All the Wild Hungers: A Season of Cooking and Cancer (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Babine's memoir is a tale that may be familiar to many, and one I found to be comfort food in its relatability. A gentle and warm tale of family, food and healing. Babine's words bring a certain flavor of thoughtfulness and hope. I need to go adopt and christen my own Le Creuset pan now!

— Olivia Valenza


"My sister is pregnant with a Lemon this week, Week 14, and this is amusing. My mother's uterine tumor, the size of a cabbage, is Week 30, and this is terrifying."

When her mother is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, Karen Babine--a cook, collector of thrifted vintage cast iron, and fiercely devoted daughter, sister, and aunt--can't help but wonder: feed a fever, starve a cold, but what do we do for cancer? And so she commits herself to preparing her mother anything she will eat, a vegetarian diving headfirst into the unfamiliar world of bone broth and pot roast.

In these essays, Babine ponders the intimate connections between food, family, and illness. What draws us toward food metaphors to describe disease? What is the power of language, of naming, in a medical culture where patients are too often made invisible? How do we seek meaning where none is to be found--and can we create it from scratch? And how, Babine asks as she bakes cookies with her small niece and nephew, does a family create its own food culture across generations?

Generous and bittersweet, All the Wild Hungers is an affecting chronicle of one family's experience of illness and of a writer's culinary attempt to make sense of the inexplicable.

About the Author

Karen Babine is the author of Water and What We Know: Following the Roots of a Northern Life, winner of the 2016 Minnesota Book Award for memoir/creative nonfiction, and a finalist for the Midwest Book Award and the Northeastern Minnesota Book Award. She also edits Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from Eastern Washington University and a PhD in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She lives in Minnesota.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781571313720
ISBN-10: 1571313729
Publisher: Milkweed Editions
Publication Date: January 8th, 2019
Pages: 184
Language: English