—be it the loss of a parent, the loneliness of a move, or the pain of heartache.

Lev Grossman explains how he survived on “sweet, sour, spicy, salty, unabashedly gluey” General Tso’s tofu after his divorce. Carmen Maria Machado describes her growing pains as she learned to feed and care for herself during her twenties. Claire Messud tries to understand how her mother gave up dreams of being a lawyer to make “a dressed salad of tiny shrimp and avocado, followed by prune–stuffed pork tenderloin.” What makes each tale so moving is not only the deeply personal revelations from celebrated writers, but also the compassion and healing behind the story: the taste of hope.

"If you've ever felt a deep, emotional connection to a recipe or been comforted by food during a dark time, you'll fall in love with these stories."—Martha Stewart Living

Eat Joy is the most lovely food essay book . . . This is the perfect gift." —Joy Wilson (Joy the Baker)



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About the Author-
  • NATALIE EVE GARRETT is an artist and writer, and the editor of The Artists’ and Writers’ Cookbook: A Collection of Stories with Recipes and the forthcoming Lonely Together: 222 Celebrated Writers on the Joys & Struggles of Being Alone. She lives in a town outside Washington, D.C., and along the Potomac River with her husband and two children.

    MERYL ROWIN is an illustrator whose work has been commissioned by The New York Times, Lenny Letter, the Glamour Woman of the Year Awards, Travel + Leisure, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and Apartment Therapy. She lives in Los Angeles and previously worked on Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally’s memoir, The Greatest Love Story Ever Told.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 3, 2019
    In this delightful anthology, Garrett (The Artists' and Writers' Cookbook, editor) presents culinary essays from notable authors and the dishes associated with them. In “Comfort with Eggs,” short story writer Laura van den Berg, addressing her anorexia as a teen, faces “the ghost of the person who believed it was... reasonable to starve herself to death”; novelist Chantel Acevedo cherishes hours with her grandmother toasting stove-top “Merenguitos” (“gooey like a marshmallow”); and for novelist Rakesh Satyal in “Bake Your Fear,” baking pies was “waving a Pride flag before I could officially come out.” Prominent writers shine, including Colum McCann, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Alexander Chee, whose story about a juice cleanse entertains. Accompanying recipes often prioritize comfort over ambition: Edwidge Danticat shares diri blan (white rice) on her father’s deathbed; short story writer Carmen Maria Machado mixes Kraft macaroni and cheese with tomato soup and hot dogs in “Meals of My Twenties”; and novelist Anthony Doerr slurps brownie batter in the wilderness in “Homesick at the Outer Edge of the World.” Garrett has selected the best kind of culinary writing—unfussy recipes and heartfelt stories that use food as an avenue for reflection. Foodies and fiction readers alike will devour this excellent collection. (Oct.)
    This review has been updated to remove a quoted line that appeared in the review copy PW received but is not in the finished book.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from July 1, 2019

    Remembering the food dishes that got her through hard times, editor Garrett (The Artists' and Writers' Cookbook: A Collection of Stories with Recipes; Lonely Stories: 20 Celebrated Writers on the Joys & Perils of Being Alone) embarked on a project of asking distinguished authors such as Alexander Chee, Claire Messud, and Lev Grossman to chronicle their hardships--chronic illness, heartbreak, and immigration challenges, to name a few--and the foods that helped them in the process of recovery. The result is a collection of recipes and thoughtful essays organized in sections titled "Growing Pains," "Loss," "Healing," and "Homecoming." Readers learn about Anthony Doerr's relief of homesickness with brownies and Edwidge Danticat's comfort from sharing a plate of rice with her dying father. VERDICT This book is a feast for avid lit lovers and foodies alike.

    Copyright 2019 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from October 1, 2019
    For this collection, Garrett (The Artists' and Writers' Cookbook, 2016) asked for writers' recollections of "hard times [...] and the foods that helped them make it through." Melissa Febos remembers feeling unlike herself, and preparing a roast she'd never eat. Rakyesh Satyal makes pie, "the fruity embodiment of my efforts to soldier forth in the face of adversity." Edwidge Danticat recalls sharing her father's last meal. Essays (most of which are brand-new) end with recipes in their authors' own words, resulting in a delightfully varied set: Nick Flynn's potato-chips dipped in cottage cheese; Natalie Baszile's 13-ingredient boudin sausage, Maile Meloy's great-grandmother's recipe for depression pancakes, which includes both an egg and a note that the pancakes are fine without it. As food so often does, it makes connections in surprising ways: more than one essay evokes the cartoon allure of a pie on a windowsill; a couple of recipes include the salt of tears; three are for rice, perfectly?and differently?prepared. Readers get the sense that Garrett really tapped into something with her query. Taken separately or all together, these essays depicting food as love, medicine, relief, and communion; as a sacrifice and a gift, are profound and genuinely moving.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

  • Helen Rosner, food correspondent for The New Yorker
    "The essays in Eat Joy are so sharp, so real, so beautiful, so full of heartbreak . . . Each is an extraordinary act of generosity."
  • Kelly Vaughan, Martha Stewart Living "If you've ever felt a deep, emotional connection to a recipe or been comforted by food during a dark time, you'll fall in love with these stories."
  • Emily Vaughn, The Salt, NPR "A multi–genre, illustrated work of food writing. Literary luminaries like Claire Messud, Colum McCann and Lev Grossman share personal essays and an associated recipe."
  • Booklist (starred review) "Readers get the sense that Garrett really tapped into something with her query. Taken separately or all together, these essays depicting food as love, medicine, relief, and communion, as a sacrifice and a gift, are profound and genuinely moving."
  • Library Journal (starred review) "A collection of recipes and thoughtful essays . . . This book is a feast for avid lit lovers and foodies alike."
  • Saveur, One of the Season's Best Books "Short memoirs that explore the meaning of comfort food."
  • Lizz Schumer, Good Housekeeping "Readers will recognize many of the names that contributed to this anthology that's all about food and the place it holds in our lives . . . And yes, there are recipes for when they invariably make you hungry."
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Eat Joy
Eat Joy
Stories & Comfort Food from 31 Celebrated Writers
Natalie Eve Garrett
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