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The Hour of the Goddess: Memories of Women, Food and Ritual in Bengal

The Hour of the Goddess: Memories of Women, Food and Ritual in Bengal
$32.50
Item Code: IDE859
Author: Chitrita Banerji
Publisher: Seagull Books
Language: English
Edition: 2001
ISBN: 8170461839
Pages: 128 (B & W Illus: 26)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 9.7" X 6.3"
From the Jacket :

Food and cuisine are not just incidental to Bengal; they are essential to the Bengali's mental and cultural landscape. Like in agricultural communities the world over, food and ritual, food and social custom, food and culture, are deeply imbricated. Women's lives are closely bound up with the production and preparation of food.

This unusual book weaves a warm, evocative tapestry out of memories of food, ritual and women's lives in Bengal. In the skilful hands of the author, who writes of growing up from girlhood to womanhood in her native land, food and ritual become intimate experiences which definitively shape day-to-day life for the women of that culture. As memories of food preparation take shape, recalling associations of taste, smell and texture, a parallel thread of social commentary calls forth sharp observations; for example, how certain foods are 'forbidden' and what Bengali widows cannot eat.

Eminently readable, this volume combines rigorous research into food and cultural history, social critique, and the immediacy and intimacy of memoir.

About the Author

Chitrita Banerji grew up in Calcutta but now lives in Cambridge, Mass. She is the author f Life and Food in Bengal (London, 1991) and Bengali Cooking: Seasons and Festivals (London, 1997), as well as of numerous articles in The Boston Globe, Granta (London), Gastronomica (Berkeley), The Phoenix (Boston), Bosto Magazine, Calyx (Corvallis, Oreg.) and Petits Propos Culinaires (London). She has presented papers and received awards at the prestigious Oxford Food Symposium.

CONTENTS

Acknowledgementsviii
The Hour of the Goddess1
Feeding the Gods8
Patoler Ma20
A Dose of Bitters29
Food and Difference38
Crossing the Borders44
The Bonti of Bengal57
Five Little Seeds66
What Bengali Widows Cannot Eat73
How Bengal Discovered Chhana84
Food, Ritual and Art in Bengal102
References118

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