*Starred Review* “I cook to comprehend the place I’ve landed in,” muses Ciezadlo early in her first book, a vividly written memoir of her adventures in travel and taste in the Middle East. Like any successful travelogue writer, she fills her pages with luminous, funny, and stirring portraits of the places and people she came across in her time abroad. But there is also, always, her passion for food, and through it, she parses the many conundrums she faced in her wanderings, such as the struggle to define identity, ethnic and personal, and the challenge of maintaining social continuity in wartime. The capstone to all her thoughtful ruminations is a mouthwatering final chapter collecting many of the dishes she describes earlier in the book. She does this all in writing that is forthright and evocative, and she reminds us that the best memoirs are kaleidoscopes that blend an author’s life and larger truths to make a sparkling whole. --Taina Lagodzinski
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
”Ciezadlo's lovely, natural language succeeds where news reports often fail: She leads us to care.”
“Her book is full of more insight and joy than anything else I have read on Iraq. . . . Ciezadlo is a wonderful traveling companion. Her observations are delightful — witty, intelligent and nonjudgmental.”
—The Washington Post Book World
“Her writing about food is both evocative and loving; this is a woman who clearly enjoys a meal... A glass of Iraqi tea, under Ciezadlo's gaze, is a thing of beauty.”
—The Associated Press
“In her extraordinary debut, Annia Ciezadlo turns food into a language, a set of signs and connections, that helps tie together a complex moving memoir of the Middle East."
—The Globe and Mail