Guest Reviewer: Jonathan Evison Jonathan Evison is the author of the critically acclaimed novels All About Lulu and West of Here. He was the recipient of a 2009 Christopher Isherwood Fellowship. He lives on an island in western Washington. He likes rabbits.
Long before I got my hands on an advanced reader's copy of Cooking for Gracie, I was a big fan of Keith Dixon's novels, Ghostfires and The Art of Losing. Dixon is a masterful storyteller, with a ton of heart, and an astounding facility for empathy. The fact is, I'd read anything Dixon were to write. Even a cookbook. Or a memoir about fatherhood. As fate would have it, it just so happens that I became a father myself two years ago, and I'm a closet foodie--ergo, I jumped at the chance to review Cooking for Gracie.
To call this book a memoir about cooking, would be doing it a great disservice. Not to downplay the wonderful recipes and cooking tutorials that fill Cooking for Gracie, but at the end of the day, this book stands alone as a wise, deeply felt and hilarious meditation on being a father, and being a husband.
Dixon is not only a craftsman, but an inspiration to anyone who is a father, or a husband, or anyone who aspires to be a father, or a husband. I wish I'd had this book two years ago!
"Dixon confronts the hurdles [of fatherhood] humorously and honestly…Foodie dads and moms will love Dixon’s voice, and wish he were cooking at their house." –Publishers Weekly
"Keith Dixon tells the unvarnished truth about cooking after a new baby arrives. There will be tears, kitchen disasters, and ruined naptimes, leavened with fleeting moments of joy. Luckily, Keith brings three secret weapons to the table: patience, humor, and mouthwatering recipes. Gracie is adorable, sure, but I'd be lying if I told you I didn't fantasize about shoving her aside to get some of her dad's homemade kung pao chicken." --Matthew Amster-Burton, author of Hungry Monkey