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November 2015

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The Mad Feast

An Ecstatic Tour Through America's Food
Matthew Gavin Frank

Following his critically acclaimed "Preparing the Ghost," renowned essayist Matthew Gavin Frank takes on America’s food. In a surprising style reminiscent of Maggie Nelson or Mark Doty, Frank examines a quintessential dish in each state, interweaving the culinary with personal and cultural associations of each region. From key lime pie (Florida) to elk stew (Montana), "The Mad Feast" commemorates the unexpected origins of the familiar. Brazenly dissecting the myriad intersections between history and food, Frank, in this gorgeously designed volume, considers politics, sexuality, violence, grief and pleasure: the cool, creamy whoopie pie evokes toughness in the face of New England winters, while the stewlike perloo serves up an exploration of food and race in the South. Tracing an unpredictable map of our collective appetites, "The Mad Feast" presents a beguiling flavor profile of the American spirit. 


Matthew Gavin Frank earned a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing at Arizona State University in 2006.

Praise for this book

Never has a country-spanning food romp felt this subversive. Frank’s essays ― which dissect signature dishes from all 50 states ― are nothing short of brilliant ... An exploration of humanity, life, and tastes, the book is delicious.

Entertainment Weekly