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The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Mamma’s Table by Rick Bragg

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Those who are aware of Rick Bragg’s hugely popular following for all nine of his previous books, along with true national best-selling status for two of them, will not be surprised that Knopf was willing to publish a book of his despite its 487-page length!  Bragg was born in Piedmont, Alabama, and raised nearby in Possum Trot, in Northeast Alabama. He worked for a variety of newspapers before starting with the New York Times in 1994. He was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for his feature writing for the Times. Then in 2003 he resigned from the Times after a minor bruhaha over what some thought was lack of credit given to an intern who worked with him on a story that bore his by-line.  This book does have seventy-four recipes in its 487 pages, but even the recipes resemble stories.  Kirkus Reviews gave it a starred review, "Heartfelt, often hilarious stories from an Alabama kitchen, a place from which issue wondrous remembrances and wondrous foods alike...Affectionate, funny, and beautifully written: a book for every fan of real food." Publisher Weekly also starred it, "Bragg’s entertaining memoir is a testament that cooking and food still bind culture together." And Library Journal also put a star on their review. "A beautifully written memoir... For readers who crave soul with their recipes this is a fitting tribute to foodways that are fast escaping."

New York, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2018. 487 pages with photos. Hardback in dust jacket