Author(s): M.F.K. Fisher
When her long-time agent and friend Robert Lescher died in 2012, the manuscript of M.F.K. Fisher's unpublished first novel was discovered packed tidily away in one of Lescher's signature red boxes.
Following on the success of Serve It Forth and written when she was in her early 30s, the novel employs Fisher's characteristic sharp-eyed wit to sketch themes so outr they may have seemed too challenging for a proper woman of her time to attempt.
Set in the late 1930s, The Theoretical Foot concerns two expat American couples in Europe, tramping from country to country without sanction of marriage, this during an era when cohabitation--to say nothing of a girl's hitchhiking --could ruin a respectable woman's reputation for all time. As fascism spreads and war inevitably approaches, the idyll of a beautiful life of love and freedom from convention is also threatened from within, as the man in one of the couples falls gravely ill with a rare circulatory disease.
And indeed, Mary Francis Kennedy Fisher and Dillwyn Parrish had been forced to return to Depression-era California where she was struggling to support them with her writing. Parrish--like the character in the story--was afflicted with Buerger's disease, for which there was only one effective painkiller, unavailable in the States. Faced with unrelieved agony and the threat of serial amputations, Parrish killed himself in August of 1941. Weeks later the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the entire world was engulfed in war.
An undiscovered novel by an iconic American food writer - the publication of this enchanting portrait of 1930s bohemian life will be a major literary event
M.F.K. Fisher is credited with inventing American food writing and was one of its preeminent figures of the twentieth century. Following her acclaimed debut, Serve It Forth, her classic, Consider the Oyster, was published in 1941. She went on to publish over twenty-five books celebrating and interrogating food, love, and the sensuous life. M.F.K. Fisher's body of work encompasses essay collections, short stories, memoirs, journals and one other novel, Not Now But Now. Born in Michigan in 1908, she spent three formative years in France before settling in California. She died in 1992. mfkfisher.com/