Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and the forthcoming Meat.
Two exchanges from his Q & A at The Young & Hungry blog:
Does food ever inspire you to write? Do you think there is any connection between being a writer and being an eater?Related: Most important books: Jonathan Safran Foer.
There are a lot of ways to think about that. First of all, literally what you eat affects how you write. If I drink coffee before I write I'm going to write very differently than if I drink beer, or eat a very heavy meal. Turns out there are vegetarians in both of my books. It's not something I ever intended. In part, I guess I found it totally unexceptional and so I didn't think twice about doing it or not doing it. I think that is something quite different in the world we live in now as opposed to the one people lives in ten years ago, or twenty or thirty. Particularly among younger people there is something so unexceptional about making eating choices and not just for vegetarianism, but having a particular diet. Partly because there are so many more options now but i think younger people are more sensitive to food issues.
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What do you think of food writing. Have you read the Omnivore's Dilemma?
Yeah, I think it's a wonderful book. I strongly disagree with a number of his conclusions. I think the way he makes an argument is frustrating sometimes. He'll get to a certain point and then give up on it. He never asks anything of anyone that is truly uncomfortable or challenging. That being said he's a really great writer and the book was revelatory. It really opened my eyes, and everybody's eyes to a lot of things.[read on]