Beyond the Food Court, Ed. by Luciana Erregue-Sacchi

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Beyond the Food Court: an Anthology of Literary Cuisines is a collection of 14 creative non-fiction essays that delve in the subtleties, diversity, and individuality of ethnic cuisines beyond the uniform, kitschy offering at a typical mall food court.

The idea of Beyond the Food Court was born not only as a look beyond the standard kitschy food offerings of the North American food court. It also aims to deepen the idea of diversity both culinary and literary. Food is a universal language, and the authors behind this anthology have studied their own hungers, to paraphrase American food writer M.F.K. Fisher.

Their vivid re-telling of past culinary experiences bears little resemblance to the—now more than ever—sanitized version of the food court. It becomes a collective exercise of remembering and creating new memories as your eyes settle on the words masgouf, asado, Injera, or ajiaco. Both food and speech are experienced in the mouth.

What makes these essays relevant is their simultaneous Canadian-ness, and universality. By Canadian-ness I am not referring to an immutable, sterile notion of national identity. Many Canadians speak and write in a second, and sometimes third language, as do some of the contributors.

Compiling this anthology also satiates our hunger to open up the field of Canadian Literature. Also, an important detail: This book has been financed through a Diversity in the Arts Grant from the Edmonton Arts Council. Without these funds, the present anthology would just have been a pipe dream. This grant also enabled establishing Laberinto Press.

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