Streams

Food Fight

A luscious battle between a passionate chef and an implacable food critic.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

A luscious battle between a passionate chef and an implacable food critic.
"Limp radicchio. Sorry fugu. A blasphemy of baby lamb lettuce frisee endive. A koulibiac made in hell.” For six months he knew her only by her byline, Willa Frank, and by the sting of her adjectives, the derisive thrust of her metaphors, the cold precision of her substantives.
--T.C. Boyle, “Sorry Fugu” A luscious battle between a passionate chef and an implacable food critic.
In an interview featured in this program, T.C. Boyle tells us that food, which is a prominent element in his work, often denotes aspects of conspicuous consumption with which he is not comfortable. But as this particular story, “Sorry Fugu,” evolved, it came to be more about the opposition between artist and critic. A brilliant chef waits to have his most delectable creations reduced to scathing similes, and his career to ashes; but there may be a chance to turn the tables, a concept that Boyle says has been at the heart of his notion of “the comic universe” since the works of Flannery O’Connor set him on the author’s path during his college years. Since then, Boyle has penned nineteen works of fiction, including "The Road to Wellville," "World's End," "If the River Was Whiskey" and "After the Plague." His stories have been published in The New Yorker, Harper's, Esquire, The Atlantic Monthly and The Paris Review, among others. His many awards include the PEN/Faulkner Award, the PEN/Malamud Prize, a National Academy of Arts and Letters Award for prose excellence and six O. Henry Awards for short fiction. He is currently at work on a novel about the women in the lives of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. This mouth watering comic tale is given a rich read by SELECTED SHORTS stalwart Tony Roberts, whose extensive career on stage and in film and television had included roles in many of Woody Allen’s films including "Annie Hall," "Hannah and Her Sisters," "Radio Days," and "Stardust Memories." Roberts' Broadway credits include "Barefoot in the Park," "The Sisters Rosensweig," "Victor/Victoria," "The Tale of the Allergist's Wife" and "Cabaret."

“Sorry Fugu,” by T.C. Boyle, read by Tony Roberts.
For additional works featured on SELECTED SHORTS, please visit Symphony Space
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