The Table Comes First

The Table Comes First

Family, France and the Meaning of Food

Book - 2011
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Random House, Inc.
Transplanted Canadian, New Yorker writer and author of Paris to the Moon, Gopnik is publishing this major new work of narrative non-fiction alongside his 2011 Massey Lecture. An illuminating, beguiling tour of the morals and manners of our present food manias, in search of eating's deeper truths, asking "Where do we go from here?"

Never before have so many North Americans cared so much about food. But much of our attention to it tends towards grim calculation (what protein is best? how much?); social preening ("I can always score the last reservation at xxxxx"); or graphic machismo ("watch me eat this now"). Gopnik shows we are not the first food fetishists but we are losing sight of a timeless truth, "the table comes first": what goes on around the table matters as much to life as what we put on the table: families come together (or break apart) over the table, conversations across the simplest or grandest board can change the world, pain and romance unfold around it--all this is more essential to our lives than the provenance of any zucchini or the road it travelled to reach us. Whatever dilemmas we may face as omnivores, how not what we eat ultimately defines our society.

Gathering people and places drawn from a quarter century's reporting in North America and France, The Table Comes First marks the beginning a new conversation about the way we eat now.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, c2011
Edition: 1st ed
Description: x, 293 p. : ill. ; 25 cm
ISBN: 9780307399014
Branch Call Number: 394.12 Gop

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debwalker Oct 27, 2011

"It is one of those special books, which don’t come around all that often — the kind which makes you simply delight and luxuriate in the slow act of leisurely reading.

It’s certainly not the product of a recipe but, rather, a writer who has spent a life, thinking, reading, writing and, of course, cooking."
Christine Sismondo
Toronto Star

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