Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
How to Be a Domestic Goddess is an 'important feminist tract', says Nigella Lawson
May 30, 2011 - Sydney Morning Herald
'A male province to be celebrated' ... Nigella Lawson.
When Nigella Lawson brought out How To Be A Domestic Goddess, it appeared to be a not-altogether-serious take on the 1950s housewife.
According to the author, however, it was something rather more profound.
"I think it's a very important feminist tract in its own right, and I'm not being entirely ironic," Lawson said of her 2000 best-seller.
"Baking is the less applauded of the cooking arts, whereas restaurants are a male province to be celebrated. There's something intrinsically misogynistic about decrying a tradition because it has always been female.
"I'm not being entirely facetious when I say it's a feminist tract."
Lawson, 51, joked that the worst thing to happen to cooking was the rise of Simon Cowell. "Something which so undermines a lot of people when they cook for friends is this terrible feeling that you're going to be judged.
"The way television is going, with more and more reality shows, is that there is this false gloss of perfection. My cameraman makes everything look wonderful and the lighting is just perfect, and I'm aware it can give a glamour that doesn't exist.
"But reality programmes create this environment in which you feel everybody is there to criticise you and send you away. You feel that when you cook it's going to be given the Simon Cowell treatment."
Fans of Lawson's cooking do not include her husband, the arts patron Charles Saatchi. She told her interviewer, the Uk's Hay festival director Peter Florence, of an occasion on which she served Saatchi a dish of prawn curry.
"He ate it all and at the very end he said, 'That was the most disgusting thing I have ever eaten. I wouldn't have said anything but I was so frightened you were going to give it to me again'.
"He says there is nothing I could cook that could compare favourably with Weetabix."