The Man Who Couldn't Eat
I am not familiar with Crohn’s disease. So to read what Mr. Reiner went through dealing with this disease, it was disheartening. I can not imagine having to live with Crohn’s disease. Always having to worry about what you eat not because you want to lose weight but because you never know when some type of food could be like a time bomb towards your body.
Reading about the stool blockage that formed in Mr. Reiner’s small intestine and tore a perforation in his intestinal wall, which caused a rupture was horrible. I could just envision the horrific pain that he was in, while he lay on his kitchen floor waiting for his wife to come home. Luckily, the doctor was able to stabilize Mr. Reiner but in order to heal and avoid further surgery; the doctor informs Mr. Reiner that he will have to have a PICC line for total parenteral nutrition (TPN). Mr. Reiner will be receiving food intravenously.
The way Mr. Reiner described food was better than some food writers. I swear I could almost smell and taste the pastrami from Kazi. While, I did appreciate Mr. Reiner sharing his story, I found this book to be heavy. I could not sit and just read it. In fact I did skim over it in parts. After reading this book, I would never wish anyone to have this disease.
So who is Jon Reiner? Well I will just let Mr. Reiner explain himself.
JON REINER, FOOD WRITER By Jon Reiner
I won the 2010 James Beard Foundation Award for Feature Writing for authoring the Esquire story, “The Man Who Couldn’t Eat.” You may be thinking, That doesn’t make any sense. You wouldn’t be altogether wrong. Because of the anti-food subject of my story, I was an anti-food food writer. It’s a niche I inhabit as the sole member. The group’s meetings generally go smoothly.
In the instant I received the award, astonishingly, I became a food writer. A major publisher (Simon & Schuster) enthusiastically received my proposal to write a memoir based on the magazine story, with food deprivation at the core of a story that would be marketed as a food book. No one found this more absurd than my wife, Susan, who’s endured my very limited cooking for 15 years, waiting, prodding, urging me to study recipes just a little and get beyond the breaded pork chops of which she and our children have long tired. “You, a food writer? Ha!”
When I wrote the book, however, an amazing thing happened. In tracing the flashpoints that would tell a life story, I discovered that food had been a telling part of just about every meaningful event I could remember, starting when I was a kid and my parents took me to Katz’s Deli on the Lower East Side. Psychologically, emotionally, socially, culturally, historically, financially – food has been there throughout. So, while I may not have a clue how to make an apricot sauce to braise the chicken (I think water is involved), I remember its aromatic jungle flavor, how buoyant it made me feel, and how my wife’s pretty face was framed by the dark brick wall in our honeymoon apartment the first time I tasted it. Me, a food writer? You’ll have to read the book.
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