“My Kitchen Wars” and Other Battles

by Betty Fussell

my_kitchen_wars_coverI never really thought of the Freudian possibilities of the fork until I saw the cover design by Bison Press of their new paperback edition of My Kitchen Wars.

That little female figurine with that big big fork, suggestively positioned for attack, not only made me laugh aloud but condensed into an image the lucidity of Laura Shapiro’s introduction: “Her coming-of-age takes place in the kitchen, a historically feminine environment reconceived as a site for armed combat.”

And to think that I just saw a one-woman show performed by Brigid Moynahan, the daughter of one of my oldest friends from the 1950s, called Doll Wars (Why Mom Wouldn’t Buy Me a Barbie), in which she uses her mother’s refusal to buy her a Barbie Doll as a symbol for the generational conflict between women trying to figure out who they are and want to be.

Forks at the ready, husbands and wives, mothers and daughters do not go easy into that on-going battle.

Here’s an excerpt from My Kitchen Wars.

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Posted on May 17, 2009