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Ten Thousand Tongues
secrets of a layered kitchen
Strong matriarchs in the author’s family are the inspiration for “Ten Thousand Tongues.” These are stories of perseverance, and of a deep-rooted appreciation of family legacies that inspire and shape reverence to one’s culinary heritage.
“Ten Thousand Tongues” is a biographical fiction about eight women who find refuge, solace, and strength in their constantly evolving relationship to family and each other, through the foods they cooked and later, the dishes they are most often remembered by. It captures their essence through narratives from within and around their homes, their lives intersecting briefly, as mothers and as daughters.
The main characters of this book navigate the constructs of religious boundaries, between Hinduism and Judaism, and definitions of identity in India and the United States. Despite their flawed relationships, their modest kitchens create indelible memories. Their domestic life is sometimes their burden, and at other times their sanctuary, and yet, long after the kitchen fires are cold, the warmth of old-fashioned comfort foods continue to nourish both body and spirit. Their narratives lead readers through the food pathways that finally culminate in Ana’s kitchen, far away from where the stories first began. Immortalized through iconic comfort foods, eight women effortlessly manage to create a unique and lasting culinary legacy that spans many generations.
Look for a companion cookbook of the same name to pair with the novel for a complete immersive experience.