Meeting Laura Shapiro

I had the good fortune of meeting one of my literary heroes over the weekend. Historian and author Laura Shapiro came to Austin to participate in the Women & Food Symposium at The Food Lab on Saturday. 

Laura’s books, Something from the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950s America and Perfection Salad: Women and Cooking at the Turn of the Century are two essential reads for anyone concerned with understanding complex societal, industrial, and economic factors that weave together keen insight on American women’s relationship with domesticity, 1950’s food (or food-like atrocities), the evolution of home economics, etc.

It was a day of discussion with three, hour-long panels (that could’ve each easily spanned four hours of discussion), a long list of smart, inspiring women panelists, and great questions from attendees. After Laura’s panel with Elizabeth Engelhardt and Addie Broyles, I accosted Laura to give her a copy of the book that she influenced so heavily; I strive to leave readers with feelings similar to the empowerment I felt after finishing Something from the Oven. Laura signed my copy of Perfection Salad and was so genuinely friendly. She said her husband was likely to devour HGGH and thanked me for sharing it with her.

It’s such a treat to meet people you esteem and find them kind and normal and smart-as-whips (even when you’re starstruck and take longer than usual to muster the correct spelling for ‘inspiration’ in said person’s book inscription).

Disclosure: the Amazon links in this post will deliver you to a place that magically deposits a few cents of the proceeds of any such sale into my bank account.