Aesthetic Pleasure in Twentieth-Century Women’s Food Writing examines the gender politics of gastronomic writing and culinary experience in England and America. Focusing on M.F.K. Fisher, Alice B. Toklas, Elizabeth David, and, more briefly, the contemporary writers Patience Gray, Vertamae Smart Grosvenor, and Monique Truong: McLean brings into focus these authors’ contributions to women’s food writing in the framework of a literary history of the gendered genres of domestic cookbooks, traditionally penned by women, and professional cookbooks and gastronomic literature, the domain of male gastronomes. Beginning with the nineteenth century, McLean explores how women writers came to exercise their right to articulate the pleasures begotten by gastronomic and literary practices in ways that simultaneously transformed the very genre of food writing. In McLean’s words, “Creating a language that configures female desire, Fisher, Toklas, and David expanded women’s food writing beyond...

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