This is the first public library in the South dedicated to culinary literature and, once complete, will be the most comprehensive of its kind found anywhere in the country. Currently, the library collection includes over 11,000 volumes of culinary books, food and cocktail menus, pamphlets, archival documents and other literature and ephemera.
The first public library devoted to cookbooks and food writing? I’ll be on the next train to New Orleans.
Very much so. It’s a lot of discipline. My goal each year is to start writing on Jan. 1 and finish on July 1. I have three or four ideas for my next book and now I’m thinking, let’s flesh these out and see what story’s going to work. Jan. 1 is the kickoff date and I write five days a week for three or four hours every morning, rarely missing. But I’ve got my outline, so I know what the final scene is going to be before I start. When you know that much about your story it’s really hard to get lost. I know we’ll publish the book late in October of next year.
I always find the inner workings of an author’s schedule fascinating, even if I’ve never read that author before.
Still, I know where my own books stand. After all, they’re mysteries set in London in the Victorian era—a period that elicits very definite expectations from its readers. And then, I’ve produced so much. A book a year! There’s something graceful about long silences. Jeffrey Eugenides publishes every few centuries or so, and that feels like the tempo of real thought, unmotivated by concerns of commerce or entertainment.
Literary novelists aren’t the only ones with long droughts between books. Besides which, silence might not mean you’re full of “real thought” – maybe you’re just full of lots of vacations.
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