A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
In her Alex Award winning book Relish: My Life in the Kitchen, artist and writer Lucy Knisley tells stories from her life accompanied by the food that played such a vital part of those key moments. An unabashed foodie, Knisley grew up in New York the daughter of a chef and a gourmet. With such high standards for food in the household, Knisley formed an experienced palate at a young age. We follow Lucy and her parents through the adventures of her childhood, the New York culinary scene, a divorce, travelling abroad, the turbulence of adolescence, and receive a play-by-play of how the food they ate together was so important in texturizing those stories. Lucy also gives us a view of her experience of Chicago’s food experience, when she uproots from New York to go to the School of the Art Institute.
Each chapter is bookended with an illustrated recipe, which makes Relish a fascinating hybrid of graphic novel, cookbook, and memoir. Lucy has a lot of wonderful cooking tips and information about food, and both her writing and her artwork have a fun, friendly, comfortable style. The stories she tells are in turn funny and heartwarming. Some advocate the benefits of knowing more about where our food comes from, while others expound upon the guilty pleasures of junk food. Fellow food lovers will enjoy finding a kindred spirit in Knisley, and everyone can relate to the ups and downs she literally illustrates over the course of the book.
Lucy will be visiting the Thomas ford library on Wednesday, June 11, to talk about Relish and answer questions about her artwork, and experiences with graphic novels. Register online or in person to meet Lucy and learn more about her craft!
Review by Rachel