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A Culinary Historian’s Fresh Take on 6 Famous Women’s Relationships With Food

* Six famous women and their lives told through the lens of food and cooking
* They each deal with the overwhelming presence of food in their lives
* Written by renowned food Journalist, Laura Shapiro

A unique take on a biography of sorts, Laura Shapiro’s new book, What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food that Tells Their Stories, focuses on the lives of six famous women from different centuries and continents whose lives are told from the point of view of the kitchen table and how what they ate (or didn’t eat) shaped their lives and the lives of those around them.

What these women have in common is their powerful relationship with food. Dorothy Wordsworth, sister of the famous poet Rosa Lewis, was an Edwardian-era Cockney caterer who cooked her way up the social ladder. As First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt protected the worst cook in White House history.

Eva Braun challenges our warm associations of food. Barbara Pym’s witty books portray a host of stereotypes about postwar British cuisine, and Helen Gurley Brown, the former editor of Cosmopolitan, had relationship with food that consisted of having nothing on her plate.

Author Laura Shapiro is a renowned food journalist and culinary historian who has written on every food topic from champagne to Jell-O for many famous newspapers and publications. She is also the author of three classic books on culinary history, including Perfection Salad,  which was a social history of the home economics movement during the turn of the century.

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