Not For You
Family Narratives of Denial & Comfort Foods
Turmeric Press, 2018
Continuing the saga of Aruni, Shanta and Johari ba, this sequel to Not For You: Book One begins where we left off, with the newest challenge for Aruni and Damodar when they return to their ‘native’ place, Alibag, India. The sequel, NFY2 carries forward, a little before the cusp of India’s independence, and travels through time to reach 2015, when one of the character, Ana moves to Georgia, USA.
Meet the older Aruni, Shanta and Johari-ba.
Allow Mani, Sumati, Mukki, Shaku and Ana to introduce themselves.
Meet their children, grand-children, and great-grand-children.
Visit their homes, their kitchens, and their gardens.
Allow them to hold your hand, tell you their stories, share their heartache and wisdom.
Why not visit a simpler time?
This is Book Two of a two-part novel and can be categorized as a hybrid of historical fiction and cookbook.
It includes a 180K narrative and 60+ recipes.
It is a black-and-white book, with no color photography.
The book combines old-fashioned watercolors with digital art and graphic design and is printed on 60lb ivory paper, to improve its visual appeal.
This book pays homage to the simplicity of food, as soulful comfort food that one would find in ones’ grandmothers’ kitchen, to hold on to gems of my culinary heritage, through the stories that are woven around it, and the magic of using simple ingredients for a clear purpose: creating comfort food for the body and soul.
It combines three critical pieces in making a good cookbook: evocative storytelling, imaginative visuals, and the intrinsic strength of easy, clean, and healthy old-fashioned recipes. All of this starts with the cover of the book and continues through the narratives included within.
The cover is dramatic, bold and abstract, much like the stories and recipes held within the book. In addition to a stylized bookplate, I have included an explanation of bold cover and its color choice, to help readers familiarize themselves with the content and genre.
Chapter Covers: The narratives travel with the characters, from place to place. The chapter covers are simple, but the graphic is reminiscent of a rubber stamp on a postcard to reinforce the transition, and movement of the narrative from one place to another.
Each chapter includes a connection to place, a visual, a feeling not just the food, and to help support the story, the text is broken up routinely with graphics that tie the reader to the place, for instance, the sight of fluttering peepal leaves, the grating of the coconut over a sickle-shaped device, the ‘vili’, etc. to reinforce evocative storytelling.
The narrative revolves around the influence of seven different women, on the kitchen of one cookbook author, the eighth woman in the book, Ana. These women live from different eras’, different countries, have varied religious and regional allegiances and face different domestic challenges when it comes to managing their homes and kitchens. The narrative includes the mentions of more than 150 recipes and flavors, but to keep the focus on each woman, only a selection of recipes from their kitchen is included. The recipes are rooted in old family lore’s, woven into the larger narrative. Six of the eight women have been grandmothers, and their favorite recipes are included here. The narrative is historical fiction.
Rather than organize the recipes by courses or by era, they are organized by the kitchens that created them. In lieu of photographs to identify the women, I created a watercolor series to represent them, and perhaps suggest the kind of life they led, along with what dishes may have been most commonly prepared in their kitchen, again repeating graphic representations of ingredients or dishes to convey the essence of the preparation, and not a stylized version of it.
Available for pre-order, release date March 2018.
Approx. 2.5 lb shipping weight, 1" thick.
Approx, 410 pages, on 60 lb ivory paper.