Bread & Water
Hardcover : 9780889778221, 240 pages, September 2021
“When I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the love of it and the hunger for it . . . ” —MFK Fisher
When chef and writer dee Hobsbawn-Smith left the city for rural life on a farm in Saskatchewan, she planned to replace cooking and teaching with poetry and prose. But—as begin the best stories—her next adventure didn’t quite work that way.
Food trickled into her poems, her essays, her fiction. And water poured into her property in both Saskatchewan and Calgary during two devastating floods.
Bread and Water uses lyrical prose to examine those two fundamental ingredients, and to probe the essential questions on how to live a life. Hobsbawn-Smith uses food to explore the hungers of the human soul: wilder hungers that loiter beyond cravings for love. She kneads themes of floods and place, grief and loss; the commonalities of refugees and Canadians through common tastes in food; cooking methods, grandmothers and mentors; the politics of local and sustainable food; parenting; male privilege in the restaurant world; and the challenges of aging gracefully.
It is an elegant collection that weaves joy into exploring the quotidian in search for larger meaning.
“It will come as no surprise to readers of wildness rushing in that dee Hobsbawn-Smith is also an accomplished chef. Here is a feast of tastes and flavours arriving from many regions and nooks of existence, served up with a wisdom that knows its wordless ‘loveliness in loss’ equally with its sharp jolts of awe. ” —Don McKay, winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize for Strike/Slip
“Written with heart and intelligence, Bread & Water: Essays is continually entertaining and rewarding. The tone—self-aware, curious, a little vulnerable—is at once individual and communal, and creates a winning humility perfectly suited to the essays’ explorative nature. ” —Judge Tim Bowling, SK Writers’ Guild 2014 John V. Hicks Long Manuscript Award