Contemporary novelists such as National Book Award winners Jonathan Franzen and the late, great Bernard Malamud share space with columnists Dave Barry, P. J. O'Rourke, and Christopher Buckley, with journalists and novelists Andrei Codrescu and Anna Quindlen, with journalist John Berendt, and with poet and novelist Sandra Cisneros. The interspersing of recipes from older and younger generations reveals cookery as creatively diverse as the writings from David Guterson, T. C. Boyle, Elizabeth McCracken, and former First Lady Barbara Bush.
This unusually tangy assortment of more than 150 recipes runs the gamut from tofu to heart-clogging chili. Writers play fast and loose with ingredients and forewarn readers planning to try them that some of the most seductive recipes are loaded with cholestrol. With such temptations as "Thighs of Delight," Crevettes Desir," a "sexy spaghetti sauce," and a lemon icebox pie that allegedly elicits proposals of marriage, the recipes and stories revealing their origins are enticing, bizarre, and promisingly tasty.
The collection gives particular emphasis to contemporary southern writers - Padgett Powell, Jack Butler, Larry Brown, Ellen Gilchrist, Josephine Humphreys, and others - although their recipes are often far from being quintessentially "Southern."
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