Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
$2.48
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Sold by beamsbooks
Condition: Used: Good
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto Hardcover

4.5 out of 5 stars 225 customer reviews

See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
$4.46 $2.46
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The spirit of the indomitable Julia Child lives on ... A saucy soup-to-nuts compilation."
Vanity Fair

“An absorbing portrait of an unexpected friendship.”
Entertainment Weekly

“Julia’s inimitable voice shines through ... These letters offer [a] glimpse of how the truly great can merge heart and soul in the pursuit of excellence.”
Wall Street Journal

“[Child] comes booming back to life in these dishy missives ... A delicious read.”
People (3½ of 4 stars)

“Blazingly alive and entirely irresistible.”
Boston Globe

"This book feels like chick lit ... of an exalted order ... Two housewives, each in her 40s ... let rip about all kinds of things, from shallots, beurre blanc and the misery of dried herbs to politics, aging and sex ... Funny and forthright opinions about food and life."
New York Times

"A testament to the fortitude that went into creating a classic."
Saveur

"Just as interesting as the behind-the-scenes nuts-and-bolts on this culinary landmark is the far subtler picture that is painted of these two women, the times in which they were living, and the friendship that grew between them ... The letters take on the resonance of a plainsong kind of poetry."
Los Angeles Times

"Delightful . . . Expertly edited by the culinary historian Joan Reardon, [it] fills in that period of hard work, uncertainty, cheerleading and deepening love."
Bloomberg

"A pleasure both culinary and literary . . . A lesson in how to become an American original."
Whole Living

"An important piece of culinary history through the never-before-seen letters between these two witty women."
New York Post

"A reminder of the power of persistence, of a dream or a friendship, and of the lost art of writing a letter."
Oregonian

"Fascinating and engrossing."
Dallas Morning News
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Culinary historian Reardon's collection of the correspondence between Child and her pen pal, Avis DeVoto (portrayed in the film Julie & Julia by Deborah Rush), bubbles over with intimate insights into their friendship. In 1952, Child was living in Paris when she wrote to Cambridge, Mass., historian Bernard DeVoto after reading his Harper's article about knives. Her letter was answered by his wife, Avis, who soon became her confidante, sounding board, and enthusiastic fellow cook. The two met finally met in person two years later. As a part of the publishing community, Avis (who died in 1989) was responsible for securing the publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, steering the book first to Houghton Mifflin and then to its eventual home at Knopf. Their letters span a wide range of topics, from cookbooks, menus, recipes, and restaurants to Balzac, sex, goose stuffing, gardening, learning languages, the political climate, Sunday afternoon cocktail parties, and proofreading. Witty, enlightening and entertaining, these letters serve as a compelling companion volume to Mastering the Art of French Cooking. (Dec. 1)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007F7QSES
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (225 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,252,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Esther Schindler TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It's easy to recommend this book to dedicated foodies, and certainly to fans of Julia Child. "As Always, Julia" is the collection of the correspondence between Julia Child and her friend, mentor, and editor Avis DeVoto, from the time in 1952 when Julia wrote a fan letter to Avis' husband (regarding an article he'd written about kitchen knives) and mentioned in-passing that she was working on a cookbook, until the time several years later that the cookbook finally was published.

If you're interested in Julia Child the person (and My Life in France wasn't enough for you, whether or not accompanied by the Julie & Julia movie), then "As Always, Julia" is a no-brainer, because these were the letters shared by two intelligent and opinionated women who were confiding in one another, not talking to a microphone. And confide they did: about Avis' child-raising and Paul Child's job as well as the difficulty of finding fresh shallots. It is, more than anything else, the story of a real life friendship, and better than any epistolary novel you can imagine. You will know these women well, at their most personal, such as Avis writing, "I like every part about growing older except what happens to your feet." (It's hard to imagine anyone compiling such a collection now, with all of us writing e-mail -- if that -- and only packrats like myself keeping copies of everything for decades.)

But the book is interesting for several other reasons.

Watching the creation of a masterpiece: Mastering the Art of French Cooking was an instant classic, and it was the result of years of hard work.
Read more ›
3 Comments 146 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Picture a young wife, circa 1963, faced with entertaining her husband's European business associates and friends (one of whom was a Swiss trained chef!), but whose only cookbook was "Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook." Now, imagine her astonishment as she thumbs through her brand new book entitled, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." Talk about prayers being answered! Yes, Julia was responsible for awakening my passion for cooking that continues to this day.

But much as I appreciated Julia as an excellent instructor and enjoyed her television appearances, I had no clue how intelligent, witty and warm hearted she was until I read these letters. In addition, what a pleasure it was to meet her friend, Avis DeVoto, every bit as charming and erudite as Julia. How extraordinary that these two "met" when Julia sent a couple of good French knives to Avis's husband, the writer Bernard DeVoto, after reading his article complaining about the lack of quality in American kitchen knives. That simple gift was the seed of a friendship that is beyond heartwarming to read about.

For those of us who remember the late `50's, these letters also remind us of the turmoil surrounding the McCarthy witch hunts and the latter hearings, years that can only be described today as "bizarre." But it reminds us of how easy it is for just one person to create an atmosphere of suspicion and hearsay so poisonous, that, for awhile, it can intimidate an entire country.

When I first began reading this rather large book, I thought I would keep it by my bedside and read a few letters each evening. Ha! "Bet you can't eat (read) just one!" Instead, I promptly gave in and let the rest of the world go by while I devoured every word until the end. I can't remember the last time that happened.

History, humor, inspiring and unforgettable personalities -- what more can you want in a book?
1 Comment 55 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Who would have guessed that Julia Child was a control freak?

Judging by her own letters, it seems that she was often in various stages of irritation at her two co-authors of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, the book that launched her career. One co-author didn't do her share of the work, although in her defense, it's unlikely that any of them realized when they began, that they were embarking on what would be a 20-year-long project that was anything but smooth. Her other colleague was a hard worker, but something of a perfectionist, often second-guessing Julia's meticulous research. It's amazing the book was published at all.

Julia became pen pals with Avis DeVoto, a reviewer of mysteries and wife of Bernard DeVoto, a writer and editor. Julia had written to Bernard about an article he had written and he asked Avis to answer the letter. Julia and Avis hit it off immediately and began a correspondence and friendship that lasted the rest of their lives.

Julia was an expert at French cooking, but she knew little about book publishing and oddly, little about American cooking. She had never cooked when she lived in America, and had learned everything she knew about cooking in Paris, so she had peculiar gaps in her knowledge, such as that Americans keep their fresh eggs in cartons in the refrigerator, not in a bowl on the counter. Avis was able to keep such clangers from getting into the book, as well as steering Julia to editors who would be open to the idea of such an ambitious cookbook.

Avis also acted as Julia's stateside researcher, answering questions such as whether cake flour was available, or just all-purpose flour.
Read more ›
4 Comments 59 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: modern world history, world history