Small Fires: An Epic in the Kitchen (Hardback)
  • Small Fires: An Epic in the Kitchen (Hardback)
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Small Fires: An Epic in the Kitchen (Hardback)

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£14.99
Hardback 192 Pages / Published: 25/08/2022
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Cooking is thinking! The spatter of sauce in a pan, a cook's subtle deviation from a recipe, the careful labour of cooking for loved ones: these are not often the subjects of critical enquiry. Cooking, we are told, has nothing to do with serious thought; the path to intellectual fulfilment leads directly out of the kitchen. In this electrifying, innovative memoir, Rebecca May Johnson rewrites the kitchen as a vital source of knowledge and revelation. Drawing on insights from ten years spent thinking through cooking, she explores the radical openness of the recipe text, the liberating constraint of apron strings and the transformative intimacies of shared meals. Playfully dissolving the boundaries between abstract intellect and bodily pleasure, domesticity and politics, Johnson awakens us to the richness of cooking as a means of experiencing the self and the world - and to the revolutionary potential of the small fires burning in every kitchen.

Publisher: Pushkin Press
ISBN: 9781911590484
Number of pages: 192
Dimensions: 216 x 135 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'An intense, thought-provoking enquiry into the very nature of cooking, which stayed with me long after I finished it' - Nigella Lawson

'One of the most original food books I've ever read, at once intelligent and sensuous, witty, provoking and truly delicious, a radical feast of flavours and ideas.' - Olivia Laing

'Small Fires is a hypnotically riveting and exhilaratingly thought-provoking read. As nourishing as the recipes contained, this book will forever change your experience of cooking, and is an absolute joy to read.' - Lara Williams

'Small Fires is a tender, electric, intimately transformative work. Rebecca May Johnson has written her own glowing epic, reshaping the notion of the recipe as a text alive with possibility. In her hands, recipes become memory objects, acts of translation, expansive spaces full of feeling' - Nina Mingya Powles

'Destined to become essential reading for anyone interested in writing about food... Bold, beautiful, daring... It is a book that changed me' - Rachel Roddy

'Small Fires is a smart, creative and thoughtful book: it challenges us to think more about how and why we cook, and confounds our expectations of what food writing can be' - Ruby Tandoh

'I loved it start to finish - bliss to be in the kitchen with Rebecca May Johnson, with one eye firmly on the movable pleasures of cooking and eating, always... One for you if you like A Ghost in the Throat, The Argonauts, MFK Fisher and fried foods of any and all descriptions' - Anna Kinsella, author of Look Here

'Liberating... a new way to write about food' - Jonathan Nunn (Vittles)

'This is a simply brilliant book. Raucously funny and searingly intelligent. It will make you wonder why writing about food and writing about anything aren't more like this' - Amelia Horgan, author of Lost in Work: Escaping Capitalism

'At the start of her first book, writer, academic and fearless boundary-basher Johnson confides a desire to "blow up the kitchen". Small Fires does exactly that, rebuilding something epic from morsels of funny memoir, acute social criticism and food writing the likes of which you'll never have read before. Taking its prompts from 10 years spent cooking in as many different kitchens, it reclaims that domestic space as one of intensely physical thought... Rich in pleasure and revelation.' - Observer

'A manifesto for kitchen liberation and the radical possibilities of eating.' - Refinery29


'Small Fires is a manifesto for reclaiming cooking as an intellectual act, railing against centuries of the kitchen being dismissed as a place where women mindlessly make food to sustain men... a rewarding book that stayed with me - and, like all brilliant food writing, it made me think twice about what I choose to eat and who I eat it with... a brave, honest book.' - Sunday Times

'Small Fires
possesses an intellectual fleet footedness and exuberance akin to the writing of Deborah Levy or Rebecca Solnit, as sentences skip between mischievous punning and impassioned agitation... the enthusiasm of the writing here is generous, embracing and emboldening.' - i news
Gower St Indie Spotlight: Rebecca May Johnson in Conversation with Katherine Angel

Gower St Indie Spotlight: Rebecca May Johnson in Conversation with Katherine Angel

London - Gower Street
Wednesday 5th October 18:30 - 19:45

Join us for an evening with Pushkin Press author Rebecca May Johnson who will be discussing the thrillingly good Small Fires: An Epic in the Kitchen, with author of Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again, Katherine Angel.

View

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“highly recommended”

An excellent mix of memoir and recipes. It's a fascinating read that can appeal to anyone who likes to cook or anyone interested in food.
Liked the style of writing and the recipes.
Highly recommended.
Many... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 1

“Brilliant!”

A fresh take on our relationship with the kitchen - funny, moving, and thought-provoking

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 1

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