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Julia Child

Laura Shapiro

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From Publishers WeeklyShapiro’s biography of Julia Child—one of America’s most beloved personalities—is a short but comprehensive book, and the newest in the Penguin Lives series. Born Julia McWilliams in Pasadena, Calif., in 1912, Child attended college and worked for the OSS in Asia during WWII, where she met her future husband. After marrying, they moved to Paris, which led her to cooking classes at the Cordon Bleu. Child had an appetite for learning as well as eating, one that soon developed into a desire to pass on the knowledge and skills—the love—she was acquiring. And in her late 30s, she found her calling. With two women who later coauthored her first book, she started her own cooking school; her class notes led to the cookbook, which eventually led to the television show. Her husband provided steady support, and Child learned of the value of trial and error and an ability to laugh at her mistakes. She was also patient: the cookbook was nearly a decade from conception to publication and the television show started equally shakily. In this wonderful short bio, Shapiro doesn’t skimp on less-flattering aspects of her subject’s life and personality (Child found homosexuality to be «a rude disruption in the natural order of things»). (Apr.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review«Shows enormous grace and food savvy…Reading Shapiro reminds us how Julia Child taught us not just how to cook but how to think about food.»—New York Times Book Review

«Laura Shapiro’s biography of Julia Child is as bright, smart, funny, charming, and companionable as Julia herself.»-Dorie Greenspan, author of Baking with Julia

«Shapiro’s graceful little book should be seen as the definitive analysis of Julia Child’s long career.» -Pittsburgh Post- Gazette
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