In these short stories the table is a scene of revenge and nostalgic memories, self-realisation and self-indulgence, separations and new beginnings. In turn warm and witty, acerbic and compassionate, sad and joyful, the stories in Dining Alone demonstrate the rich possibilities that food brings to fiction. ......
|Title||:||Dining Alone: Stories From The Table For One|
|Number of Pages||:||170 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Dining Alone: Stories From The Table For One Reviews
I don’t often read short stories, but this collection intrigued me for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s edited by Barbara Santich, the food historian who wrote Bold Palates, Australia’s Gastronic Heritage and more recently Enjoyed for Generations, the History of Haigh’s Chocolates, both of which introduced me to a different kind of ‘food’ writing; and secondly because a collection based around the topic of dining alone sounded interesting too.It was only when I actually started reading the book that I realised that the collection is the work of students of food writing at the University of Adelaide from 2007 – 2013. Who knew? I would have taken that course for sure if it had been around in my student days! Not only did they have fantastic teachers like Kerryn Goldsworthy; Brian Castro, Nicholas Jose, Gay Bilson (who wrote Plenty, Digressions on Food); and Marion Halligan who always includes evocative descriptions of food and eating in her novels, (most notably in The Point which was set in a restaurant); – but these students also visited markets and dined in restaurants for research so that they could practise writing about them. A bit different to my days researching in dusty old journals down in the bowels of the Bailleau!The first six stories all won prizes in the Penny’s Hill/Adelaide Review awards: my favourite is A Recipe for Nourishment by Marianne Duluk. A woman married to a romantic Frenchman dines in splendour when he’s away on business trips but her affair is with flesh of a different kind:On Rémy’s trips away, my covert life takes form. Diners gawk and waiters are startled by a long satin gown flowing into the room with no clumsy male trailing two steps behind on the polished marble tiles. The whispers are fairly loud. Why is she alone? A loner, desperate, a failure? Little do they know that true contentment surrounds me, knowing that a night of culinary ecstasy lies ahead. Of the meat kind. (p.19) Rémy, you see, is a vegan. Before she met him, she had never imagined that ‘French’ and ‘vegan’ could share sentences. She is dining alone so that she can have bacon, beef, confit duck and decadent desserts in one sitting… I liked Table for One, by Julia Jenkins too. It’s clever because the story is told from the perspective of a supercilious waiter:One-tops. Waste of a table. They eat light, barely drink and rarely, if ever, order dessert. And they’re so needy. They either need you to hold their hand the entire night to ensure they don’t get lonely or feel the dire need to impress upon you their knowledge of this wine or that Scotch. Or worse, they shroud themselves in their anonymity and melt into the shadows the entire night. Waste of a table. (p. 22) I was cheering when his expectations were subverted!To read the rest of my review please visit http://anzlitlovers.com/2016/02/01/di...