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9th October 2012

Book Club cross-sections: Emily Clark, Food and Drink editor

We asked fellow Mancunion editor, Emily Clark, what she has been reading (and drinking) this week

Name: Emily Clark
Age: 20
Occupation: Student, duh (and Food and Drink co-editor of The Mancunion)

Hi Emily! How’re you doing?
What are you reading?

Good thanks! I am currently perusing the pages of Julia Child’s cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking, co-written by Simon Beck and Louisette Bertholle. But Julia Child is the famous one. It’s a very thorough introduction to French cooking.

Is it paper or e- stuffs?

Paper. Very old paper actually – my friend’s parents Steve and Lesley donated it to me because they know I like cooking. On the inside cover it says ‘To mother, from Steven, Christmas 1979’. I felt very honoured! And then I baked them an onion tart from the book to say thanks.

Would it make your Desert Island Books if you were actually going to a desert island, not just a radio show?

Well it’s no Anna Karenina, and it’s bit outdated so I’d probably stick with Delia. But if you asked me the same question 30 years ago, never mind that I wasn’t alive, I’d most likely have said yes. recently compiled a 10 Novels and the Cocktails You Should Drink with them list. What should you drink with this book? (And what are you drinking with it?)

A nice glass of Château neuf-du-Pape to match the French vibe. Not a cocktail, as that would be too exotic for the practical tone of Julia Child. In reality I’d be drinking Berocca with it, I seem to be drinking a lot of that lately.

Is it a read-in-a-café-on-a-Saturday-afternoon kind of book or a squint-at-after-copious-amounts-of-coffee kind of book?

Most definitely a café book. I don’t think cookbooks should ever be the latter!

Any stylistic tics/tricks of note? Anything of note at all that you feel needs a mention?

The hilarity of her tone: Hollandaise “is probably the most famous of all the sauces, and is often the most dreaded.” Other than that, it’s so thoroughly researched that it’s a pleasure to read.

Is there a classic seductive, smiling-over-the-glasses author portrait on the inside jacket sleeve à la, most seductive, Truman Capote? And if so does the author’s face chime with the voice that comes through from reading the book? Do you like knowing what an author looks like, and/or what their voice sounds like, or do you prefer to remain ‘blind’ in this respect whilst reading?

There’s not a portrait on the inside – the closest to that is a few line drawings of food. But I have seen a few videos of Julia Child and she looks quite mental and stern. I like knowing what she looks like when reading this book because I have a vivid image of her gesticulating and narrating to me.

On a similar note, if there was a film adapted from this book, who would play the main character? Would you go and see it?

Well there is a film about Julia Child, called Julia & Julia. I can’t believe I haven’t seen it already!

God, there’s a lot of reading to be done in 3rd year, isn’t there? Do you sometimes feel like there’s been so much written, on just about everything, that it all kind of cancels each other out and we should all just STOP and have a conversation with each other? Because I do.

Oh Lord, yes.

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