“Falling Man” & Roasted Broccoli Grilled Cheese

Recently posted over at PAPER/PLATES is my review of Don DeLillo’s difficult novel Falling Man.

Here’s a snippet of my piece:

Falling Man further illustrated that crater, deftly weaving in the perspectives of those who were on the ground and those who were thousands of miles away, the arguments about ideology, the suddenly nationalistic foreign policy decisions, and the secondhand implications the attacks had on children like me. One of the things that struck me most was how DeLillo managed to capture how this national tragedy trickled down to impact the minutiae of a single family’s lives: the decisions and uncertainties that make up our every day that suddenly become frivolous and absurd, and yet we must somehow go on with them because they are our ties to the world before everything changed.

I did know this before reading Falling Man, but I didn’t quite feel this. Lianne’s complicated emotions for her ex-husband – who survives the towers and returns to stay with her and their son – are blurred at times and jagged at others as 9/11 brings them back together and pushes them apart. Although an emotionally difficult and messily human story, Falling Man is worth the time and the tears, especially for anyone who keeps a piece of their heart in New York City. To quote Lianne reappropriating a haiku: “Even in New York — I long for New York.”

You can read the rest of my article and discover my new favourite grilled cheese recipe HERE.

PAPER/PLATES is an awesome blog run by my friend Amina Elahi and features insightful literary reviews, interviews with food bloggers, and (the best part) recipes inspired by books. So make sure to check out the rest of the blog while you’re at it!

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“The Lacuna” & Pan Dulce

Recently posted over at PAPER/PLATES is my review of Barbara Kingsolver’s luxurious novel The Lacuna.

Here’s a snippet of my piece:

The Lacuna doesn’t read like historical fiction, but it is a lush exploration of how momentous events like World War II and the Cold War impacted the lives of everyday individuals. It’s one thing to learn from a textbook that the fear of Communism pushed the U.S. to unfairly persecute foreigners, but when it starts happening to Shepherd, who you as a reader know intimately after several hundred pages, you feel the tragedies of history with a fresh pang.

Like I said, I love serendipitously finding the perfect book. The Lacuna is a luxurious examination of two themes very close to my heart: the impact of words and a writer’s inability to not write, as well as the infinite questions of identity that come with belonging, soul and citizenship, to more than one country.

You can read the rest of my article and explore my attempt at Pan Dulce HERE.

PAPER/PLATES is an awesome blog run by my friend Amina Elahi and features insightful literary reviews, interviews with food bloggers, and (the best part) recipes inspired by books. So make sure to check out the rest of the blog while you’re at it!

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“Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage” & Orange Endive Salad

Recently posted over at PAPER/PLATES is my review of Haruki Murakami’s latest novel Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.

Here’s a snippet of my piece:

True to his name, Tsukuru becomes an engineer with a focus on railroad stations, but it’s only when his girlfriend urges him to untangle the emotional knots left by his past that he decides to find his colorful friends and learn what happened. While I was as eager as Tsukuru to uncover the mystery, Murakami is a master of reminding us that no matter how many questions we ask, we can never really know everything about people, even those we consider closest to us.

You can read the rest of my article and explore my tasty winter salad recipe HERE.

PAPER/PLATES is an awesome blog run by my friend Amina Elahi and features insightful literary reviews, interviews with food bloggers, and (the best part) recipes inspired by books. So make sure to check out the rest of the blog while you’re at it!

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“The Secret History” & Il Palio Cocktails

Recently posted over at PAPER/PLATES is my review of Donna Tartt’s ice cold novel The Secret History.

Here’s a snippet of my piece:

A gift from a friend, The Secret History did what any great thriller does: kept me glued until the last page. It’s unconventional in its telling, as we know from the very beginning who did it and how. What drives the reader’s curiosity is the search for answers to more complicated questions like “Why?” and “What Now?”

More than a mere mystery, though, Tartt’s novel is a gorgeous exploration of the emotional ride of being a college freshman: that longing to escape where you came from and that desperation to belong to some more divine social group.

You can read the rest of my article and discover why I paired The Secret History with a recipe for Il Palio cocktails HERE.

PAPER/PLATES is an awesome blog run by my friend Amina Elahi and features insightful literary reviews, interviews with food bloggers, and (the best part) recipes inspired by books. So make sure to check out the rest of the blog while you’re at it!

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“A Single Man” & Baja Fish Tacos

Woo! Recently posted over at PAPER/PLATES is my review of Christopher Isherwood’s short novel A Single Man, which is 50 years old this year and still incredibly meaningful.

Here’s a snippet of my piece:

George not only faces the challenges of an expat but, due to his sexuality, he also has a much smaller pool of people he can trust with his true self. It’s akin to speaking a foreign language well enough for day-to-day interactions but not for communicating deep feelings or complex thoughts. You get along with the people around you but you are forever dogged by the knowledge that their impression of you is incomplete, that you have yet to find a way to say exactly what you’re thinking, and that you have no idea how they would respond even if you did.

You can read the rest of my article and discover why I paired A Single Man with a recipe for Baja Fish Tacos HERE.

PAPER/PLATES is an awesome blog run by my friend Amina Elahi and features insightful literary reviews, interviews with food bloggers, and (the best part) recipes inspired by books. So make sure to check out the rest of the blog while you’re at it!

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“Freedom” & Spiced Sweet Potato Fries

Recently posted over at PAPER/PLATES is my piece about how Jonathan Franzen’s novel Freedom reminded me of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and why it inspired me to make spiced sweet potato fries. PAPER/PLATES is run by my friend Amina Elahi and features insightful literary reviews, interviews with food bloggers, and (the best part) recipes inspired by books.

Here’s a snippet of my post:

Another difference between Anna Karenina and Freedom is that this novel has a happy ending. Call me a naïve optimist, but I like that. People are frequently unhappy creatures, but rarely are they totally doomed. Readers and writers frequently confuse ‘realistic’ with ‘depressing’, and I appreciated that Franzen uses an even hand when portraying the good and the bad in life. Despite the Berglunds’ flaws and unhealthy obsessions (all depicted in a stark, unforgiving light), it nevertheless holds true that people can grow into better versions of themselves, even if it takes years or decades.

You can read the rest of the article and find the yummy recipe HERE.

And make sure to check out the rest of the blog while you’re at it!

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“The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet” & Wasabi Cocktail Sausages

Recently posted over at PAPER/PLATES is my article about The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, the latest novel from David Mitchell (author of Cloud Atlas), and the fusion party food recipe it reminded me of. PAPER/PLATES is run by my friend Amina Elahi and it features book reviews, delicious recipes, and (the best part) recipes inspired by books.

Here’s a snippet of my post:

Mitchell seamlessly alternates between the protagonists’ starkly different perspectives: Jacob’s pious, well-meaning but often clumsy standpoint; Ogawa’s careful balance of personal desires and societal demands; and Orito’s feminine strength and fierce will to survive. The author paints rich pictures of both Dutch and Japanese interpretations of the state of the world in the 18th century, which means one thing: fusion recipe. And since Mitchell doesn’t skimp on the tiny details, I thought something that required a bit of finesse was in order. Dejima was built to constrain foreign traders as part of Japan’s self-imposed isolationist policy, and this recipe delightfully mimics that concept by constraining European sausages in Asian ingredients: wasabi and spring onion.

You can read the rest of the article and find the Wasabi Cocktail Sausages recipe HERE.

And make sure to check out the rest of the blog while you’re at it!

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