Download Our Lady of Perpetual Hunger: A Memoir Audiobook

Our Lady of Perpetual Hunger: A Memoir Audiobook, by Lisa Donovan Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Lisa Donovan Narrator: Lisa Donovan Publisher: Penguin Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2020 ISBN: 9780593211335
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Renowned southern pastry chef Lisa Donovan's memoir of cooking, survival, and the incredible power in reclaiming the stories of women Noted chef and James Beard Award-winning essayist Lisa Donovan helped establish some of the South's most important kitchens, and her pastry work is at the forefront of a resurgence in traditional desserts. Yet Donovan struggled to make a living in an industry where male chefs built successful careers on the stories, recipes, and culinary heritage passed down from generations of female cooks and cooks of color. At one of her career peaks, she made the perfect dessert at a celebration for food-world goddess Diana Kennedy. When Kennedy asked why she had not heard of her, Donovan said she did not know. "I do," Kennedy said, "Stop letting men tell your story." OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HUNGER is Donovan's searing, beautiful, and searching chronicle of reclaiming her own story and the narrative of the women who came before her. Her family's matriarchs found strength and passion through food, and they inspired Donovan's accomplished career. Donovan's love language is hospitality, and she wants to welcome everyone to the table of good food and fairness. Donovan herself had been told at every juncture that she wasn't enough: she came from a struggling southern family that felt ashamed of its own mixed race heritage and whose elders diminished their women. She survived abuse and assault as a young mother. But Donovan's salvations were food, self-reliance, and the network of women in food who stood by her. In the school of the late John Egerton, OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HUNGER is an unforgettable Southern journey of class, gender, and race as told at table. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • Donovan… chronicles her career as a chef and her unrelenting passion for the culinary arts, but she also digs into her family history, offering keen reflections on the intersections of race and gender and spirited discussions of work, class, and opportunity. . . .  [Our Lady of Perpetual Hunger] is not just a lively story of a talented pastry chef at the top of her game; it’s also a profoundly relatable memoir of the pervasive push back against female success. A fresh voice with a recipe for empowerment. Kirkus
  • [A] fiesty confessional. . . . Donovan’s candid, passionate memoir will resonate with anyone who has worked in professional kitchens, and particularly women. Publishers Weekly
  • Lisa Donovan’s writing has such intensity and assertiveness. It spikes the adrenaline and creates tension in a way that feels almost athletic. And it’s through this toned and visceral prose that we are forced to reckon with Lisa’s most essential recipe: that respect is bred from unflinching truth and raw honesty. In life, and on these pages, Lisa charts a path of personal growth with brave transparency, eloquently acknowledging that life’s greatest challenges are not circumstance, but a calling. Ashley Christensen, James Beard Award-winning chef 
  • The first time you meet Lisa you want to pull up a stool, pour a drink and listen to every story she has to tell. It turns out you don't need the stool or the drink. This is a woman you will be happy to get to know. Ruth Reichl, author of Save Me the Plums 
    "Our Lady of Perpetual Hunger is more than the story of a woman who finds her own voice in the patriarchal world of professional cooking. It’s also the story of making a life — a life of love, of community, of commitment to the flame of creativity that somehow manages to burn against all odds. Lisa Donovan has written nothing less than the story of making a life in our times.
  • In Our Lady of Perpetual Hunger, Lisa Donovan writes a line I kept returning to: 'I had vigor, the kind you could taste.' I could taste the writing in this book. Her breathless descriptors conjure heat and possibility, her incisive memories capture the dank and earthen bits. To give a book life, a wise writer understands her myths must die. This book's heart is its truth, one woman's unyielding look in the mirror and well beyond it. Lisa's ultimate embrace of the human who stares back at her is a kind of freedom for us all. Osayi Endolyn, James Beard Award-winning writer 
  • Yes, it's about love, family, food, and one woman's personal and professional journey. But more than all that, Our Lady of Perpetual Hunger is about life force, the unquenchable flame within us that demands to survive and thrive. It could only be written by Lisa Donovan, and it should be read by everyone. Mary Laura Philpott, author of I Miss You When I Blink

    "Lisa Donovan writes with a voice that is both bruised and tender in Our Lady of Perpetual Hunger. In tracing her path to food, Donovan honors the women who shaped her philosophy in the kitchen, reminding us of the necessity of women telling their stories in a world so eagerly determined to erase them. We are quite lucky to live in a world where Donovan has written her own story with such grace.
  • Donovan . . . reveals the struggles and hard-fought lessons that have made her the courageous woman that she is today. . . . [W]ritten in a fierce and visceral style. . . . In a world that all too often credits male chefs for the culinary contributions of women and people of color, [Our Lady of Perpetual Hunger] is a valuable addition to the culinary memoir canon. Booklist

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