One of Booklist's Must Read Nonfiction picks of 2019
The acclaimed author of A Replacement Life shifts between heartbreak and humor in this gorgeously told, recipe-filled memoir. A family story, an immigrant story, a love story, and an epic meal, Savage Feast explores the challenges of navigating two cultures from an unusual angle. A revealing personal story and family memoir told through meals and recipes, Savage Feast begins with BorisA??s childhood in Soviet Belarus, where good food was often worth more than money. He describes the unlikely dish that brought his parents together and how years of Holocaust hunger left his grandmother so obsessed with bread that she always kept five loaves on hand. She was the stove magician and BorisA?? grandfather the master black marketer who supplied her, evading at least one firing squad on the way. These spoils kept BorisA?? familyA??Jews who lived under threat of discrimination and violenceA??provided-for and protected.
Despite its abundance, food becomes even more important in America, which BorisA?? family reaches after an emigration through Vienna and Rome filled with marvel, despair, and bratwurst. How to remain connected to oneA??s roots while shedding their trauma? The ambrosial cooking of Oksana, BorisA??s grandfatherA??s Ukrainian home aide, begins to show him the way. His quest takes him to a farm in the Hudson River Valley, the kitchen of a Russian restaurant on the Lower East Side, a Native American reservation in South Dakota, and back to OksanaA??s kitchen in Brooklyn. His relationships with womenA??troubled, he realizes, for reasons that go back many generationsA??unfold concurrently, finally bringing him, after many misadventures, to an American soulmate.
Savage Feast is BorisA?? tribute to food, that secret passage to an intimate conversation about identity, belonging, family, displacement, and love.
Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.