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On the Same Page with John Edge


Edge brings to AETN two of his four books examining iconic American food "Fried Chicken: An American Story" and "Apple Pie: An American Story." The books are said to be about the foods "that conjure childhood and comfort, that compel the reader to hit the road in search of the greasy grail, that call a reader to the kitchen the ones everybody thinks their mom made best." Telling the tale of such classic foods allows Edge to uncover the story of America itself through history, culture and a rich social landscape. Edge investigates the dishes' origins and cultural significance, as well as offering regional recipe variations.

Edge is a longtime columnist for Oxford American, which is now published at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, and he visited Arkansas to guest edit a special food edition of the magazine. He writes frequently for Gourmet and other publications, including Saveur and the U.S. Air in-flight magazine, Attach. His work is featured in the 2001-2004 editions of the Best Food Writing compilation, and he was a 2004 finalist for the M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award from the James Beard Foundation.

Other books Edge has authored are the James Beard Award-nominated cookbook, "A Gracious Plenty: Recipes and Recollections from the American South," and "Southern Belly," a mosaic-like portrait of Southern food told through profiles of people and places. He is general editor of the book series "Cornbread Nation: The Best of Southern Food Writing," and foodways section editor for the forthcoming edition of the "Encyclopedia of Southern Culture."

Edge holds a master's degree in Southern studies from the University of Mississippi and is director of the Southern Foodways Alliance, an affiliated institute of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi.

OTSP host Tommy Sanders had the opportunity to speak with Edge at That Bookstore at Mountebanq Place in Conway. Following the interview, Sanders met with a panel of readers. Those discussing the book are: Angie Thompson, a producer for JM Associates in Little Rock; Danny Grace, professor and chair of the theatre arts department at Hendrix College in Conway; and Max Brantley, editor of the Arkansas Times in Little Rock.

About the Author

John T. Edge writes frequently for Gourmet and other publications like Saveur and the U.S. Air in-flight magazine, Attach. He is a longtime columnist for the Oxford American. His work is featured in the 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004 editions of the Best Food Writing compilation. He was a 2004 finalist for the M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award from the James Beard Foundation. Edge has a number of books to his credit, including the James Beard Award-nominated cookbook, A Gracious Plenty: Recipes and Recollections from the American South and Southern Belly, a mosaic-like portrait of Southern food told through profiles of people and places. He is general editor of the book series Cornbread Nation: The Best of Southern Food Writing, and foodways section editor for the forthcoming edition of the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. ~~At present, he is at work on four books that examines iconic American foods. Putnam published the first two, Fried Chicken: An American Story and Apple Pie: An American Story, in the fall of 2004.

Edge holds a master's degree in Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi and is director of the Southern Foodways Alliance, an affiliated institute of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi, where he dedicates his time to studying, celebrating, promoting, and preserving the diverse food cultures of the American South.

For more information visit the author's website at johntedge.com