Essays on Food, Flesh, and Navigating Disaster

by Nicole Walker





“Walker plays her way linguistically deep into the grotesque and marvelous realities of what it means to live in a female body and to depend on other bodies—chicken, raven, pig, veal, cougar, husband and child—for one's sustenance I woke from this book as from a sweet and slightly dirty dream, sex and cooking swirling in my mind, saying yes and yes to the bizzare beauty of a fleshly existence.”
author of Zoologies: On Animals and the Human Spirit

“Walker gathers seemingly disparate scraps of earthly experience and sniffs out their secret connections, before stitching them together into the sort of tapestry that is as colorful as it is interrogative, as disarming as it is bursting with light.” 

—MATTHEW GAVIN FRANK, author of The Mad Feast and Preparing the Ghost


“To think about food is to think about life, and Walker does so with brilliant complexity and insight.”
author of Stealing Buddha's Dinner

“This book is more than funny, more than tough. It’s about appetite—food as, life as, place as, memory as, hope as—and about how, through the act of articulation itself, we can make a meal of life’s pain and peace”
author of Bodies, of the Holocene

“Brave, beautiful, funny and important—at once a collection of essays and a meditation on food and love.”

—NED STUCKEY-FRENCH, author of The American Essay in the American Century


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NICOLE WALKER is the author of The After-Normal: Brief, Alphabetical Essays on a Changing Planet; Sustainability: A Love Story; A Survival Guide for Life in the Ruins; and other books. Her work has been published in Orion, Boston Review, Creative Nonfiction, Brevity, The Normal School, and elsewhere. Recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and noted in multiple editions of The Best American Essays, Walker is nonfiction editor at Diagram and professor at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona.


Nicole Walker made cheese and grew tomatoes as a means of coping when she failed to get pregnant. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, she cooked veggie burgers for friends and hamburgers for herself—to enjoy outside, six feet apart. Her Mormon ancestors canned peaches to prepare for the End of Days and congealed beef broth into aspic as a surefire cure for ailment. Throughout the richly layered essays of Processed Meats, Walker ponders food choices and life choices, dissecting how we process disaster, repackage it, and turn it into something edible

March 2021 | Nonfiction | 978-1-948814-34-8 | 304 pp |$18.95 

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