Richard Kramer’s These Things Happen

The older I get, the more my taste has shifted from the realm of CLEVER to the realm of HEART. In my 20s, I devoured books like Pale Fire and A Confederacy of Dunces; in my 30s, I get more excited when a book moves me to tears than when it makes me chuckle knowingly.

Enter Richard Kramer. A writer and producer of such shows as thirtysomething, My So-Called Life, Once and Again, Queer as Folk, and Tales of the City, he recently revealed himself as a fan of this very food blog. And in our exchange he’d mentioned the novel he’d written, These Things Happen, which I promptly picked up and finished reading this morning before starting my day. It’s a book positively bursting with heart. Every character, every utterance is written with so much love and joy and warmth, it feels like a great, big hug. And the best part is, food plays a major role here: the story concerns a teenager named Wesley, whose dad (Kenny) latently came out as gay, and now lives with his partner, George, who runs a restaurant in New York’s theater district.

There’s focaccia, lasagna, polenta cake, you name it; and what I love so much about the way food figures in here is that it illustrates something that I feel very strongly about: the power food has to nurture, to heal, to comfort, to console. It’s a lovely book written by a lovely person. I really think you’ll enjoy it. (Buy it here.)

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