Like most people currently reading My Life in France, I recently saw the movie Julie and Julia. And like everyone that I know, the movie made me interested in Julia Child but a little repulsed by Julie Powell (at least as portrayed in the movie, although I have several friends that have read the book and they weren’t that impressed.)
What impressed me about the book was that is was a fairly balanced look at her life. It is primarily autobiography, so you don’t have the outside perspective from a full blown biography. (It was written by Alex Prud’homme, Julia’s grand-nephew, based on extensive family letters and long interviews with Julia. Julia unfortunately died a few months before the book was completed.) But Julia seemed quite capable of being honest with herself and others about her weaknesses.
She seemed like a very likable woman, and like me she seem to not really like confrontation, and worked with some of her collaborators for years past the point when it was difficult.
What is encouraging to me is that she didn’t really start cooking until she was my age (36) and built a career, including a half dozen tv shows and more books after that. She didn’t publish her first book until she was in her mid 40s. She seemed to have real life, not a career track. Her career just followed along with her life.
As my wife has twittered, I have been inspired to cook. I have cooked all of our home cooked meals this week. That probably won’t last, but I have enjoyed it so far.