Cooking “The Goldfinch” Part 7: A Feast for Boris

by Cara Nicoletti on March 26, 2014

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Really, this post could just be called “the day that dill, red onions, and vinegar took over Yummy Books,” because today we’re cooking for Boris. My feelings for Boris are among the most complicated I’ve ever had for any literary character, which is probably why it’s taken me so long to talk about him in this series. For ninety-percent of the novel, I was filled with gut-wrenching dread every time Boris showed up on the page. There were actually moments when I considered putting the book down completely because I was so overwhelmed by how much I disliked him. On one such occasion, I called my mom (who was reading the book at the same time) and told her that I didn’t think I could keep reading if Boris was going to stick around. She was flummoxed. Boris, it turned out, was her favorite character in the novel, and maybe one of her favorite literary characters ever.

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Cooking “The Goldfinch” Part 6: Manicotti

by Cara Nicoletti on March 14, 2014

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On Monday, after months and months of work and a million sleepless nights, I finally passed in the first draft of Voracious to Little, Brown—all 240 pages of it. At first, I felt giddy, elated, free! A few hours later, though, I was completely lost. I had no idea what to do with my day. There was nothing looming over my head, no need to lock myself in my tiny office and put clean x’s next to my myriad checklists. I went out to drink a beer with my friends and, after months of solitary confinement, felt completely overwhelmed by the number of people around me—all that noise! Eye contact is weird! What do people talk about, anyway! I scurried back to my kitchen with comfort food on my mind.

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A Lemon Meringue Pie For Sylvia Plath

by Cara Nicoletti on February 28, 2014

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I’ve been quiet lately, I know, and I’m sorry. But listen, guys, my first draft goes in in 10 days. I’ve been pushing all my hard-to-write essays until the end, and now here we are, 10 days away and they are all hard. Rather than reaching for a novel to comfort me, lately I’ve been turning to the letters and journals of the writers I love, hoping to glean some kind of writerly wisdom about this process which, so far, has been the most difficult and most exhilarating of my life. Sylvia Plath holds a particularly special place in my heart, because her childhood home was directly across the street from the house I grew up in. I spent many long hours staring at the window I imagined I was her bedroom. It seemed incredible to me—unbelievable—that such a simple box of a house, with its white clapboard siding and shiny black shutters could have contained a mind so enormous.

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