My Kitchen Wars by Betty Harper Fussell

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A veteran of the era's domestic battles takes no prisoners in a fierce and funny memoir.

My Kitchen Wars is a war story, but the warrior is a woman, and the battleground is the kitchen. Her weapons-the batterie de cuisine of grills and squeezers and knives-evoke a lifelong need to make dinner, love, and war. With these implements, Betty Fussell pries open the past, giving voice to a generation of women whose stories were shaped but also silenced by an era of global conflict, from World War II to Vietnam. This is also a love story, as Fussell is liberated from the tyrannical puritanism of her family by a veteran of the "Good War," a young writer named Paul Fussell. But in the role of bride, Fussell finds herself captive as faculty wife and mother. She hungers for both a life of the mind and carnal pleasures. Her inner war to unite body and intellect brings down the marriage, in a denouement as brutal as the whack of a cleaver. Yet Fussell, however bloodied, emerges to cook another dinner and to tell this blackly comic tale.

Betty Fussell is the author of nine books, including The Story of Corn (NPP, 1999). A contributor to publications ranging from The New York Times to the Journal of Gastronomy, she has lectured widely on food history. She lives in New York City.


About Betty Harper Fussell

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Betty Fussell is the author of nine books. A Contributor to publications including The New York Times and The New Yorker, she has lectured widely on food history. She lives in New York City.
Published March 3, 2015 by Open Road Media. 264 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Cooking. Non-fiction

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Fussell (The Story of Corn, 1992, etc.) begins with a tour of her kitchen, noting the odd implements in what the French call “the batterie de cuisine,” including crushers, beaters, scrapers and grinders.

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Publishers Weekly

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As befits a noted food historian and writer (I Hear America Cooking), Fussell recounts how the domestic wars of her childhood, marriage and family life played out in a succession of kitchens--in brilliant vignettes marked by appealing humor, biting irony and unflinching honesty.

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Entertainment Weekly

Food writer Fussell whips up a tartly funny history of post-World War II domesticity in this memoir of her marriage to cultural historian Paul Fussell.

Nov 12 1999 | Read Full Review of My Kitchen Wars


(Incidentally, designer Landry interrupts his kozy kitchen at its middle with a museum-worthy battery of shiny brass pots and pans that recall the hanging sculpture recently seen in Jonathan Reynolds' Dinner With Demons.) In her book and in the stage adaptation of it, Fussell talks about how sh...

Apr 05 2004 | Read Full Review of My Kitchen Wars

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