Food, glorious food! We all know its power for nourishment, pleasure, and comfort — and we’ve all felt the sharp pangs of its absence. How has this essential part of being alive made its way into novels, short stories, and poetry? Our guest Ronica Dhar, author of the novel Bijou Roy, joins us for a conversation about food in literature, as we select ten mouthwatering (and thought-provoking) examples. Bon appetit!
Works and authors discussed include Kevin Young, Dr. Seuss, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, William Shakespeare, Beatrix Potter, Patrick O’Brian, Marcel Proust, Virginia Woolf, Beowulf, Elizabeth Alexander, Big Night (the film), Charles Dickens, Arnold Lobel, Russell Hoban, Lillian Hoban, Haruki Murakami, Lewis Carroll, Roald Dahl, C.S. Lewis, Paddington Bear, Pippi Longstocking, and more.
For our first discussion with Ronica, in which she chooses her favorite books, see Episode 35 – A Conversation with Ronica Dhar.
What’s food without the means to buy it? For a draft of 10 great writers at work, see Episode 101 – Writers at Work (with Mike Palindrome).
For more on Patrick O’Brian, see Episode 37 – Great Literary Duos.
For a medieval feast, see Episode 108 – Beowulf (aka Need a Hero? Get a Grip!).
We are giving away a FREE History of Literature Podcast mug and a FREE copy of Ronica Dhar’s book, Bijou Roy, to two lucky Patreon donors! Sign up now at patreon.com/literature to be eligible for this special bonus offer.
If you’d like to purchase a mug instead, or just donate a fiver or two to the show, you can find out how at historyofliterature.com/shop. Learn more about the show at historyofliterature.com or facebook.com/historyofliterature. Contact the host at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @thejackewilson.
One thought on “144 Food in Literature”
A couple of favourites are ‘Because of Winn-Dixie’ and ‘Like Water for Chocolate’, one from adult and one from a children’s stories. Both combine feeling with food in more than just the ‘feels good to eat chicken pot pie because my mother made it’ but actually fully metaphorically, allegorically, and completely. Like how Sweetie didn’t want to eat the Littmus Lozenge because it tasted like ‘not having a dog.’