Acclaimed artist Ntozake Shange offers this delightfully eclectic tribute to black cuisine as a food of life that reflects the spirit and history of a people. With recipes such as “Cousin Eddie’s Shark with Breadfruit” and “Collard Greens to Bring You Money,” Shange instructs us in the nuances of a cuisine born on the slave ships of the Middle Passage, spiced by the jazz of Duke Ellington, and shared by all members of the African Diaspora. Rich with personal memories and historical insight, If I Can Cook/You Know God Can is a vivid story of the migration of a people, and the cuisine that marks their living legacy and celebration of taste.
Infused with a down-home feel and vernacular rhythms . . . this slim, lively book stimulates and elucidates, and is well worth chewing on.–Luis H. Francia, The Village Voice
“Shange stirs and simmers the soul and moves the reader/eater/cook to rethink every morsel of Pan-African history, personal celebration, and global pain that enters our lives when we gather around her magical hearth to laugh, to cry–but most indispensably–to eat.”–Edwidge Danticat, author of The Farming of Bones
“This culinary memoir . . . is as valuable for its inspirational and factual nuggets as it is for its unusual recipes. . . . Soul-nourishing.”–Carmela Ciuraru, Entertainment Weekly
“A captivating collection of African-American food memories, meditations and recipes.” –Kathy Martin, Miami Herald
“Shange achieves . . . revolutionary splendor. She wraps history and legend and recipes and folklore around one big roti . . . makes a gumbo out of memories and laughter and recipes and black vernacular . . . throws spicy metaphors into recipes that have traveled from Africa and Brazil and the Caribbean and Brixton, England.”–American Visions
“A fervent, richly impassioned chronicle of African American experience.”–Booklist