Food is more than a means of sustaining life. It is the focus of social entertainment, special celebrations and family traditions.
It also is the common thread of 16 short stories in The Last Generation of Women Who Cook, written by Kathy Johncox, a marketing communications specialist at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf.
“To me, food means many things,” she says. “Cooking or preparing it for people you care about is a way of nurturing and showing love and support. This may be passed down from our mothers, perhaps the last generation of women who cook.”
Her book isn’t a cookbook. Instead, this collection of short fiction involves food, relationships and emotion: a young man attempting to rekindle love through buying apple pies, but is foiled by a beignet, and other stories that equate pasta with anger, rice with doubt and soup with revenge.
“The settings vary, the characters differ, but the stories all entice,” Johncox says.
The stories were written over a 10-year period, as weekly writing exercises with a friend. “We’d pick a topic and my topic always ended up using food as a metaphor or theme,” she says. “Soon I had a number of stories and that started me thinking I could expand them in ways that would resonate with readers.”
Johncox has been enjoying visiting bookstores to sign her book and says it’s been getting good reviews.
“I didn’t set out to write short stories at all,” she says. “Novels have so much more cachet. One short story just led to another, and pretty soon I was seeing food and stories as linked in some magical way. And I enjoyed that connection.”
Her book was self-published and is available on Amazon.com in print and for the Kindle, and is available at Shop One² at Global Village.