Works in Progress
Acadie and the Allure of Elsewhere
A Rhapsody in Turquoise
In the tradition of All the Wild Hungers: A Season of Cooking and Cancer (Milkweed Editions, 2019), A Rhapsody in Turquoise invites readers into an exploration of the subtleties and depths embedded in seemingly ordinary objects. Rooted in the familial legacy of two distinctive grandmothers, Marion and Phyllis, this book uncovers the complexity of setting a table, finding meaning in the delicate details, and rediscovering the essence of togetherness.
Central to the narrative is the concept of “the entertainment” as a symbolic anchor, revealing deep interconnections between personal histories, family dynamics, and societal contexts. The author's pursuit of elegance, apart from traditional life milestones, is depicted through collecting fine tableware, intertwining personal narratives and questioning the essence of what it means to choose a solo life as a woman in the 21st century.
The unexpected arrival of the pandemic reshapes the idea of entertaining, of being together, offering reflections on resilience and rediscovering forgotten skills. Memories of the author's rural upbringing bring forth lessons on simplicity and shared meals as true markers of luxury. This contemporary shift in togetherness leads to a profound reevaluation of societal connections and the historical significance of communal dining.
Within these succinct yet powerful micro-essays, Babine crafts a rich tapestry of reflections, urging readers to contemplate the stories embedded in everyday objects and the evolving dynamics of human connection amidst a changing world.