Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Blue Plate Special

Kate Christensen's name is one that feels familiar to me, an author that I have heard of, certainly, and yet as I read her memoir, Blue Plate Special, I became aware of the fact that I had never actually read anything she had written.

My lack of experience with Christensen's writing didn't diminish my enjoyment of her memoir.  I love memoirs, and Christensen provides the story of her life and the way in which food has played an important part in her memories.  Recipes are included, of course.

Christensen traces her life from childhood - an abusive father who later disappears from her life, two younger sisters, a therapist mother who marries several times in her life, only to divorce. Christensen's adult years are spent with various boyfriends, travelling, and always writing.  

I was disappointed with her account of her experience at the Iowa Writers Workshop in Iowa City, a town she didn't find charming or interesting. Although I recognize me own partiality to Iowa City, I have never heard anyone complain about this quirky little college town.  Christensen's opinion of it were far from my own.

This is a well written memoir, providing a personal look at an author's life.  In some parts Christensen includes information I wouldn't feel comfortable sharing with a wide audience, yet it does give authenticity to Blue Plate Special, as it is obvious that there are not parts of her life she is withholding.  

Fans of Christensen's work, or any memoir lover will enjoy Blue Plate Special.

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