A richly illustrated culinary tour of the United States through fifty signature dishes, and a radical exploration of our gastronomic heritage.
Following his critically acclaimed Preparing the Ghost, renowned essayist Matthew Gavin Frank takes on America’s food. In a surprising style reminiscent of Maggie Nelson or Mark Doty, Frank examines a quintessential dish in each state, interweaving the culinary with personal and cultural associations of each region. From key lime pie (Florida) to elk stew (Montana), The Mad Feastcommemorates the unexpected origins of the familiar. Brazenly dissecting the myriad intersections between history and food, Frank, in this gorgeously designed volume, considers politics, sexuality, violence, grief, and pleasure: the cool, creamy whoopie pie evokes toughness in the face of New England winters, while the stewlike perloo serves up an exploration of food and race in the South. Tracing an unpredictable map of our collective appetites, The Mad Feast presents a beguiling flavor profile of the American spirit.
- Forthcoming November 2015
- ISBN 978-1-63149-073-6
- 7.4 × 9.6 in / 432 pages
- ales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, Singapore and Malaysia, but excluding the British Commonwealth.
- Download book sources
ENDORSEMENTS & REVIEWS
“[A] raucous gastro-crawl through regional American cuisine.” — Jeffery Gleaves, The Paris Review Daily
“This crazy culinary cruise through America is as messy and wonderful as Iowa’s Loosemeat Sandwich. …This is no cookbook with practical recipes or a patronizing tour of backwoods eateries, but a meditation on our nation”s strange history that stares up at us from the plate, as tart as a Key lime and dense as Mississippi Mud Pie.” — Andrew Lawler, author of Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?
“Matthew Gavin Frank’s The Mad Feast is like a baby who wants to learn the world by putting everything in its mouth. If eating means bringing everything we’re not into our bodies, then this book—rich, exuberant, unexpected—explores how we’re contained within everything we bring into ourselves. It’s messy and playful; it pushes association to the brink of absurdity and then sits at that border, munching on a slice of cake or spooning some chowder. Every chapter reads less like reportage and more like incantation, assembling from local materials the particular ingredients necessary to cast a singular spell.” — Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams
“[Frank]’s produced a surprising, entertaining look at what Americans eat and why.” — Kirkus Reviews
“In The Mad Feast, Matthew Gavin Frank is our Merry Prankster of literary food writing, taking his readers on a mind-bending trip through the pork-belly of America. Lush, exuberant, and manically associative, this book is so much more than a collection of recipes (but it is that, too); it’s an ecstatic and essayistic exploration of culture, community, history, and philosophy. I could not put it down, and I keep going back for more.” — Steven Church, author ofUltrasonic: Essays, founding editor of The Normal School