The Secret History of a Full-time Eater
On Sale: August 20, 2009
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The New York Times restaurant critic's heartbreaking
and hilarious account of how he learned to love food just
enough after decades of wrestling with his
Frank Bruni was born round. Round as
in stout, chubby, and hungry, always and endlessly hungry.
He grew up in a big, loud Italian family in White Plains,
New York, where meals were epic, outsize affairs. At those
meals, he demonstrated one of his foremost qualifications
for his future career: an epic, outsize appetite for food.
But his relationship with eating was tricky, and his
difficulties with managing it began early.
was named the restaurant critic for the New York
Times in 2004, he knew enough to be nervous. He would be
performing one of the most closely watched tasks in the
epicurean universe; a bumpy ride was inevitable, especially
for someone whose writing beforehand had focused on
politics, presidential campaigns, and the Pope.
But as he tackled his new role as one of the most loved and
hated tastemakers in the New York restaurant world, he also
had to make sense of a decades-long love-hate affair with
food, which had been his enemy as well as his friend. Now
he’d have to face down this enemy at meal after indulgent
meal. His Italian grandmother had often said, "Born round,
you don’t die square." Would he fall back into his worst old
habits? Or had he established a truce with the food on his
In tracing the highly unusual path Bruni
traveled to become a restaurant critic, Born Round
tells the captivating story of an unpredictable journalistic
odyssey and provides an unflinching account of one person’s
tumultuous, often painful lifelong struggle with his weight.
How does a committed eater embrace food without being undone
by it? Born Round will speak to every hungry hedonist
who has ever had to rein in an appetite to avoid letting out
a waistband, and it will delight anyone interested in
matters of family, matters of the heart, and the big role
food plays in both.
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