I just spent the morning with Kate Moses on the official publication day of her compelling new memoir, Cakewalk. We filmed our interview in the sunny kitchen, glass door open onto a backyard, three white cats circling and purring.
I read Cakewalk in the days before our meeting, laughing out loud and also sobbing. Yes, sobbing. It’s a wild and delicious ride, replete with recipes. Kate’s sentences are delicacies themselves–rich, abundant, generous and exquisite.
Rooted in a history of generations of Californians, White Russian treasure burning in a San Francisco dump, children tied to trees after the earthquake to keep them safe, Kate’s is the story of the making of a writer–for without waving any banners, this is a key part of the story and one that my writer self thrilled to read.
I don’t envy Kate her harrowing childhood, even with its flights of sugary beauty, and I suppose many writers have a cauldron of a past that boiled us, left us raw, tender and observant. But what a memory–what prose, what images–drives this narrative. What characters people it and what a journey creates the writer who can transform the whole thing into a delicacy.
I’ll be posting my video interview with her soon. Come join us in her kitchen!