Tuesday, September 12, 2006

“Life itself is the proper binge.”

Or so said Julia Child. Julie Powell faced her 30th birthday in a bit of a muddle- she had a dead-end job and little prospects for the future. In despair, she gave herself a challenge- 524 recipes in 365 days in 1 tiny apartment in Long Island City. She eventually would turn her popular blog, detailing the highs and lows of cooking her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, into the book Julie & Julia. Through her devoted minions of “bleaders” who were all atwitter about her work, an online folk heroine was born. Although I did not read her blog, I appreciated her down-home Texan charm and the confessional mayhem that ensues throughout her book. Julie seems so vulnerable and brave schlepping to and from work and trying to make it on her own terms. If you love reading cooking memoirs a la MFK Fisher, this book comes highly recommended. You can also read a review by MQ Ashley Warlick for Talk Greenville.


Anonymous ed said...

I have to ask: why should the fact that she decided to do this on her 30th birthday matter? Isn't the whole point of a collection like THE MAY QUEEN to note that we should reject societal norms that tell us where women are obliged to be at a certain age?

Kudos to Juile Powell for doing something she wanted to do. But I object to celebrating or encouraging her self-pity about turning 30. Why not a positive message which suggests she can do what she wants when she feels it's right? Just this late bloomer's two cents.

10:31 PM  
Blogger Nicki Richesin said...

My dear Ed,

I certainly did not mean to imply that Julie Powell was pathetic at 30. On the contrary, I think societal pressure may have forced her to "do something" because she felt conflicted and at her wit's end. She seems to me a perfect example of a woman who has triumphed after what may have felt like (at the time) too many failures. I think she would be the first to admit that she blossomed in her thirties. Live and learn.


1:43 PM  

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