The Gorilla Man and the Empress of Steak: A New Orleans Family Memoir

Product Details
University Press of Mississippi
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.6 X 0.9 inches | 0.9 pounds

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About the Author
Randy Fertel is a writer and president of both the Fertel Foundation and the Ruth U. Fertel Foundation. He has taught English at Harvard, Tulane, LeMoyne College, the University of New Orleans, and the New School for Social Research. He is the author of A Taste for Chaos: The Art of Literary Improvisation.
Ambition, abandonment, revenge, the Napoleonic code, broken promises, gorillas, bad contracts, evil intentions, and lawsuits never-ending; they're all here in Randy Fertel's feast of a memoir, served with a healthy side of New Orleans history, and, for dessert, ville flottante! Balzac would be envious; Tennessee Williams would feel right at home.--Valerie Martin, Orange Prize-winning author of Property and Mary Reilly
Funny, smart, poignant, and richly redolent of New Orleans, Randy Fertel's The Gorilla Man and the Empress of Steak is a brilliant memoir by a very talented writer indeed.--Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
Lots of New Orleans history in this family story, which is wilder than the gorillas and almost as juicy as the steaks.--Roy Blount Jr., author, Feet on the Street: Rambles around New Orleans
A giant jambalaya of a book that throws into the pot a huge variety of ingredients that surprise, delight, burn the tongue, sear the heart, make you laugh until you cry--and beg for more. Randy Fertel's triumph, as a writer obsessed with history, is to have turned the story of his own disastrous family into the story of the city itself, and of its survival.--Betty Fussell, James Beard Foundation Award-winner and author of Raising Steaks: The Life and Times of American Beef
His mother was the 'first lady of American restaurants.' His father was 'odd, self-centered, and nuts.' Randy Fertel leverages a raucous New Orleans upbringing, in which Salvador Dali and Edwin Edwards play bit parts, to tell the story of an uncommon American family, defined, in equal measure, by bold swagger and humbling vulnerabilities.--John T. Edge, series editor of Cornbread Nation: The Best of Southern Food Writing
A vivid, engrossing evocation of New Orleans, an exceptional city, in part because of characters like Randy Fertel's parents, Ruth and Rodney, the Empress of Steak and the Gorilla Man. A wonderful reading experience.--Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief and Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend
Randy Fertel's soulful southern storytelling captures you instantly. I love how he uses the lens of family and food to tell the rich, complex history of New Orleans.--Alice Waters, founder, Chez Panisse Restaurant