Laura Shapiro

marlene lopez

(Shapiro, Laura) Laura Shapiro has written on every food topic from champagne to Jell-O for the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Atlantic, Slate, Gourmet, and many other publications. She is the author of three classic books of culinary history. Her awards include a James Beard Journalism Award and one from the National Women’s Political Caucus. She has been a fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, where she also co-curated the widely acclaimed exhibition Lunch Hour NYC. Her latest book is What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories (Viking). Everyone eats, and food touches on every aspect of our lives—social and cultural, personal and political. Each of the six women in this entertaining group portrait was famous in her time; but until now, nobody has told their lives from the point of view of the kitchen and the table.  They include Dorothy Wordsworth, Rosa Lewis, the Edwardian-era Cockney caterer who cooked her way up the social ladder; Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady. Eva Braun, Hitler’s mistress; Barbara Pym, whose witty books upend a host of stereotypes about postwar British cuisine; and Helen Gurley Brown, the editor of Cosmopolitan, whose commitment to “having it all” meant having almost nothing on the plate except a supersized portion of diet gelatin.