Comfort Lit -- Litquake -- Hippie Food: How Back-to-the-Landers, Longhairs, and Revolutionaries Changed the Way We Eat (William Morrow) | Mechanics' Institute

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Comfort Lit -- Litquake -- Hippie Food: How Back-to-the-Landers, Longhairs, and Revolutionaries Changed the Way We Eat (William Morrow)
Author Jonathan Kauffman in conversation with San Francisco Examiner columnist Denise Sullivan

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Litquake announces a new, free lunchtime series at the Mechanic’s Institute. 2017 taught us that taking a break with books is the best form of self-care, so for 2018, we dreamed up Comfort Lit: Books That Make You Feel Better to provide a much-needed break from fighting the powers that be and help us recharge from the grim realities of the day. On Tuesdays throughout the spring and summer, join us at these author appearances, featuring books on humor, food, love, spirituality, travel, animals—things that make us smile and bring down the blood pressure.


This enlightening narrative history—an entertaining fusion of Tom Wolfe and Michael Pollan—traces the colorful origins of once unconventional foods and the diverse fringe movements, charismatic gurus, and counterculture elements that brought them to the mainstream and created a distinctly American cuisine. “An outstanding food and cultural history…In this informative, briskly paced first book…Kauffman is equally thorough in tracing how these early innovators inspired the food co-ops and whole food stores that exist today.” Publishers Weekly


A line cook turned journalist, Jonathan Kauffman is an International Association of Culinary Professionals and James Beard Award–winning staff writer at the San Francisco Chronicle. He served as the restaurant critic at the East Bay Express, Seattle Weekly, and SF Weekly for more than a decade, and has contributed regularly to San Francisco Magazine, Lucky Peach, and Wine & Spirits. His articles have also been anthologized in several editions of Best Food Writing.

Photograph of Denise SullivanDenise Sullivan is the S.F. Lives columnist for The San Francisco Examiner and editor of Your Golden Sun Still Shines: San Francisco Personal Histories and Small Fictions (Manic D Press, 2017). A fourth generation San Franciscan who has lived and worked in Atlanta, Los Angeles, The Mission and The Haight, she is the author of Keep On Pushing: Black Power Music From Blues to Hip Hop (Lawrence Hill, 2011), among other music biographies. A former member of Modern Times Bookstore Collective and the co-founder of United Booksellers of San Francisco (a coalition of independent bookstores on the south side of The City), she volunteers as a literary organizer and works for cultural equity in the arts. She has been an enthusiastic consumer of hippie food since the 1970s and shops at San Francisco's wealth of independent grocers and farmer's markets.

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