Published on October 10th, 2018 | by TLV News0
Author James Hannaham Stops by Off Square Books with His “Delicious Foods” and Conversation with Sara Camp Milam
Get a taste: signing and reading is Saturday, October 13 at 4:30 pm.
Held captive by her employers—and by her own demons—on a mysterious farm, a widow struggles to reunite with her young son in this uniquely American story of freedom, perseverance, and survival.
Darlene, once an exemplary wife and a loving mother to her young son, Eddie, finds herself devastated by the unforeseen death of her husband. Unable to cope with her grief, she turns to drugs, and quickly forms an addiction. One day she disappears without a trace.
Unbeknownst to eleven-year-old Eddie, now left behind in a panic-stricken search for her, Darlene has been lured away with false promises of a good job and a rosy life. A shady company named Delicious Foods shuttles her to a remote farm, where she is held captive, performing hard labor in the fields to pay off the supposed debt for her food, lodging, and the constant stream of drugs the farm provides to her and the other unfortunates imprisoned there.
In Delicious Foods, James Hannaham tells the gripping story of three unforgettable characters: a mother, her son, and the drug that threatens to destroy them. Through Darlene’s haunted struggle to reunite with Eddie, through the efforts of both to triumph over those who would enslave them, and through the irreverent and mischievous voice of the drug that narrates Darlene’s travails, Hannaham’s daring and shape-shifting prose infuses this harrowing experience with grace and humor.
The desperate circumstances that test the unshakable bond between this mother and son unfold into myth, and Hannaham’s treatment of their ordeal spills over with compassion. Along the way we experience a tale at once contemporary and historical that wrestles with timeless questions of love and freedom, forgiveness, and redemption, tenacity, and the will to survive.
Winner of the 2016 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction
About the Author
James Hannaham is the author of the novel God Says No, which was honored by the American Library Association. He holds an MFA from the Michener Center at the University of Texas at Austin, and lives in Brooklyn, where he teaches creative writing at the Pratt Institute.
Sara Camp Milam is the Southern Foodways Alliance’s managing editor. She has a B.A. in Spanish from Princeton University and an M.A. in folklore from UNC-Chapel Hill. She began volunteering for the SFA in 2009 and joined the staff full time in 2012. Before finding her way to SFA World Headquarters, Sara Camp was a middle school Spanish teacher and an associate editor at The Oxford American magazine.