Small Fires Pot Luck Dinner with Rebecca May Johnson | 16th September @8pm
Join us for a very special event. On 16th September we'll be hosting a pot luck dinner at the bookshop to celebrate the release of Small Fires by Rebecca May Johnson.
Cooking is thinking! The spatter of sauce in a pan, a cook's subtle deviation from a recipe, the careful labour of cooking for loved ones: these are not often the subjects of critical enquiry. Cooking, we are told, has nothing to do with serious thought; the path to intellectual fulfilment leads directly out of the kitchen. In this electrifying, innovative memoir, Rebecca May Johnson rewrites the kitchen as a vital source of knowledge and revelation.
Drawing on insights from ten years spent thinking through cooking, she explores the radical openness of the recipe text, the liberating constraint of apron strings and the transformative intimacies of shared meals. Playfully dissolving the boundaries between abstract intellect and bodily pleasure, domesticity and politics, Johnson awakens us to the richness of cooking as a means of experiencing the self and the world - and to the revolutionary potential of the small fires burning in every kitchen.
Participants will be invited (but not required) to bring a dish to share, if you're unable to bring anything please don't worry and if you have any dietary requirements please let us know in advance and we will make sure you are well fed.
Rebecca May Johnson is a writer whose writing brings critical practices into everyday life. She has published essays, reviews and nonfiction with Granta, Times Literary Supplement, Daunt Books Publishing and Vittles, among others. She was a creative writing fellow at the British School at Rome in 2021. She earned a PhD in Contemporary German Literature from UCL in 2016.She also uses online publishing to conduct stylistic experiments: her essay ‘I Dream of Canteens’ was published via TinyLetter and gained widespread acclaim, winning ‘The Browser’ prize for the best piece on the internet in April 2019. Her anonymous waitressing series was voted in the Observer Food Monthly ‘Top 50’ of 2018. She was finalist in the ‘Young British Foodies’ writing prize judged by Marina O’Loughlin and Yotam Ottolenghi. She publishes a newsletter called dinner document where she shares recipes and thoughts about food every week. Small Fires is her first book.
As always tickets are free but must be booked in advance. I'll be updating this page to let people know what's for dinner so please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and dish your dish. Copies of Small Fires are also available for pre-order
Dishes so far
Green Beans with Parmesan
Greek Salad with Feta
Spicy sweetcorn, tomato and green bean salad.
Filo pastry/couscous, salmon dish
Roast veg couscous with feta hummus, sesame and toasted seeds