5 Food Novels by Southeast Asian Women Writers

All Things Books / Recos

About The Birdwoman’s Palate,
Written by Gema Charmaine Gonzales, and was originally published in Book Riot,
Dec 09, 2020


“Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.” Francis Bacon’s familiar maxim, about the degrees with which a reader might interact with a book, takes a renewed meaning in light of food literature. This particular category of texts has gone under many names: gastronomic novels, culinary fiction, books that cook, la fiction gourmande, or quite simply, food fiction. But the one aspect that distinguishes it, no matter the appellation, is its urgent concern with food, eating or cooking. Below are five examples of novels written by Southeast Asian women writers that explore the language of food. In their work, food acts as a theme or a symbol that represents the novel’s underlying message.

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