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The cheffe : a cook's novel

by NDiaye, Marie,

Format: Print Book 2019
Availability: Available at 6 Libraries 6 of 11 copies
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Summary
From the Booker Prize-nominated author of Three Strong Women: an elegant, hypnotic new novel about a legendary French female chef--the facts her life, the nearly ineffable qualities of her cooking, and the obsessive, sometimes destructive desire for purity of taste and experience that shaped her life.

Continuing her tradition of writing provocative fiction about fascinating women, here Marie NDiaye gives us the story of a Great Female Chef--a chef who was celebrated as one of the best in a world where men dominate, and the way that her pursuit of love, pleasure, and gustatory delights helped shape her life and career. Told from the perspective of her former assistant (and unrequited lover), now an aged chef himself, here is the story of a woman's quest to the front of the kitchen--and the extraordinary journey she takes along the way.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Lauded French-Senegalese author NDiaye (Ladivine, 2016) introduces the otherwise-unnamed ""Cheffe,"" a woman so consumed with creating unique culinary delicacies that this desire overrules everything else in her life. Her story is told by an unnamed narrator, a former student and admirer who has an obsession of his own: single-minded dedication to recounting the Cheffe's story along with his own interpretations. As the novel progresses, readers learn that although the Cheffe enjoys some aspects of the fame that her culinary prowess affords her, she is stubbornly secretive about the rest of her life. When she becomes pregnant and must choose between her work and her baby, she ultimately decides to leave the child to her family, and focus on opening a restaurant: a choice that comes back to haunt her in the future in ways that readers won't have predicted. Hauntingly original, and told in a conversational tone that quickly makes readers feel they are the narrator's confidants, this is another entry in NDiaye's already impressive volume of work.--Danielle Bauter Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "The life and career of a majestically talented, intensely private master chef is narrated by her greatest admirer and loyal employee in NDiaye's engrossing psychological novel (following My Heart Hemmed In). Born in the early 1950s in the southwestern French town of Sainte-Bazeille, to a large, poor family, the Cheffe leaves school at 14 to work as a maid for the Clapeaus, a wealthy older couple who "loved eating with a fervent, unrelenting love." She finds her calling in replacing the Clapeaus' vacationing cook and goes on to devote herself to cooking, moving through kitchens "with the kind of controlled, dynamic, galvanizing intentness that attracted miraculous ideas" and eventually opening her own award-winning restaurant. But this single-mindedness is also the source of painful lifelong conflict between the Cheffe and her only daughter, whom the narrator resents for what he sees as ingratitude. Deeply in love with the taciturn Cheffe, who makes him her confidante but doesn't return his feelings, the narrator acknowledges his bias but insists on the accuracy of his insights. Like the Cheffe's recipes, at first tantalizingly simple but eventually so austere they threaten to "tumble into fruitlessness" and become useless, the narrator's efforts to describe the Cheffe's mind and heart are both enthralling and fundamentally unreliable as a record of her life. Readers will be consumed by this tale of talent and obsession, even as the Cheffe herself remains both fascinating and mysterious. (Oct.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Women cooks -- Fiction.
Publisher New York :2019
Edition First American edition.
Other Titles Cheffe, roman d'une cuisiniè€re.
Contributors Stump, Jordan, 1959- translator.
Language English
Notes "This is a Borzoi book"--Title page verso.
Description 287 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 9780525520474
0525520473
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