Food: With Bold Pen and Fork

A golden anniversary for America's doyenne of food writers

M.F.K. (for Mary Frances Kennedy) Fisher is the grande dame of American food writers. Her passion for cuisine, conveyed with a novelist's supple prose in 17 books published since 1937, inspired a host of other writers to take up the craft of food criticism. One such is TIME's critic, who recently visited Fisher, now 78, in California's Sonoma Valley. Her report:

"Now I am going to write a book. It will be about eating and about what to eat and about people who eat. And I shall do gymnastics by trying to fall between these three fires, or by straddling them...

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