In 1988, as a 25-year scholar at the Bread Loaf writers’ conference, I spotted one of the faculty, a pretty young novelist walking arm in arm with two other pretty young novelists (in fact, Jennifer Egan and Helen Schulman). But it was the one in the middle I called out to for reasons I don’t recall. She turned around. I introduced myself. She said hello and asked, “What do you want to do?” I said, “I want to write fiction.” She looked at me as if I were being silly and said, “You will.” She turned and walked away.

I wouldn’t see her again for twenty years.

I went on to write non-fiction and books about food and chefs. And then in the fall of 2015, I did indeed publish my first fiction.

The book, In Short Measures, three novellas, arrives in paperback this week, the week I marry that same woman I’d called out to in Middlebury, VT, Ann Hood.

Such great and unexpected changes in midlife don’t come without substantial costs and heartache. But this is life. I don’t know who said it, but they’re right: it’s not for sissies. Indeed, each of the three novellas is about love in middle age, marriages under stress, and the enduring nature of young love within that middle-aged love.

So this week, I embark on a new journey I never expected nor sought, and I want for that new journey to include more fiction, in addition to cookbooks and writing about food, the newest of which arrives next month! GROCERY: THE BUYING AND SELLING OF FOOD IN AMERICA. (My publisher, Abrams, will be cross with me if I don’t direct you to the pre-order page, which describes the book and offers you a cool canvas tote with the title of the book on it, without irony!)

Wish me luck my faithful readers and lovers of food and cooking!

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