71 | A Chat With Laura Freeman
Listen to Episode 71: A Chat With Laura Freeman
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Today on Tea & Tattle, I’m in conversation with the author and art critic, Laura Freeman, who recently published the incredible bibliomemoir, The Reading Cure: How Books Restored My Appetite. In her book, Laura describes her diagnosis of anorexia as a teenager, and how her insatiable hunger for books gradually helped restore her to health and happiness.
In today's interview, Laura explains how Dickens's novels awakened her to the pleasures of eating and the associative powers of food. Emboldened by A Christmas Carol, one December she tasted her first spoonful of Christmas pudding since her diagnosis.
It was the travel memoirs of Patrick Leigh Fermor and Laurie Lee that encouraged Laura to be braver when traveling and opened her up to the excitements of tasting local cuisines. Some of my favourite passages from the book were Laura's descriptions of discovering the food writer M.F.K. Fisher, who wrote so memorably about her adventures as an American woman in France, and I was delighted when Laura chose a section about Fisher to read aloud during our interview.
I'm sure Laura's book will be one of my top 5 favourites from 2018, not only because it speaks so eloquently and honestly on a subject that affects so many women, but also because it whetted my own appetite for so many of the novels that Laura credits on her road to recovery.
I nodded along in agreement over her appreciation for Little Women and Cider With Rosie, but Laura's pages on Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man, A Month in the Country, and so many others, had me rushing to Daunt Books to purchase my own copies.
I so enjoyed my conversation with Laura, and I know this episode will be a brilliant listen for anyone who has ever experienced the restorative power of great literature.
Listen to learn more about Laura's book, The Reading Cure.
- The Reading Cure by Laura Freeman.
- Charmed Lives in Greece exhibition at the British Museum.
- A Writer's Diary by Virginia Woolf.
- Laura's event at the British Library.
- Laura's website and twitter.
- Find me on instagram at @mirandasnotebook and @mirandasbookcase.
click on the Twitter icon to share my favourite quote from this episode
"I thought, 'I want this. I want this sense of family and conviviality and sharing and celebration.' "
Thank you so much for listening and being a part of Tea & Tattle podcast. As always, I love to hear your thoughts, so please let me know:
What did you enjoy most about this episode? Are you keen to read Laura's book?
There is no Tea Reads episode airing this week, as I'm in Devon on a press trip, but Sophie and I are back next Tuesday revealing our Myers-Briggs personality types.