Next up in our December event spotlight, we’re pleased to feature fiction writer Jennifer Bannan, who will be reading at Six Impossible Things for Breakfast, and who may have invented a wonderful new cocktail below.
Why do you write about food?
I’m interested in consuming as a concept. I’m fascinated by the way, for example, people in this culture are more often referred to as consumers than as citizens. Food is an easy, direct route to thinking about consuming. Or over-consuming, as in the case of the story I’ll be reading. And food is chock full of sensory power, which all writers want to include in their work.
What’s the strangest meal you’ve ever had?
I grew up in Miami and my boyfriend’s family was Cuban. His mom wanted to cook a traditional Thanksgiving dinner because my boyfriend had joined my family for the holiday and he loved the food so much. I gave her as much information as my mom passed on, but it must have seemed lacking to her. She shoved a bunch of garlic cloves and lemon rind under the skin of the bird, and the stuffing was also one of the most garlicky, lemony things I’ve ever eaten. My boyfriend was mortified, even angry at her, and while I thought it was strange for sure, it was really very delicious.
If someone invented a cocktail named after you, what would it include?
The Jennifer Bannan would mix the buzzy effects of a strong cup of espresso with the mellowing effects of a nice Pinot Noir with the cozy warming effects of a Manhattan. I guess this shows that I’m more interested in the after-effects than the initial flavor.
Jennifer Bannan is the author of short story collection Inventing Victor, Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2003. Her publications include work in ACM, Kenyon Review online, Passages North, the Autumn House 2011 fiction anthology, “Keeping the Wolves at Bay” and a story forthcoming in theChicago Quarterly Review. She received her MFA at the University of Pittsburgh in 2014 and is at work on a novel, Welcome to Kindness.