Bob Spitz, American journalist and acclaimed author best known for his celebrity biographies, will present his new biography "Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child," at noon on Thursday, Sept. 13, at the Sullivan Community Center, 635 N. Aspen Drive in Vernon Hills. This free event will be open to the public, but registration is required. Call (847) 362-2330 or visit webres.cooklib.org to register. A boxed lunch will be available for purchase for $7 through Monday, Sept. 10, and must be purchased in person at the Aspen Drive or Cook Park Library. A complimentary French-inspired dessert will be available for all attendees to enjoy and books for signing will be available for purchase courtesy of Lake Forest Bookstore.
It's rare for someone to emerge in America who can change our attitudes, our beliefs, and our very culture. It's even rarer when that someone is a middle-aged, six-foot-three-inch woman who became an iconic cult figure and joyous rule-breaker as she touched off the food revolution that has gripped America for more than 50 years.
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In Spitz's new biography, "Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child," which coincides with what would have been her 100th birthday on Aug. 15, 2012, the Julia we know and love comes vividly -- and surprisingly -- to life. In painstaking detail, Spitz chronicles her life story while it celebrates the rich life of this culinary legend, television pioneer, and cultural icon. Both the author's admiration and Julia's larger than life personality shine through in this in-depth new account of her life.
The inspiration for this book began in 1992, when Spitz had the opportunity to travel with 80-year-old Julia for several weeks through Sicily. Many of the stories he tells clearly come from Julia herself and he admits that he developed "a powerful crush on her." He describes her as being larger than life and full of all the personal traits one associates with her: straight talk, passion, encouragement, wit and insight. He realized then how much there was left to learn about her.
He combined his experiences from that trip to Sicily with thorough research of Julia's personal documents and hundreds of interviews with friends and family.
"I spent a year researching the Julia Child archives at the Schlesinger Library at Harvard, which included all of her private papers, journals, letters, keepsakes and scripts for her shows," said Spitz. "In addition, the same archive had all of Paul Child's extraordinary letters -- some that were six to 10 pages in length that he wrote every day from 1940 until 1974, and contained brilliant descriptions of his and Julia's lives."
Spitz employed the same skill he brought to his best-selling, critically acclaimed book "The Beatles," providing a clear-eyed portrait of one of the most fascinating and influential Americans of our time -- a woman known to all, yet known by only a few. On the centenary of her birth, Julia finally gets the biography she richly deserves. In the words of the lady herself, "Bon appétit!"
Bob Spitz has represented the careers of Bruce Springsteen and Elton John. He is the author of "The Making of Superstars," "Barefoot in Babylon," "Dylan," and "Shoot Out the Lights." His articles appear regularly in The New York Times magazine, GQ, Condé Nast Traveler, Men's Journal, In Style, Esquire, and The Washington Post. He is currently working with Graham Nash on the singer's memoir, and will begin work, in 2013, on the biography of President Ronald Reagan. He lives in Connecticut and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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