Allegra Goodman’s widely praised sixth novel, The Cookbook Collector, might have become a bestselling success, but she's not alone - the American author is following a well-worn literary path. Culinary fiction leads the reader from the kitchen into cafes and restaurants and back to the dining table. Heroes and heroines are cooks or chefs or gastronomes and the plot always returns to food sooner or later.
Goodman realises that cookery books are some one of the most important books in any household. Often passed down from generation to generation, cookbooks become family heirlooms and are treasured. The Cookbook Collector is centered on two sisters - one a Silicon Valley executive and the other a post grad working at an antiquarian bookshop. Their lives intertwine around a collection of rare cookbooks.
AbeBooks has selected 30 examples of fiction that revolve around the kitchen or at least have strong culinary themes. From Joanne Harris’s international bestseller Chocolat to Babette’s Feast by Isak Dinesen and Fannie Flagg’s Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café, this list contains detectives, romance, complex relationships and a lot of food.