If Authors Were Chefs

By L. John Harris

Kurt Vonnegut by David Levine, The New York Review of Books

Inventing cookbooks is not a new task for me. As publisher of Aris Books in the 1980s, I focused on literary offerings that we referred to as “armchair cookbooks” — tomes you could read without ever venturing into the kitchen, like Mythology & Meatballs by Daniel Spoerri and The Feast of the Olive by Maggie Blyth Klein.

With the titles below, I have gone one step further. You don’t even have to read these books.  Just feast on the titles and let them feed your funny bone.  (Apologies to those allergic to gluten and bad puns.)

SAMUEL BECKETT: Waiting for Gigot

JOSEPH CONRAD: Lard Jim

MICHAEL CRICHTON: Jurassic Pork

CHARLES DICKENS: The Pickle Papers

FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY: Cream and Punishment

WILLIAM FAULKNER: The Sound and the Curry

WILLIAM GOLDING: Lord of the Fries

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: For Whom the Bell Pepper Tolls

JAMES JOYCE: Finnegan’s Cake

HARPER LEE: To Cook a Mockingbird

JACK LONDON: The Kale of the Wild

THOMAS MANN: The Magic Muffin

HERMAN MELVILLE: Moby Duck

HENRY MILLER: Tropic of Caramel Corn

MARGARET MITCHELL: Gone With The Wine

MARCEL PROUST: In Search of Lost Thyme

JEAN PAUL SARTRE: Beans and Nuttiness

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: Henry Ate

JOHN STEINBECK: Of Spice and Men

J.R.R. TOLKEIN: Lord of the Onion Rings

LEO TOLSTOY: War and Pizza

MARK TWAIN: Huckleberry Flan

JOHN UPDIKE: Rabbit Reduction

VOLTAIRE: Candied

KURT VONNEGUT: Breakfast of Champignons

ALICE WALKER: The Collard Purple

OSCAR WILDE: The Pitcher of Dorian’s Gravy

Proposed illustration for Hemingway's cookbook, For Whom the Bell Pepper Tolls, by L. John Harris

L. John Harris is a Berkeley-based writer, illustrator and filmmaker, and t he former publisher of Aris Books. He’s the author of Foodoodles: From the Museum of Culinary History and Café French: A Flâneur’s Guide to the Language, Lore and Food of the Paris Café. “If Authors Were Chefs” is adapted from his forthcoming book, My Little Illustrated Plague Year Journal.

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