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Thalia Book Club: Julia Child and Judith Jones
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This project is funded by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

+ About the Performance
This program was recorded 02/01/2008 at Symphony Space.

A lively discussion between Judith Jones and Alex Prud’homme on their new books, The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food and My Life in France (co-authored by Prud’homme with Julia Child). As a young editor at Knopf, Jones edited Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and a relationship blossomed between her and Child. Since then, Jones has worked with a glorious lineup of cookbook writers from Madhur Jaffrey to Marion Cunningham, and has become an editorial legend. She and Prud’homme discuss Child’s move to France, where she found her calling to be a chef; the process of writing a cookbook; and Prud’homme’s collaboration with Child. Many colorful and delicious anecdotes are related. The evening begins with Jones reading an excerpt from her memoir, followed by Prud’homme reading a piece from Child’s memoir.


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+ About the Artists

Julia Child (1912-2004) was born in Pasadena, California. She graduated from Smith College and worked for the OSS during World War II in Ceylon and China, where she met Paul Child. After they married, they lived in Paris, where she studied at the Cordon Bleu and taught cooking with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, with whom she wrote the first volume of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She moved back to the United States in 1961, the year Mastering the Art was first published. Two years later, Boston’s WGBH launched The French Chef television series, which earned her Peabody and Emmy Awards. Several public television shows and numerous cookbooks followed.

Judith Jones is Senior Editor and Vice President at Alfred A. Knopf. She joined the company in 1957 as an editor working primarily on translations of French writers such as Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre. She had worked before that for Doubleday, first in New York and then in Paris, where she was responsible for reading and recommending Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. In addition to her literary authors, she has been particularly interested in developing a list of first-rate cookbook writers; her authors have included Julia Child (Judith published Julia’s first book and was her editor ever after), Lidia Bastianich, James Beard, Marion Cunningham, Marcella Hazan, Madhur Jaffrey, Edna Lewis and Jacques Pépin. She is the co-author of several cookbooks including The Book of New New England Cookery, and has contributed to Vogue, Saveur, Bon Appétit and Gourmet magazines. In 2006, she was awarded the James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award.

Alex Prud’homme’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker and other publications. He is the author of The Cell Game and the coauthor (with Michael Cherkasky) of Forewarned. The grandnephew of Paul Child, he worked with Julia Child on her memoir My Life in France, finishing the manuscript a year after her death. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.

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