You may know of Padma Lakshmi already. She's a host of Top Chef, a celebrated cookbook author and model, and she was married to acclaimed author and notorious public figure, Salman Rushdie. But like any person, famous or not, there is always so much more to their story than what is seen on the surface. This memoir, which connects food and recipes to the different phases and events of Lakshmi's life, reveals the inner thoughts of the author as she has progressed through an exciting and sometimes tumultuous life. She openly discusses her childhood split between the U.S. and India, her marriage and divorce, her painfully late-in-life diagnosis of endometriosis, and her experience becoming a mother. Each section delves deeper into the mind and spirit of a woman much more complex than just a pretty face on TV.
Why It's Worth Reading:
I started reading this book as a fan. I didn't expect to buy it for our library or recommend it to high school students. But as I made my way through her thoughtful and honest prose, I discovered the many ways that this book would be wonderful for NHS students. Lakshmi is a native of India and speaks fondly of Indian family members, culture, traditions, and food. In all of the books I have read set in or about India, I have never felt so transported as I was with Padma's words. With a significant population of Indian and Indian-American students, this book offers a realistic and current representation of a culture that many Novi residents live and that many others seek to understand. Also, I assumed that beautiful, glamorous, famous Padma Lakshmi and I have nothing in common, but as with the best writing, this book only served to remind me that everyone struggles through difficult times or feels self-conscious or inadequate at moments. These feelings are a part of the human experience, and I found myself understanding & relating to a model and celebrated TV host, though the details of our lives are quite different. Is there anything more beautiful about literature than the way that it displays the qualities that unite people?
Publication Date: March 8, 2016
Do We Own a Copy?: On order.