A Review Kate Lebo’s The Book of Difficult Fruit

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

By Jehanne Dubrow

A is for appetite. I come to The Book of Difficult Fruit,because I am writing a manuscript about our sense of taste. I suppose you could say I’m hungry for any text about devouring.

B is for body. Kate Lebo begins with it. The fruits she examines are sometimes food, but just as often medicine, cordials, and balms that might heal the ill parts of ourselves.

C is for cancer: perhaps the book’s most painful fruit of all.

D is for difficult. Lebo cautions us that, for her, “fruit is not the smooth-skinned, bright-hued, waxed and edible ovary of the grocery store.” Instead, she understands fruit as a thing that invades or poisons or rots. Her book reflects this difficulty, resisting the linear and asking us to reach from one prickly bite to the next.

E is for exposition. There are occasional tastes of it.


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