- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Gallery Books; First Edition edition (February 10, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1416587977
- ISBN-13: 978-1416587972
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,172,074 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Cooking and Screaming: Finding My Own Recipe for Recovery Hardcover – February 10, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Not many 21-year-olds expect to have a stroke while walking down the street of their college town, but that's what happened to Kane, food writer and blogger of nosheteria.com. What started off as a casual stroll resulted in weeks of unconsciousness, months of rehabilitation in the hospital and years of daily therapeutic exercises, all due to an arteriovenous malformation (commonly known as an AVM), which initially left her completely paralyzed on her right side. Drawing strength from her love for cooking, Kane started to make physical and emotional progress by relearning how to chop vegetables by using her immobile right hand as a weight. As she struggled to rebuild her life post AVM... often fraught with anxieties and self-imposed rules, she followed her passion for food by starting a successful catering business. Kane nicely integrates memories of her childhood, family portraits (including details about her own father's stroke 13 years earlier) as well as many wonderful recipes into this story of recovery. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From School Library Journal
Adult/High School—Just weeks before she graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, Kane suffered an AVM, an arterio-venous malformation, or hemorrhagic stroke, affecting the right side of her body. As a dancer and an aspiring teacher, she was thrown for a loop as she had to learn how to walk, how to use her left hand, and just generally how to cope as a disabled person. It was first eating, and then cooking, that brought her back to a real sense of self. This is a memoir with recipes, and it is often as much about memories of food as it is about recovery from a stroke. Kane started a successful catering business in Berkeley and began blogging. Each chapter begins with a recipe for a dish mentioned in it. The recipes are fairly simple, but flavorful and focused on local, seasonal foods. The stories about food and the stories of the author's life blend seamlessly in what is essentially a narrative about finding one's own place in the world.—Sarah Flowers, formerly at Santa Clara County Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Top customer reviews
I just finished Cooking and Screaming, a memoir by Adrienne Kane. I enjoyed reading it but not because it was a good memoir. It was an engaging story, and Kane is a very likable and brave woman. But Kane deals with her issue -- finding herself suddenly partially paralyzed after a stroke at age twenty-one -- without really letting us, the readers, in on the full experience of it. A good memoir requires full commitment of feelings and actions, those are its ingredients, and without those essentials, the memoir falls flat.
Kane writes a food blog (Nosheteria.com) and the book reads like blog entries: nothing too deep, a steady narrative line (and voice), and chirpy conclusions stuck in here and there. Each chapter starts with a recipe -- very blog-like -- which ties in with something in the chapter and the recipes look great. In fact, Kane is at her best when talking about food: buying it, preparing it, and eating it.
The purpose of memoir is to reveal what is hidden, to hold up thoughts and fears, hopes and sorrows, to the light of exposure, and to find a story in that exposure. The memoir invites the reader to be witness to the events that changed and shaped a life. Julia Blackburn's memoir, The Three of Us, for example, is a powerful memoir of emotionally abusive parents and the resilience and intelligence of Blackburn in the face of the abuses. It is powerful because Blackburn shares with the reader the facts of her life with her parents, no matter how ugly; her feelings, no matter how dark or shallow or seemingly inappropriate; and her actions, both laudable and not-so laudable.
Adrienne Kane suffered a stroke just weeks before graduating from college. Cooking and Screaming tells of her recovery and how she came to rely on cooking to regain her confidence, gain her independence , and jump start her new life. Using my imagination and reading between the lines, I can see that it must have been terrible for Kane to suffer such a stroke and become disabled. But I never read about her pain, her fears, her anger, her moments of weakness: she was a bit too stoic and understated over the circumstances of her stroke and the aftermath of rehab. Kane had to start over again, living a new life in a different way and what did that feel like? For example, Kane had been a dancer her whole life but after the injury she does not dance; Kane doesn't tell us how it must feel to have danced every day and then -- suddenly -- never dance again. She never tells us about remembering what it had been like to dance: the sweat, the work, the ache of her muscles, the beauty that came out of the pain and work and sweat. Did she never think about dancing again? Did being a dancer help her in rehab? Does she miss dancing now, does she go to dance performances, is she in touch with past teachers and fellow dancers? The sharing of these kinds of details and even more intimate ones are what memoirs are made of. The deeply felt and hidden responses to one's life are the blood and bone of memoirs and we get absolutely none of that in this book.
But I did like reading Kane's book. She is sincere and genuine and laid back. Reading her memoir was like reading Facebook entries from a friend telling me about her recovery from a debilitating illness (a friend who does not want to share any compelling details of the illness or the aftermath but just wants me to take her word for it that it was terrible). I liked the woman who wrote this book and we would probably have stuff in common if we met --books and music and movies that we would both like -- except that I am a terrible and impatient cook who occasionally and miraculously cooks something good but since I never follow a recipe, I have no idea how I did it and the dish is just never as good the second time around. Kane sounds like she must be a marvelous cook. I just wish she had shared the details of her wrenching and disabling experience -- what she was feeling mentally and physically -- as willingly as she shares her recipes.
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I consider this book to be a love story. Kane touches the core and center of cooking - love for life. Her writing is neither pretentious nor sentimental about her life journey, considering what she went through in her young age. At 17 her successful businessman father suffered a stroke. At 21 she herself suffered a stroke just before her graduation from UC Berkeley. Those experiences are the blessings in disguise since she found what is important in her life and that helped her to create her own life in her own way. She learned the importance of empathy and compassion. What attracted me most is Kane's efforts not to yield to a poor-poor-pitiful-me attitude. She is feisty but not loud. This subtle but powerful book titled Cooking and Screaming fascinates me also knowing her meta-cognitive process during this journey.
She addressed the notion that psychological struggle (frustration, humiliation, anger, misunderstanding, true or false pride, bruised ego, etc.) was more of a challenge than that of physical inconvenience. After dealing with those emotions, she chose not to dwell on them. Dragging those emotions (lamenting, sobbing, crying, blaming and complaining) endlessly is not her cup of tea. Furthermore, the life alternating experience when her father suffered from a stroke while she was in her teens gave her plenty of lessons and strength. She shifted her energy to focus on what she loves - her renewed interest and passion - Cooking!
Her support network impressed me and touched my heart. Her faithful and caring boyfriend (now her husband), her loving family and her loyal and thoughtful close friends have demonstrated their genuine, authentic love and tremendous support and encouragement. She treasures it and keep on cooking for them and others.
It's a brilliant idea to come up with this unique format of combining the introduction of several selected recipes out of thousands and related semi-biographical articles. It helps to avoid the possible monotonous and heavy tone that a traditional chronological and linear sequence of writing sometimes would bring. It appeals to the target readers living in the age of Blog and Twitter. Interestingly enough, this non-linear method in this book escapes from spiral, self-indulgent writing, but it is logical and lyrical. It has a rhythm between the lines as if we are listening to music. Serious matters are balanced out with plenty of humor and her unique cynicism. Her vivid description when it comes to food and cooking, the speed and rhythm evokes a jazzy dancing mood. It clearly shows her passion and love for cooking.
Kane certainly spends more time on the things she loves than on excessive screaming. She is definitely not in denial. Rather she is very alert. She simply tries to enjoy her life. Her subtle but powerful book titled "Cooking and Screaming" is a love story and leaves us celebrating the resiliency of her life.
Adrienne Kane suffered a stroke just before her graduation from college. This is her story of fighting back and finding a new place in a world that tipped sideways.
She details her physical challenges, but the mental challenges loomed just as large, although she didn't dwell much on them. Her chapters about blogging and publishing tribulations resonated with me. Can't imagine why!
She says, "Having a blog is like having a child -- a whining, fussy child who needs endless amounts of attention."
Cooking played a big part in her recovery and the recipes that begin each chapter have special meaning in the chronology of her life. She clearly enjoys food, but the recipes aren't too fussy or pretentious.
She's a brave little engine and I think you'll like this one.
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