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Kitchens of the Great Midwest

A Novel

Praise for Kitchens of the Great Midwest:

“I read J. Ryan Stradal’s Kitchens of the Great Midwest on a flight. I buckled my seatbelt, opened the book and when I looked up again, the flight attendant was asking if I needed assistance getting off the plane. I didn’t, but now you know the spell this author can cast. He does it again with The Lager Queen of Minnesota.” Elisabeth Egan for The New York Times

"An impressive feat of narrative jujitsu. . . that keeps readers turning the pages too fast to realize just how ingenious they are."—The New York Times Book Review, Editor's Pick

"This is a book that made me want to have a more full and colorful life, a life with cookbooks and a well-used kitchen, and to delight at all the goodness that can be put in front of us.”—Los Angeles Review of Books

“A sweet and savory treat.” —People

“The author's gentle skewering of foodie snobs (from county fair doyennes to the vegan/gluten-free/soy-free police) is spot on, and the blend of humor, warmth, and longing that he uses to portray family relationships make the book insightful and endearing. Savor it page by page.”—Oprah.com

“Kitchens of the Great Midwest is a terrific reminder of what can be wrested from suffering and struggle – not only success, but also considerable irony, a fair amount of wisdom and a decent meal.”—Jane Smiley, The Guardian

"Warning: this will make you hungry. . . . You won’t be able to put it down. And it will up your kitchen game."—The Skimm

"Garrison Keillor’s got nothing on [J. Ryan Stradal]!"—'Here and Now', NPR

“A tender coming-of-age story with a mix of finely rendered pathos and humor.”—Washington Post

“Stradal’s debut novel tackles foodie culture with all the finesse of a pastry chef…Reading Kitchens is all pleasure.” —LA Magazine

"[A] captivating debut novel. . . as surprising and satisfying as a great meal."—Tampa Bay Times

“Foodies and those who love contemporary literature will devour this novel that is being compared to Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge. A standout.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“[Kitchens of the Great Midwest is] the first novel about the emergence and current state of foodie culture… Fundamentally, [it’s] about what happens when opposing personalities coexist: those who bake with real butter versus those who don’t, those who obsess over heirloom tomatoes alongside those who don’t even know what they are. It uses these categories as a way to look at one of the most confusing, liberating truths there is, which is that often the people we think we’re the least like are the ones we end up needing the most.” –Book Forum 

“[A] delicious debut from Stradal.. . Food and family intertwine in this promising debut that features triumph, heartbreak, and even recipes.”—Kirkus

“Stradal’s first novel is a refreshing and brisk read, with a sophisticated sense of such glories of foodie culture as open-pollinated heirloom corn, pan-seared Walleye and Caesar Cardini’s original Caesar Salad.”—BBC.com


“Stradal’s debut is charming, rife with hardy, self-deprecating humor, but in Kitchens of the Great Midwest [Stradal] really proves his mettle as a novelist to look out for.”—Bustle.com 


Kitchens of the Great Midwest is a big-hearted, funny, and class-transcending pleasure. It’s also both a structural and empathetic tour de force, stepping across worlds in the American midwest, and demonstrating with an enviable tenderness and ingenuity the tug of war between our freedom to pursue our passions and our obligations to those we love.”
—Jim Shepard, author of
Project X and National Book Award finalist
Like You’d Understand, Anyway

“Tender, funny, and moving, J. Ryan Stradal's debut novel made me crave my mother's magic cookie bars...and every good tomato I've ever had the privilege of eating. Kitchens of the Great Midwest manages to be at once sincere yet sharply observed, thoughtful yet swiftly paced, and the lives of its fallible, realistic, and complicated characters mattered to me deeply. It's a fantastic book.”— Edan Lepucki, bestselling author of California

 

“In
Kitchens of the Great Midwest, a charming, fast-moving round robin tale of food, sensuality and Midwestern culture, Mr. Stradal has delivered one extremely tasty, well-seasoned debut in what is sure to be a long and savory career.”—
Janet Fitch, author
White Oleander

 

“From the quite literally burning passions of a lonely eleven-year-old girl with an exceptional palate, to the ethical dilemmas behind a batch of Blue Ribbon Peanut Butter Bars, J. Ryan Stradal writes with a special kind of meticulous tenderness—missing nothing and accepting everything. A superbly gratifying debut.”—
Meg Howrey, author of
The Crane’s Dance

 

"An impossible-to-put-down, one-of-a-kind novel. The prose is beautiful, the characters memorable, and the plot is surprising at every turn. I have never read a book quite like this—and neither, I'll bet, have you. This stunning debut announces J. Ryan Stradal as a first-rate voice in American fiction. This is a wildly creative, stunningly original, and very moving novel. I can't wait to see what Stradal does next."—
Rob Roberge, author of
The Cost of Living

 

"A Great American Novel in the fullest sense of the term. Everything you want a book to be."
—Ben Loory, author of
Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day

 
Rezension
"An impressive feat of narrative jujitsu. . . that keeps readers turning the pages too fast to realize just how ingenious they are."-The New York Times Book Review, Editor's Pick

"This is a book that made me want to have a more full and colorful life, a life with cookbooks and a well-used kitchen, and to delight at all the goodness that can be put in front of us."-Los Angeles Review of Books

"A sweet and savory treat." -People

"The author's gentle skewering of foodie snobs (from county fair doyennes to the vegan/gluten-free/soy-free police) is spot on, and the blend of humor, warmth, and longing that he uses to portray family relationships make the book insightful and endearing. Savor it page by page."-Oprah.com

"Kitchens of the Great Midwest is a terrific reminder of what can be wrested from suffering and struggle - not only success, but also considerable irony, a fair amount of wisdom and a decent meal."-Jane Smiley, The Guardian

"Warning: this will make you hungry. . . . You won't be able to put it down. And it will up your kitchen game."-The Skimm

"Garrison Keillor's got nothing on [J. Ryan Stradal]!"-'Here and Now', NPR

"A tender coming-of-age story with a mix of finely rendered pathos and humor."-Washington Post

"Stradal's debut novel tackles foodie culture with all the finesse of a pastry chef...Reading Kitchens is all pleasure." -LA Magazine

"[A] captivating debut novel. . . as surprising and satisfying as a great meal."-Tampa Bay Times

"Foodies and those who love contemporary literature will devour this novel that is being compared to Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge. A standout." -Library Journal (starred review)

"[Kitchens of the Great Midwest is] the first novel about the emergence and current state of foodie culture... Fundamentally, [it's] about what happens when opposing personalities coexist: those who bake with real butter versus those who don't, those who obsess over heirloom tomatoes alongside those who don't even know what they are. It uses these categories as a way to look at one of the most confusing, liberating truths there is, which is that often the people we think we're the least like are the ones we end up needing the most." -Book Forum

"[A] delicious debut from Stradal.. . Food and family intertwine in this promising debut that features triumph, heartbreak, and even recipes."-Kirkus

"Stradal's first novel is a refreshing and brisk read, with a sophisticated sense of such glories of foodie culture as open-pollinated heirloom corn, pan-seared Walleye and Caesar Cardini's original Caesar Salad."-BBC.com

"Stradal's debut is charming, rife with hardy, self-deprecating humor, but in Kitchens of the Great Midwest [Stradal] really proves his mettle as a novelist to look out for."-Bustle.com
"Kitchens of the Great Midwest is a big-hearted, funny, and class-transcending pleasure. It's also both a structural and empathetic tour de force, stepping across worlds in the American midwest, and demonstrating with an enviable tenderness and ingenuity the tug of war between our freedom to pursue our passions and our obligations to those we love." -Jim Shepard, author of Project X and National Book Award finalist Like You'd Understand, Anyway
"Tender, funny, and moving, J. Ryan Stradal's debut novel made me crave my mother's magic cookie bars...and every good tomato I've ever had the privilege of eating. Kitchens of the Great Midwest manages to be at once sincere yet sharply observed, thoughtful yet swiftly paced, and the lives of its fallible, realistic, and complicated characters mattered to me deeply. It's a fantastic book."- Edan Lepucki, bestselling author of California

"In Kitchens of the Great Midwest, a charming, fast-moving round robin tale of food, sensuality and Midwestern culture, Mr. Stradal has delivered one extremely tasty, well-seasoned debut in what is sure to be a long and savory career."-Janet Fitch, author White Oleander

"From the quite literally
Portrait
J. Ryan Stradal is a contributing editor at TASTE Magazine. His writing has appeared in 
The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Granta, The Rumpus, and the 
Los Angeles Review of Books, among other places. Born and raised in Minnesota, he now lives in Los Angeles, where he co-hosts a culinary-themed reading series called Hot Dish. He has also worked as a TV producer, notably for 
Ice Road Truckers and Deadliest Catch. Stradal’s next novel, 
The Lager Queen of Minnesota, is forthcoming from Pamela Dorman Books/Viking.
… weiterlesen
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  • LUTEFISK

    Lars Thorvald loved two women. That was it, he thought in passing, while he sat on the cold concrete steps of his apartment building. Perhaps he would've loved more than two, but it just didn't seem like things were going to work out like that.

    That morning, while defying a doctor's orders by puréeing a braised pork shoulder, he'd stared out his kitchen window at the snow on the roof of the Happy Chef restaurant across the highway and sung a love song to one of those two girls, his baby daughter, while she slept on the living room floor. He was singing a Beatles song, replacing the name of the girl in the old tune with the name of the girl in the room.

    He hadn't told a woman "I love you" until he was twenty-eight. He didn't lose his virginity until he was twenty-eight either. At least he'd had his first kiss when he was twenty-one, even if that woman quit returning his calls less than a week later.

    Lars blamed his sorry luck with women on his lack of teenage romance, and he blamed his lack of teenage romance on the fact that he was the worst-smelling kid in his grade, every year. He stunk like the floor of a fish market each Christmas, starting at age twelve, and even when he didn't smell terrible, the other kids acted like he did, because that's what kids do. "Fish Boy," they called him, year round, and it was all the fault of an old Swedish woman named Dorothy Seaborg.

    - - -

    On a December afternoon in 1971, Dorothy Seaborg of Duluth, Minnesota, fell on the ice and broke her hip while walking to her mailbox, disrupting the supply line of lutefisk for the Sunday Advent dinners at St. Olaf's Lutheran Church. Lars's father, Gustaf Thorvald-of Duluth's Gustaf & Sons bakery, and one of the most conspicuous Norwegians between Cloquet and Two Harbors-promised everyone in St. Olaf's Fellowship Hall that there would be no break in lutefisk continuity; his family would step in and carry on the brutal Scandinavian tradition for the benefit of the entire Twin Ports region.

    Never mind that neither Gustaf, his wife, Elin, nor his children had ever even seen a live whitefish before, much less caught one, pounded it, dried it, soaked it in lye, resoaked it in cold water, or done the careful cooking required to make something that, when perfectly prepared, looked like jellied smog and smelled like boiled aquarium water. Since everyone in the house was equally unqualified for the job, the work fell to Lars, age twelve, and his younger brother Jarl, age ten, sparing the youngest sibling, nine-year-old Sigmund, but only because he actually liked the stuff.

    "If Lars and Jarl don't like it," Gustaf told Elin, "I can count on them not to eat any. It'll eliminate loss and breakage."

    Gustaf was satisfied with this reasoning, and while Elin still thought it was a mean thing to do to their young sons, she said nothing. Theirs was a mixed-race marriage-between a Norwegian and a Dane-and thus all things culturally important to one but not the other were given a free pass and critiqued only in unmixed company.

    - - -

    Yearly intimate contact with their cultural heritage failed to evolve the Thorvald boys' sensibilities. Jarl, who still ate his own snot, much preferred the taste of boogers to lutefisk, given that the consistency and color were the same. Lars, meanwhile, was stumped by the old Scandinavian women who walked up to him in church and said, "Any young man who makes lutefisk like you do is going to be quite popular with the ladies." In Lars's experience, lutefisk skills usually inspired revulsion or, at best, indifference among prospective dates. Even the girls who claimed they liked lutefisk didn't want to smell it when they weren't eating it, and Lars couldn't give them much of a choice. The once-anticipated holiday season had become for Lars a cruel month of stench and rejection, and thanks to the boys at school, its social effects lingered long after everyone's desiccated Christmas trees were abandon
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Beschreibung

Produktdetails

Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 320
Altersempfehlung ab 18
Erscheinungsdatum 07.06.2016
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-14-310941-9
Verlag Penguin US
Maße (L/B/H) 19.8/12.8/2 cm
Gewicht 220 g
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
Fr. 19.90
Fr. 19.90
inkl. gesetzl. MwSt.
inkl. gesetzl. MwSt.
zzgl. Versandkosten
Versandfertig innert 1 - 2 Werktagen,  Kostenlose Lieferung ab Fr.  30 i
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Kostenlose Lieferung ab Fr.  30 i
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