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Life Without a Recipe: A Memoir Paperback – April 4, 2017
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“Pure delight.… Beautiful and lyrical.”
- Jim Carmin, Oregonian
“About a lust for life, about the jumble of joy and fear and surprise and even pain. It’s about that soft cookie with the crunch inside and the slice of cake with an unexpected lay of tartness. In the end, all of it tastes sweet.”
- Amy Driscoll, Miami Herald
“With a tenderness that never dips into nostalgia, Abu-Jaber weaves together the stories of those closest to her….Abu-Jaber renders her relationships to both food and family in rich, joyful detail.”
- Amanda Winterroth, Booklist
“[A] deliciously candid story….Generously seasoned by an abiding love of food and a keen eye for the nuances of human relationships, this book is a reminder that however unpredictable it may be, life is a dish to be savored. A delectably warm and wise memoir.”
- Kirkus Reviews
“This bold, luscious memoir is both recollection and guide. Brimming with great meals and family struggle, it walks a path between cultural traditions and American individualism. A vivid story of one writer’s journey to build a creative life, one lived ‘without recipes,’ this book will be indispensable to anyone trying to forge their own truer path.”
- Ruth Reichl
“Wonderfully written, honest, funny, and deeply heart-touching, Diana Abu-Jaber’s memoir is a joyous read that speaks to the creative spirit in us all.”
- Heidi W. Durrow, New York Times best-selling author of The Girl Who Fell from the Sky
“Filled with visceral joys and literary beauty as well as soulful honesty and a gripping story. Diana Abu-Jaber writes trenchantly and gorgeously about family, marriage, and motherhood with insights and connections that feel hard-won and richly earned. Her sharp intelligence and unsparing self-knowledge bristle on every page alongside her passionate brio for life in all its flavors and complexities.”
- Kate Christensen, author of Blue Plate Special and The Great Man
About the Author
Diana Abu-Jaber is the award-winning author of four novels, including Crescent, and two memoirs, Life Without a Recipe and The Language of Baklava. She and her family divide time between Miami, Florida, and Portland, Oregon.
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Who could not love Bud when he is so lovingly portrayed in scenes like: "the priest presented Dad with a contract to raise his children within the Catholic faith, Dad signed in Arabic. He nudged Gram in the ribs; as if she were in one the joke, and, instead of writing his name, wrote: I make no promises.
The other return character is Grace, Diana's grandmother, who advises her: Never learn how to sew, cook, type, or iron. That's how they get you.
Bud and Grace agree on one thing: Men are terrible.
But in forging her own recipe for life, Diana defies both strong characters to fall in love with Scott and adopt her own child to teach her recipes to.
This is a beautifully crafted and elogantly written story of Diana's daughter Gracie who brings all of the strng characters in Diana's life together through love and laughter.
I loved delving deeper into Diana's life and continuing the family story. I can't wait until the third installment, as I know Gracie will provide enough fodder for a lifetime of stories.
Author of: SEAsoned: A Chef's Journey with Her Captain
From the jacket copy, you might expect it to be primarily about adoption and motherhood. It's not--it covers a lot more time and lot more big life topics, and strikes a good balance.