I made a sad little trip to our small town library today. After an hour of searching the shelves, I could find just one book by Virginia Woolf.
To the Lighthouse was on the shelf, as it always is when I look. We have a charming little lighthouse here in this small city on the shores of Lake Erie, but it doesn’t seem to inspire anyone to read Woolf’s story.
Next I prowled for some non-fiction related to Woolf. There were shelves and shelves full of Harold Bloom’s literary criticism, but not a single volume devoted to Woolf. Nor were there any Woolf letters, diaries or biographies.
Feeling a bit desperate, I paused in front of the cookbooks. And for a moment, I got excited. I thought I had a Woolf sighting in my grip.
The Book Lover’s Cookbook: Recipes Inspired by Celebrated Works of Literature, and the Passages That Feature Them was in front of me. It must include Boeuf en Daube, I thought.
With much anticipation, I flipped to the index. Again, I was disappointed. Woolf, Virginia was not listed.
In an attempt at recovery from my dismay, I turned to Amazon. Here are the cookbooks I found that include dear Virginia in one way or another:
- Literary Feasts: Recipes from the Classics of Literature by Barbara Scrafford includes a section on To the Lighthouse.
- The Book Club Cookbook by Judy Gelman, Vicki Levy Krupp includes a recipe for Britta’s Crab Casserole from Michael Cunningham’s The Hours.
- Kafka’s Soup: A Complete History of World Literature in 14 Recipes by Mark Crick, and you can read what he has Virginia cooking.
On a more somber note, I also found this: Ravenous Identity: Eating and Eating Distress in the Life and Work of Virginia Woolf by Allie Glenny.
But I shall go no further down this path. Woolf and food is Alice Lowe‘s new territory.