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Simple Recipes

Thien, Madeleine

326 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0771085117 / ISBN 13: 9780771085116
Published by McClelland & Stewart, 2001
Condition: Near Fine Soft cover
From citynightsbooks (Allston, MA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

First printing. Trade paperback with french flaps. Signed on title page. A collection of seven stories examining family relationships. This young Vancouver-based writer has won various awards and nominations so far. A near fine copy with an 'Autographed' sticker to front. 227 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 13028

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Simple Recipes

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Soft Cover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: 1st Edition.

About this title


Book by Thien, Madeleine


The seven stories in Simple Recipes, 26-year-old Madeleine Thien's debut collection, show an imaginative depth and sympathetic wisdom beyond her years. The title story is a deceptively simple tale of a girl remembering how her father used to cook rice: sorting and cleaning, then measuring the water by resting the tip of his index finger on the surface of the rice so that the water reached the bend of his first knuckle. Her father impresses his young daughter with the dexterous way in which he magically transforms a few ingredients into something that satisfies basic needs and sustains life. When those same skillful hands turn violent, though, and beat her rebellious older brother, the daughter struggles to hold onto the memory of the kitchen ritual she shared with her father as it shatters into metaphors for abuse, intolerance, and shame.

Another story, "Alchemy," conveys a complex friendship between school-age girls, as one seeks to understand love and the other contends with an eating disorder and sexual abuse at home. The dynamic between these girls is subtly described and never overstated. Revelations, when they come, are as startling, complex, and mysterious as in real life. Thien is a genuine talent to watch. --Nigel Hunt

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