Conversation: Susan Buckley, Eating with Peter and Dawn Drzal, The Bread and the Knife, with Giulia Melucci
Where: The New York Society Library
53 E. 79th St.
212-288-6900 Price: $15
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Susan’s life would never be the same after she meets Peter Buckley—a larger-than-life writer, photographer, and gourmand, a great cook and a great “eater.” Together they embark on rollicking adventures from the souks of Morocco and the waters of the Red Sea and the Caribbean to Michelin-starred restaurants in France and the markets of Provence. Back in New York, Susan and Peter incorporate their travels into their life at home, where eating with Peter was always an adventure. Eating with Peter lovingly describes a New York food world for the most part long gone, when you talked to your butcher on the phone and when no one in the United States had ever heard of balsamic vinegar and arugula was considered an exotic herb.
Food is more than a metaphor in The Bread and the Knife; it is the organizing principle of a life. Starting with “A Is for Al Dente,” the loosely linked chapters evoke an alphabet of food memories that recount a woman’s emotional growth from the challenges of youth to professional accomplishment, marriage, and divorce. Each letter serves up a surprising variation on the struggle for self-knowledge, the joy and pain of familial and romantic love, and food’s astonishing ability to connect us with both the living and the dead. Ranging from her grandmother’s suburban kitchen to an elegant New York restaurant, a longhouse in Borneo, and a palace in Rajasthan, The Bread and the Knife charts the vicissitudes of a woman forced to swallow some hard truths about herself while discovering that the universe can dispense surprising second chances.
Susan Buckley is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. She is the co-author of five Young Adult books on American history, was the founding editor of AppleSeeds magazine, and has written many children’s books for reading and social studies programs.
Dawn Drzal, a former cookbook editor, has published articles and essays in the New York Times, the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Food & Wine, and O. Between 2006 and 2016, she was a regular contributor to the New York Times Book Review. Her essays have been anthologized in, among other places, Eat Memory: Great Writers at the Table, edited by Amanda Hesser.
Giulia Melucci is a Vice President at Harper’s Magazine. She wrote I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti, a memoir with recipes that was published in the U.S. as well as the Netherlands, Australia, Germany, Turkey, Poland, Brazil and Bulgaria. The book was also adapted into a one-woman show that has had successful runs up and down the east coast and parts of the midwest.Buy tickets/get more info now