A guide to the ever-evolving cuisine of an increasingly diverse section of America, from an Arkansas-born chef now based in Nashville. Another compilation of impressive dishes, old and new, from the award-winning Nashville chef. Dozens of new recipes and an array of new photographs make this updated edition of a beloved baking book even more valuable than its original edition.
Travel writing in our hyperconnected age is in the throes of an existential crisis.
Journeys to new lands used to inspire masterly works of literary nonfiction. Now, they inspire Instagram posts by influencers who string together hashtags rather than sentences.
So what should you read about travel when you can virtually sample the sights and sounds of anywhere in the world from, well, anywhere in the world? Reading this work feels like the opposite of scrolling through a photo feed.
These narratives are ubiquitous, suggesting that a trip to the United States is a life passage for some. For others, it is clearly a matter of survival. The crisis at the border may be the peg for the book, but it is far from the focus. Theroux also examines barriers within Mexican society. He assails the establishment — the government, the police, the rich — for excluding indigenous people.
He finds Zapotec and Mixtec communities in Oaxaca that largely subsist on artisanal crafts like basket making and mezcal brewing. Pritchett and repeating the phrase like a refrain. Other barriers include those imposed by the violent cartels that partner with the police to create the equivalent of a narcostate.
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This apparatus governs society and restricts movement, Theroux argues. He himself is stopped by the police and forced to pay bribes, which seems a fortunate fate for an elderly white American driving through terrain where rich people are kidnapped and held for ransom and gang warfare is rife.
He sees local festivals as vehicles to lift the spirits of Mexicans who live in poverty without acknowledging their deep roots in local custom. In a passage on Mexican writers, Theroux compares the rivalry of Carlos Fuentes and Octavio Paz to that of cartel assassins, applying a base stereotype to people he regards as out-of-touch auteurs. He extols indigenous cultures — you can almost feel his pulse quickening when he hears Zapotec.
By the end of his journey, when Theroux has made it to separatist Zapatista territory, his admiration for the group comes as no surprise. Edited by Alexandra Fuller, the British-Zimbabwean memoirist whose most recent book touched on the loss she endured when her father and son died in quick succession , the anthology is best when its contents expand to themes that are larger than a place on a map.
Its simple, transportive prose requires rereading, for the sheer delight of it. Not all of these essays are worth savoring, though. Some contain remnants of colonial tropes: a fixation on barefoot locals, colorful people, exotic traditions. In one on Chernobyl, the author, Cameron Hewitt, nicknames a tour guide Fidel — reducing an Eastern European who has a name, family history and identity of his own to an archetype that an American could understand. The most striking aspect of this collection, though, is that nobody even remotely considers lazing about on a beach.
Designing a cookbook
These writers are examining repressive governments, ethnic tensions, the ravages of hurricanes and climate change or returning to an ancestral homeland in flux. The ratio of words detailing history and context to those dedicated to actual journeys is a touch too high in some stories. The line between disaster tourism and tales that inspire empathy can be awfully thin.
Apparently a lot, but none of it involves life-or-death issues unless you count a tangle with a curb in New Zealand and a minor scrape with an elderly man on a bike in Delft. Kois finds more humor than meaning, and fortunately gets most of the dad jokes out of the way early on. In Wellington, New Zealand, the family discovers jaw-dropping views and seemingly endless friends with whom to socialize.
A rotating group of neighbors pop in to drink and join the kids to jump on a nearby trampoline before a grumpy neighbor who lives within earshot sends them home. The breathtaking setting inspires Kois and his wife, Alia, to attempt to imbue their children with a bit of local culture: a love of the great outdoors. Kois finds Delft much less hospitable than Wellington, though that is likely because the family chose as its base a neighborhood without a lot of children and sent their daughters to a school with limited instruction in English.
The bit of local culture that he and Alia try to adopt there is the poldermodel — the Dutch art of enlisting everyone in group decisions. They take this up while withstanding the withering anger of Lyra, an year-old who understandably is not happy about a prolonged cultural exchange that involves limited screen time and a scarcity of books.
The family then go to Costa Rica — another jaw-dropping place — where they fail to penetrate local culture, and finally land in Hays, Kan. The settings are beside the point, though. Alia and their younger child, Harper, are consistently portrayed as helpful, productive, energetic and positive, while Lyra comes across as a complicated person who constantly challenges her father. In an endnote she says that his representation of her has been too negative, but any reader who is a parent will recognize in his depiction the grudging admiration you feel for a child who regularly outwits you.
The places Kois traveled seem incidental not only because of the outsize role of the dynamic with Lyra. Kois only glancingly mentions racism and the gaping chasm between ethnic and religious minorities and whites in New Zealand, for instance, a decision that seems questionable given the mass shooting by a white supremacist in Christchurch this year. Kois questions the Dutch view of its society as tolerant and similarly laments the homogeneity of Hays, but generally keeps current issues at bay.
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His depiction of the gentrification of Costa Rica by privileged Americans who settle there is one exception. Kois views travel primarily as a means of transforming his own life rather than as a way to uncover the outside world; this book is an antidote to the documentarian approach that now pervades much travel writing.
Unlike Theroux and others, Kois does not present a mediated view of the places he lives over the year.
He fills the frame, ready for a selfie. Back when the book was initially published, social media had not yet supplanted travel narratives, and the idea of a bucket list conjured images of far-flung places rather than calculations of your carbon footprint. Her answer is, of course, yes, and the images on the pages that follow make her case.
The most notable feature of the book is the absence of people and current events. Oh, there are some people in the images but none are named, and none are trying to cross a border or fighting with their tween. This carefully curated collection of images invites you to dive in, not to transform your life, not to understand the world, but simply to gaze at pretty pictures away from your screen. The photography is interesting but not so interesting that it makes you rethink a place.
This is the comfort food of travel books. This book is meant to inspire wanderlust in anybody who needs an actual getaway. Her spare prose about life along the 60th parallel evokes the sound, smell and feel of the Alaskan tundra and then, in another essay, the Scottish coast. Elsewhere, she ventures to her past, to a trip to Tibet she made as a young woman.
Expect to hear the crunch of gravel, to squint as figures emerge on a nearly blank horizon and to smell the musky air of an enclosure meant to store fish centuries ago. As these items surface, so do connections to the past. Words that had threatened to become obsolete are passed down as elders recognize them. The renewed focus on the past helps remove the stigma that non-European culture once held. The people she meets notice, she writes, then they speak. As a writer she does the same.
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She says that she was trying hard not to expect anything, and we are all rewarded as she steadily reveals their world. The Links of Noltland in Orkney, Scotland, is the site of a second grand resurfacing effort: Jamie joins Hazel Moore and Graeme Wilson, who are leading a dig of a settlement believed to be 5, years old. The Scottish landscape is less otherworldly than the tundra, and so are the people who accompany her.
At one point as Jamie accompanies an organic farmer, she realizes that people millenniums ago were standing in the same spot, thinking similar thoughts. The spiral design on some of the recovered objects takes on new meaning, suggesting that time is a circle, not a straight line. This passage of time and these old ghosts give Jamie the thematic impetus to shift from travel narrative to memoir. The ending is less taut than the beginning. Still, as she exhumes the memories of her mother and grandmother, the spiral continues, with a daughter leaving home, the loss of her father and then her reckoning with her own cancer diagnosis.
She leaves off in woods. Monica Drake, an assisting managing editor at The Times, is a former editor of the Travel section. For a century, fashion magazines have delivered to their readers a running account of developments in art photography. Modernist photography, with its constant quest for the new angle, turned out to be a natural partner for fashion, likewise predicated on the latest thing. The magazines, well endowed with advertising, were able to apply the highest available standard of reproduction, on coated stock, with generous dimensions.
The book, with its high-gloss cover stock and magazine-file slipcase, is meant to evoke the dependably voluminous September issues ; its breadth allows the page spreads of the past to sprawl luxuriously. The magazines occasionally hired photographers from outside the fashion world to exercise their eyes on the collections — Man Ray , William Klein , Tina Barney , Philip-Lorca diCorcia , for example — and they kept their readers abreast of the non-fashion work of Lisette Model , Bill Brandt , Andre Kerte sz , Robert Frank and others.
What is most compelling about this book, however, is the mighty line of succession established by the photographers who came up through the magazines, from George Hoyningen-Huene and the relentlessly experimental Erwin Blumenfeld to the inescapable Richard Avedon and Irving Penn, to Guy Bourdin and Deborah Turbeville , to Steven Klein and Steven Meisel.
Lee Miller , who started out as a model before moving to the other side of the lens, shocked Vogue readers in with her unsparing photos of the Nazi death camps. Avedon and Penn seem to have employed the magazines almost as much as the magazines employed them. While Penn delved progressively inward, seeking some primal essence of photography, Avedon treated the magazines as his personal movie studio, breathlessly dialing through genre after genre.
She can be very funny and quite menacing, often at the same time. Somehow she combines acting, semiotics, caricature, montage, set design, cultural criticism and photography into one seamless ongoing project. Francesca Woodman was four years younger than Sherman, and she likewise used herself as a model — along with other young women — although to very different ends.
Her pictures are dramatic tableaus, impeccably high-Surrealist even in their Gothic attraction to graveyards and decay. With their rigorously plain settings and uncanny 19th-century light they have more than a little in common with certain spirit photographs, the kind involving ectoplasm and partly materialized revenants.
The pictures are exceptionally sophisticated in their execution and their use of photographic language, and yet they were made when Woodman was between the ages of 13 and 22, when she killed herself. It is hard to split the difference between seeing foreshadowing everywhere and allowing for the complicated moods of a particularly driven post-adolescent, however much in control of her material she seems to be.