Paula Butturini reads from Keeping the Feast: One Couple’s Story of Love, Food, and Healing in Italy (Riverhead, 2010)

Journalists Paula Butturini and John Tagliabue met in Italy in 1985 and four years later married in Rome. Less than a month after the wedding, John was shot and nearly killed by sniper fire while reporting for the New York Times on an uprising in Romania. He recovered from his physical wounds but sank into a deep depression. Paula was forced to reexamine her assumptions about healing and discovered that sometimes patience can be a vice, anger a virtue; that sometimes it is vital to make demands of the sick in order to help them get better. In her memoir Keeping the Feast, she rediscovers the importance of the daily sharing of food around the family table.

“Paula Butturini writes magnificently about the pleasures of eating and of how food can be a rare refuge from suffering. Joy and sorrow both have their place on the plate of our lives, and Butturini’s experiences have allowed her a unique appreciation of how time around the table with those for whom we care deeply can put us back together. A transcendent memoir.”–Giulia Melucci