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Chapatas and McDonald’s: International Writing about Food

Posted on August 02, 2016

Every once in a while, an educator will write to us requesting suggestions for literature around a particular topic or theme. We made the list below in response to one of those requests, from a professor interested in the literature of food. To our surprise, we found that food-related literature is a much broader genre than we had ever imagined, encompassing a prisoner’s memoir, a ghost story, and more:

  • The Kiso Wayfarer, from Japan, featuring a mysterious stranger bearing sushi
  • When My Wife Was a Shiitake, from Japan, in which a widower discovers the transformative power of cooking
  • Cavities and Kindness, also from Japan, in which a love affair ends over ramen
  • Prison Memoirs, from one of the leaders of China's Tiananmen Square uprisings; he describes former prisoners' strange nostalgia for the corn buns in Qincheng Prison
  • A Failed Journey, in which a schoolgirl attempts a trip to the newly opened Mexico City McDonald's
  • Purépecha Mother, also from Mexico, a poem in tribute to a street cart vendor

To find literature around a topic or theme, you can visit the “Find” page and use the filters on the right-hand side – we have already organized collections around themes such as “Leaving Home,” “Love Stories,” and “Revolution.” Or, if you’re looking for a different theme, try the keyword search in the top box. And, of course, if you’d like to ask us, just fill out the form on the “Contact” page.