The Upstairs Delicatessen
By Dwight Garner
2023 • Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Dwight Garner, the beloved New York Times critic and author of Garner’s Quotations, serves up the intertwined pleasures of books and food. The product of a lifetime of obsessively reading, eating, and every combination therein, The Upstairs Delicatessen is a charming, emotional memoir, one that only Garner could write. In it, he records the voices of great writers and the stories from his life that fill his mind as he moves through the sections of the day and this book: breakfast, lunch, shopping, the occasional nap, drinking, and dinner.
Through his lifetime obsession with these twin joys, we meet the man behind the pages and the plates, and a portrait of Garner’s life, eager and insatiable, emerges. He writes with tenderness and humor about his mayonnaise-laden childhood in West Virginia and Naples, Florida (including his father’s famous peanut butter and pickle sandwich), his mind-opening marriage to a chef from a foodie family (“Cree grew up taking frog’s legs to school in her lunch box”), and the words and dishes closest to his heart. This is a book to be savored, though it may just whet your appetite for more.
Tags: Books, food essay, food writing, North American, was-preorder