Eating Authors: Jane Yolen

2 comments Written on December 28th, 2020 by
Categories: Plugs
Jane Yolen

If I can say one positive thing about this pandemic year, it’s that I managed to get through the holiday season without being Whammed! Not a single George Micheal tune reached me all month. That may be my greatest victory of 2020.

This is the last installment of EATING AUTHORS for 2020, closing out the tenth year of the series (don’t worry, we’ll be back next week). To mark the occasion I’ve asked Jane Yolen to tell us about her most memorable meal, but first let me say just a bit about her (though it’s pretty inconceivable that you don’t know her name).

Poet, journalist, writer of both nonfiction and fiction, Jane is an institution unto herself, having published nearly 400 books. Seriously, that’s more books than there are days in the year. Let’s all just let that idea sink in a bit, okay?

She’s won or been nominated for most every award out there, including being honored with the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement award and the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award. She’s been an editor for a variety of magazines and publishers and even had her own YA imprint, Jane Yolen Books. She’s served for more than twenty years on the Board of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators as well as a turn as president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

Did I mention she’s written nearly 400 books?

LMS: Welcome, Jane. Thank you so much for being here and taking the time to share about your most memorable meal.

JY: I am not a gourmand. I am a gulper. Everyone who has has eaten with me — husband, kids, friends, even strangers — have noted it. But two memories of food stand out for me, and not because of the food, most of which is forgotten, but because of whom I ate it with.

My newish husband David Stemple and I had packed up our NY apartment, bought a VW camper bus in Germany and in the mid 1960s headed to Europe (as you did in those days) to explore the continent until the funds ran out. And the meal I remember was eaten on a mountain top in the Pyrenees where we sat on a grassy knoll, with a bottle of French wine, a huge hunk of cheese, a loaf of fresh baked bread, and a whole lot of Belgium chocolate.

The Devil's Arithmetic

We sat for hours, talking, laughing, watching birds with our binoculars and through the scope (David remained an ardent birder to the end of his life.) I read him poems — some I wrote, some from one of the poetry books I had brought along. What we didn’t know but found out weeks later was that I was pregnant with our first child.

The second meal I remember happened a year ago in September, before the Covid crises began. David had been dead fifteen years. I had been trying to date for ten years, Turns out I was a terrible date. Or something like that. I’d finally given it up. An old friend, a guy I had dated 62 years earlier when we were both in college, sent me a copy of an article in the New Yorker about my Holocaust novels. His wife had died four years earlier. And so we decided to get together. Turns out, he, a high school teacher in several Independent Schools for years, headmaster in one of them, had taken cooking lessons in both Paris and Italy and if there is a gourmand in this story, he’s the one. He made dinner at his house in Connecticut, a fine French meal which I gulped down. We spoke poems to one another and talked about literature and music. (He’s a violist and an also an ardent birder). I washed the dishes. And, he says, he realized he was in love with me as I was drying the dishes. Reader, I married him. He cooks all our dinner meals. I am practicing to slow down.

Thank you, Jane. I quite like closing out this year with a happy ending. I’m very grateful to you for sharing this one with all of us.

Next Monday (and next year): Another author and another meal!

NB: links to authors and books here are included as part of an Amazon Affiliate account. If you follow any of them and ultimately make a purchase Amazon rewards me with a few pennies of every dollar.

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2 comments “Eating Authors: Jane Yolen”

I would like to continue to enjoy the reading the recipes and hearing storey’s from the authors and creators of this site because many of the recipes are simple enough to fallow and are usually very tasty and the banter that fallows can be quite informative and even more entertaining. Kat

Thanks, Kat,

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