We're thrilled to announce the Jarry Book Club, where we'll periodically select books that we think you'll like—memoirs, history, humor, cookbooks, and more—and create opportunities for us all to gather to discuss them. Here, we share our first selection!
The Cooking Gene:
A Journey through African American Culinary History in the Old South
By Michael W. Twitty
If you’ve been following the work of Michael W. Twitty for the past several years, The Cooking Gene is exactly the thoughtful, incisive, evocative, and vitally important book you’d expect from him. Using his family history as a lens for tracing the food history of the South, it's part memoir, part culinary history, and part cultural history. He travels to plantations and rice farms, sifts through genealogy archives and cookbooks and passed-down recipes, assembling his narrative piece by piece from what few records are available. He recalls his coming out, conversion to Judaism, and awakenings to the legacy of slavery, but as an on-the-ground examination of food in the South, he speaks directly to conversations about food and appropriation we’re having today. “Nothing ever really escapes memory,” he writes, “and even the things we forget are often condemned to it.”
Here’s how the Jarry Book Club will work: Pick up a copy of The Cooking Gene—from your favorite independent bookstore, from your library, from wherever you get books—and read it. Take notes and keep track of your questions, and over the coming weeks we’ll share some additional reading material from Michael. Then, on Wednesday, September 27th, at 8:30pm EST we’ll all virtually convene for a Facebook Live conversation with Michael himself. This will be your opportunity to ask him your questions, and gain some exclusive insights to his project and processes.
Like and follow us on Facebook to tune in on September 27th, and sign up below!
Join the Jarry Book Club
Let us know that you'll be joining us, and tell us what kind of books you'd like to see selected in the future. We'll also send Book Club members periodic updates, invitations, and reminders for Jarry Book Club events.