I am thrilled to welcome Caroline Grant back to the giveaway! Please help me give Caroline a warm welcome.
Do you know Caroline Grant? If not, you should!
Caroline M. Grant is editor-in-chief of the website, Literary Mama, one of Writer’s Digest’s 101 Best Websites for Writers. With her husband, Tony Grant, she directs the Sustainable Arts Foundation, which grants fellowships to writers and visual artists who are parents. She is the co-editor of two anthologies: with Lisa Catherine Harper, the new The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage: True Stories of Food, Family, and How We Learn to Eat (Roost Books, 2013); and with Elrena Evans, Mama, PhD: Women Write About Motherhood and Academic Life (Rutgers University Press, 2008), which has been called “easily the most important piece of work to date on academics and family issues, full-stop.” She lives in San Francisco with her husband and two sons. She writes about food and family at the website, Learning to Eat (http://www.learningtoeat.com) and about all that and more on her personal website, http://www.carolinemgrant.com.
Learn about The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage: True Stories of Food, Family, and How We Learn to Eat (Roost Books, 2013)
Without mantras or manifestos, 29 writers serve up sharp, sweet, and candid memories; salty irreverence; and delicious original recipes. Food is so much more than what we eat. The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage is an anthology of original essays about how we learn (and relearn) to eat, and how pivotal food is beyond the table.
With essays from:
• Keith Blanchard
• Max Brooks
• Melissa Clark
• Elizabeth Crane
• Aleksandra Crapanzano
• Gregory Dicum
• Elrena Evans
• Jeff Gordinier
• Caroline M. Grant
• Phyllis Grant
• Libby Gruner
• Lisa Catherine Harper
• Deborah Copaken Kogan and Paul Kogan
• Jen Larsen
• Edward Lewine
• Chris Malcomb
• Lisa McNamara
• Dani Klein Modisett
• Catherine Newman
• Thomas Peele
• Deesha Philyaw
• Neal Pollack
• Barbara Rushkoff
• Bethany Saltman
• K. G. Schneider
• Sarah Shey
• Stacie Stukin
• Karen Valby
See reviews of The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage: True Stories of Food, Family, and How We Learn to Eat . LINK
Listen to a radio interview with Caroline Grant talking about Cassoulet with on WGVU. LINK
I asked Caroline three questions about our giveaway’s theme topic, self-expression:
1. Is self-expression an important part of your life today, why or why not?
Writing goes in cycles and right now, while I write every day, most of my writing isn’t making progress on a new creative work but spreading the word on Cassoulet, which just came out this spring. Writing these blog posts, pitches, and messages about Cassoulet — addressing myself to potential readers and reviewers — is an important part of my self-expression and I both take it seriously and give myself credit for it. I try not to make a distinction between “creative writing” and “promotional” writing. It’s all creative, it’s all part of putting myself and my book out in the world, and my favorite part is the response I get to this writing from new readers.
2. What does self-expression mean to you and how do you do it in the world?
Writing is my main form of self-expression, but right now I’m also doing a lot of radio to promote Cassoulet and that’s a great change of pace for me. I love the conversations that Cassoulet inspires; everyone has a story about a favorite family recipe, a memorable meal, or a kitchen disaster, and it’s so much fun to hear them! Because this is a book about food, and it includes so many terrific recipes, in addition to our radio interviews and bookstore events, we’re also promoting the book at farmer’s markets, farms, and book club lunches and dinners. I love this social aspect of book promotion; writing is a solitary activity, and letting people know about my book brings me in touch with a wide network of readers, editors, and reviewers. And finally, I express myself through baking: breads, cookies, muffins, what have you. Sometimes it is a useful break from writing — a time to mull over a sticky point in an essay — but I also find that the delineated guidelines (a limited number of ingredients, combined in a set order, baked a specific amount of time) are a great antidote to the open-endedness of writing and editing.
3. How does your self-expression impact the world—your family, your friends, your readers, and everyone else?
Every writer quotes this line from Flannery O’Connor: “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” It feels so true to me, because sometimes writing is the only way I will slow down and take stock of my life! I grab lines on the fly, scrawling my boys’ funny malapropisms or unconsciously insightful comments on the back of receipts dug out of my purse. Or at night, I take a few minutes to unload into my journal. Then I need to give myself time to shape it, to find the thread of meaning in it all. That takes ages, hours of mulling and steeping, both at my desk and while I’m running or unloading the dishwasher or waiting in the carpool line, and it all helps me make sense of my family, my life, my world.
I am lucky and grateful that right now my children are at the perfect ages to be their mother’s subjects: old enough to understand what I do, and young enough still to enjoy it. They read my piece for Cassoulet and gave me the best review I could hope for: “It’s a good essay, Mama.”
And Now, Your Turn…
You remember how this works right?
I ask you a question.
You answer in the comments for your chance to win a book each day.
Please just respond once, even if you make a typo.
Answer in the comments in 50-200 words (no less and no more to qualify to win one of today’s books).
Do you have a favorite food? Describe what makes your favorite food special to you?
Ready, set, comment! I will hold the drawing tomorrow and post the results here in my blog.
Thanks for participating in the Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway!
And thanks for spreading the word. We will be giving away great books by wonderful women authors all month.