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Africa

Amazon No. 1 New Release ‘The Cooking Gene’ Talks Food Traditions in the Old South

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Like the author himself, The Cooking Gene (Amistad, August 1, 2017) by Michael W. Twitty defies easy categorization. Not quite a memoir, nor historical nonfiction, nor a cookbook, it combines elements of all three to take us on a historical journey that shows how African foodways formed and informed the American diet and how the history of a people can be writ large in the food they ate. When Twitty approached publishers about his work as a culinary historian investigating the African-American roots of Southern cuisine, he was told that his identity was too complex and his work didn’t fit neatly into any one genre. But his unique, intersectional perspective as an African-American gay Jew brings insight to every facet of…

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Sleeping with elephants on New Year’s Eve

in Non-Fiction by

We were camping near the Tsavo River in southern Kenya. A quiet New Year’s Eve, my wife and I on cots under mosquito nets, our youngest son (nine) stretched out on the jeep’s front seat with the windows closed against mosquitoes, and the two older boys on cots under mosquito nets in a canvas tent. It was one of those soft and lovely Kenya nights – a warm breeze carrying a taste of water and of the surrounding savanna that has heated all day under the sun. We’d had a splendid New Year’s dinner of peanut butter on undercooked banana bread and water purified with iodine. It had been a long day on the savanna and everyone was sleepy. A…

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