The documents listed on this page include novels, short stories, plays, poems, film, personal narrative, and more. This bibliography does not include advertisements, which (when available) are largely to be found on YouTube; art, which I document on my Gallery page, or music. These documents are loosely organized by genre designations which are not meant to be binding or prescriptive.
Where possible, documents are cited according to MLA citation; however, I do not have complete information or recollection of some sources. The annotations are not meant to summarize, but to indicate why I included the text in my reading and writing.
Anna Karenina. Dir. Joe Wright. Working Title Films, 2012. Film.
This lush, sweeping film includes several scenes of eating that dramatize social relationships.
On this blog: Sweetrolls and Soupe aux Choux
Butter. Dir. Jim Field Smith. The Weinstein Company, 2011. Film.
When the county butter-sculpting master drops out of the annual butter-sculpting contest, competition between the remaining contestants gets intense.
On this blog: Don’t Bother with Butter.
“Feast.” Dir. Patrick Osborne. Walt Disney Animation Studios, 2014. Short film.
A stray Boston terrier is adopted and never goes hungry again… until his human brings home a girlfriend.
On this blog: The Gender of Junk Food in Disney’s Short Film “Feast”
Take this Waltz. Dir. Sarah Polley. Magnolia Pictures, 2011. Film.
Food plays a supporting role in this marriage drama. A quiet young woman is married to a man who happens to be developing recipes for a cookbook—all chicken recipes. Unsurprisingly, her appetite stirs for something else.
Waitress. Dir. Adrienne Shelley. Night and Day Pictures, 2007. Film.
At a smalltown diner, a waitress creates genius pies to help articulate and work through her abusive marriage, unwanted baby, affair, and eventual independence.
Attenberg, Jami. The Middlesteins. New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2012. Ebook.
Edie Middlestein’s family struggles with her compulsive eating and obesity—or, more accurately, with their own food and body issues.
On this blog: Eating, Enjoyment, and the Middlesteins
Atwood, Margaret. Oryx and Crake. New York: Nan A. Talese, 2003. Paperback first edition.
In a dystopic North America not too far in the future, corporations control the world’s food and medicine supplies, creating class hierarchy and environmental disasters. All of the books in the MaddAddam trilogy have some great memorable food scenes, actually: the notorious ChickieNobs, SecretBurgers, the vegetarian Crakers learning to hunt, etc.
On this Blog: Search Term Sampler: Food of the Future
Bender, Aimee. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. New York: Doubleday, 2010.
A young girl discovers that she can taste emotions in her food, such as anger in the cookies made by a young baker or loneliness in the birthday cake baked by her mother. Through her supernatural senses, the novel explores some of the implications of contemporary emphasis on home-cooked and hand-made food.
Gaskell, Elizabeth Cleghorn. Wives and Daughters. Amazon Digital Services, Inc. Ebook.
The appetites of the women in Molly Gibson’s life threaten to consume the men she loves.
On this blog: Lunches and Dinners in Wives and Daughters
James, P.D. The Private Patient. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2008. Ebook.
This novel does not focus on food, but includes a somewhat humorous scene of putting together an appropriate buffet spread in the aftermath of a murder close to home.
On this blog: Funereal Foods
Krauser, Lawrence. Lemon. New York: McSweeney’s, 2001. Print.
A disaffected young man falls head over heels in love with a lemon, which inspires poetry and joy in his otherwise bleak life.
Shields, Jody. The Fig Eater. New York: Back Bay Books, 2001. Print.
When one of Freud’s young patients is murdered in Vienna, an inspectator tries to solve the case using cutting edge 1910 forensic methods, including an examination of the contents of her stomach.
Tolstoy, Leo. Anna Karenina. Translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. New York: Penguin Classics, 2004. Ebook.
In addition to the scenes from the film I reference, there are more gloriously tense meals and jam-making conflicts in the novel. I do recommend this translation over the slightly dated Garnett version.
On this blog: Sweetrolls and Soupe aux Choux
Truong, Monique. The Book of Salt. New York: Mariner Books, 2004.
The story of Binh, a gay Vietnamese man who fled his family and became the cook for Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas.
On this blog: Elsewhere on the Internet: Food for the Eyes
Warner, Sylvia Townsend. Lolly Willowes. New York: New York Review of Books Classics, 1999.
At the turn of the century, unmarried Laura struggles to define herself apart from her family, and ultimately moves to a small village and becomes a witch.
On this blog: Winter Chestnuts and Other Literary Comforts
Whitehead, Colson. Zone One. New York: Anchor, 2011. Ebook.
In the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse, city sweepers survive on military rations while remaining highly aware that they themselves are food.
On this Blog: Search Term Sampler: Food of the Future
Wolitzer, Meg. The Uncoupling. New York: Riverhead Books, 2011. Ebook.
This novel does not focus on food, but a potluck scene allows a high school faculty’s social dynamic to play out by way of the buffet.
On this blog: She didn’t even bring her own carrots
Frisch, Max. The Arsonists (1953). Translated by Alistair Beaton, 2007.
The Beidermanns’ home set on fire by a man who cajoles his way in—not through charm but by testing their boundaries with rudeness and greed, gradually gaslighting them into welcoming him. The play uses food and table manners to dramatize class and social codes.
On this blog: Graciousness and Fussiness
Anderson, Maggie. Cold Comfort. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1986. Print.
This volume features a number of poems that describe the fitful, anxious sleep of vegetables as they grow.
By the Slice. Denton, Texas: Spooky Girlfriend Press, 2014. Print.
An anthology of poems about pizza written by female-identified poets.
On this blog: Pizzacore, poetry, and gender
Chasin, Helen. “The word plum.” The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature. 8th ed. Michael Myer, ed. Boston, New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009. Print.
On this blog: Odes to Plums
Garcia Lorca, Frederico. “Gacela of the Dark Death.” The Selected Poems of Frederico Garcia Lorca. New York : New Directions Books, 2005. Print.
On this blog: Federico Garcia Lorca’s Alimentary Allusions
Marvell, Andrew. “To His Coy Mistress.” Web.
If we had but world enough, we could let our vegetable love grow.
On this blog: Andrew Marvell’s Vegetable Love
Mcgrath, Campbell. “Woe.” From The Hungry Ear (below).
On the horrors of Subway sandwiches.
On this blog: The metaphors of mass consumerism.
Steinberg, Nicole. Getting Lucky. Denton, TX.: Spooky Girlfriend Press, 2013.
A collection sonnets collaged from the editorial copy of Lucky magazine, many of which concern issues of consumerism.
On this blog: Carly, Cupcakes, and Thou
Stevens, Wallace. The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens. New York: Vintage, 1990.
Fruit stands in for the paradoxes of paradise in “Sunday Morning;” he also contemplates fruit as still life in “A Study of Two Pears,” among others.
On this blog: Odes to plums
Strand, Mark. “Eating Poetry.” Web.
Frightening librarians by chewing up books.
On this blog: Eating Paper
Williams, William Carlos. The Collected Poems of William Carlos Williams Vol. I 1909-1939. Eds. A Walton Litz and Christopher MacGowan. New York: New Directions, 1986.
How could I leave out the author of “This is Just to Say”?
Young, Kevin. The Hungry Ear. New York: Bloomsbury USA, 2012. Print.
An anthology of food poems new and old, famous and obscure.
On this blog: Why is it so hard to get a good food anthology together? On Scribal Tattoo: Kitchen Magic
Atwood, Margaret. “I’m Starved for you.” Byliner, Inc., 2012. Ebook.
The fear of hunger and want frightens ordinary citizens into a social experiment—living in a self-sustaining prison community. Inside the prison, desire for sex and connection manifests as hunger and appetite.
On this blog: I’m Starved for you
Hemingway, Ernest. A Moveable Feast. New York: Scribner, 1992. Print.
This young, hungry writer depicted in these pages is preoccupied with food when he’s worried about not getting enough of it, when other people aren’t enjoying it, and when he longs for a reward for hard intellectual labor.
On this blog: Lean and Sinewy, Winter Chestnuts and Other Literary Comforts
Russell, Karen. Vampires in the Lemon Grove.. New York: Knopf, 2012. Ebook.
This short story collection features a number of depictions of unnatural or uncanny hungers: vampires attempt to slake their ancient thirst with fresh lemons; half-woman, half-caterpillar hybrids gorge on mulberry leaves to produce silk; a fanatic for the contantly losing team, Krill (not a chance against Whales), prepares to tailgate in Antartica.
Stafford, Jean. “The Echo and the Nemesis.” The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2005. 35-53.
One of a small number of stories involving an obese female main character. Hilda Bruch, a famous mid-century psychoanalyst who specialized in obese patients, actually used this story as a case study. Even though it is a story, not a patient.
Broad City. Comedy Central. January 2014. Television.
Nearly every episode has a gag involving food; sometimes the meaning is personal to one character (Abbi’s spite eating, for example) but often the food scenes position the characters economically (stealing garbage bagels; trying to dine in a fancy restaurant on your dad’s bill.)
On this site: Elsewhere on the Internet: Snow Day entertainments
Mad Men. AMC. July 2007. Television.
Food is often just part of the set dressing of this period piece, but in Season 7 Peggy blows here colleagues out of the water with a fast food pitch.
On this site: Mad Men: “We can have the connection that we’re hungry for.”
Orange is the New Black. Netflix. July 2013. Television.
Food has as much influence as money in the economy of Litchfield prison.
On this site: OITNB: “Come Get You Some Cake.”