Literary Quote of the Month

“For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough)—they are experiences,” … Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.

Friday, January 31, 2014

What do you get when you put together "Graphic Novel" and "Food" ?… Relish by Lucy Knisley and A Review

Relish by Lucy Knisley is a memoir, a life in food, a graphic novel oozing with the delights of fresh garlic being sautéed on a stove, the wafting smell of buttery croissants, and the wonders of Huevos Rancheros for breakfast. Relish is a culinary experience, but it's also an artistic one, as Lucy puts her memories down in words and drawings. But that's what a graphic novel is and it works well for Relish.

"I was a child raised by foodies" is our first introduction to Lucy and to this graphic novel which traces Lucy's life from her early childhood to her graduating from art school all through her memories of food. The book is entertaining, funny, enjoyable, and a feast for the eyes. Lucy's drawings are good, the lettering of the text is nice (remember I really hate the computer generated text that most comic books use) and the stories told flow nicely from one part of her life to the next. We learn about her, her Chef Mother, Mexico, her parents divorce, raising chickens, Japan and hop on a culinary journey with a eurail pass. But wait, there's more… the recipes! Through out the book, are some of Lucy's tried and true recipes that are drawn AND written out…


It is so much fun to read about these recipes and then have Lucy include the recipe by drawing them out! I just loved it! And this idea of illustrating a "food" novel is certainly popular now, as Michael Pollan had his book, Food Rules, recently redone in an illustrated version. 

Why I read Relish? Because I like reading "food" books. I like reading about the inside scoop on the food industry, reading about chefs,  foods, and recipe books. And I like graphic novels, not your super hero kind generally speaking, but I do enjoy some of those, but graphic novels that are unique and this is definitely unique. "Classified" as a teen book, but I really feel this is more for adults, because it brings a kind of nostalgia about your own "culinary" coming of age. 

If you like "foodie" books, this one will make you smile. And I'm getting out some pancetta to make a Carbonara from one of these recipes that looks absolutely dee-lish! 

BTW, Lucy Knisley is an illustrator, comic artist and author. Relish is her second book, which was published last year. 

5 comments:

Andi said...

I looooved this book! It's one I will reread because adore memoirs, I think Knisley is adorable, and I love food writing as well. A perfect marriage! Great review. :)

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Andi! Yes, what a great book! I took this out of the library, but will be looking to get a copy for myself!

Thanks for stopping by and saying hello!

Carla said...

Hadn't heard of this book before. I'll have to see if I can find a copy, might check my library first too. Glad you enjoyed it, and hope you enjoyed making the recipe too!
Have a good weekend!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Carla!
Yes, fun book. My library didn't even have it, I had to get a loaner from another library. But worth the read and there are quite a few recipes worth keeping from it, so I will be getting a copy to put on the cookbook shelf.

Thanks for saying hello!

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