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The Hour of the Goddess: Memories of Women, Food and Ritual in Bengal

Chitrita Banerji (Author)
Synopsis Food and cuisine are not just incidental to Bengal; they are essential to the Bengali’s mental and cultural landscape. Like in agricultural communities the world over, food and ritual, food and social custom, food and culture, are deeply imbricated. Women’s lives are closely bound up with the production and preparation of food. This unusual book weaves a warm, evocative tapestry out of memories of food, ritual and women’s lives in Bengal. In the skilful hands of the author, who writes of growing up from girlhood to womanhood in her native land, food and ritual become intimate experiences which definitively shape day-to-day life for the women of that culture. As memories of food preparation take shape, recalling associations of taste, smell and texture, a parallel thread of social commentary calls forth sharp observations; for example, how certain foods are ‘forbidden’ and what Bengali widows cannot eat. Eminently readable, this volume combines rigorous research into food and cultural history, social critique, and the immediacy and intimacy of memoir.
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About the author

Chitrita Banerji

Chitrita Banerji grew up in Calcutta, received her master’s degree from Harvard University, and now lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She spent many years as a journalist, editor and translator. Her other books include Bengali Cooking: Seasons and Festivals and The Hour of the Goddess: Memories of Women, Food, and Ritual in Bengal. Her articles, columns and short fiction have appeared in Granta, Gourmet, Gastronomica, Boston Globe, American Prospect, Calyx, Petits Propos Culinaires, Phoenix, and Boston Magazine, and she has received awards for her papers at the Oxford Symposium of Food and Cookery.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Hour of the Goddess: Memories of Women, Food and Ritual in Bengal
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2001
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 8170461839
length viii+119p.