Saturday, September 10, 2011

Memoir Thoughts - "Bones, Blood & Butter"



I've been reading chef Gabrielle Hamilton's "Bones, Blood & Butter" and thinking about memoirs.

What compels someone to bare all, identifying thoughts that are so personal, so at risk for judgement? I put down the book with a realization that I know more of her inner thoughts than perhaps 99% of the people I love. I know so much and feel an intimate bond based solely on this knowledge, despite the fact that thousands of other people have also had this experience and despite the fact that it's unlikely I'll ever meet Ms. Hamilton.


I suppose although she's shared these stories and thoughts, she still keeps me (and her many readers) at a distance by virtue of the way I received this information - a book. I didn't hear these thoughts from her directly and unlike sharing between friends, there is no shared experience between the two of us, but simply a one-way, indirect connection. So although I know more of her inner life than I do my best friends or family, there is not the intimate connection, only the illusion of one.

All that said, I love her descriptions at the beginning of the book about the big party her family hosted each year and the traditions they created - all the tasks for the lamb roast and prepping the house and yard and the menu...


I hope soon to visit NYC and Prune (her restaurant in the Lower East Side). I think it will be odd if I catch a glimpse of Gabrielle and realize she's a complete stranger.

Photos above borrowed from

1 comment:

  1. What a great sounding read! And so true how much we can feel we know someone from reading their writing, while if we met them 'off script' our impressions might be totally altered.