Life Without a Recipe

A Memoir


"With a tenderness that never dips into nostalgia, Abu-Jaber weaves together the stories of those closest to her…Abu-Jaber renders her relationships to both food and family in rich, joyful detail."
—Amanda Winterroth, Booklist

"[A] deliciously candid story…Generously seasoned by an abiding love of food and a keen eye for the nuances of human relationships, this book is a reminder that however unpredictable it may be, life is a dish to be savored. A delectably warm and wise memoir."
Kirkus Reviews

"This bold, luscious memoir is both recollection and guide. Brimming with great meals and family struggle, it walks a path between cultural traditions and American individualism. A vivid story of one writer’s journey to build a creative life, one lived ‘without recipes,’ this book will be indispensable to anyone trying to forge their own truer path."
—Ruth Reichl

"Wonderfully written, honest, funny, and deeply heart-touching, Diana Abu-Jaber’s memoir is a joyous read that speaks to the creative spirit in us all."
—Heidi W. Durrow, New York Times best-selling author of The Girl Who Fell from the Sky

"Life Without a Recipe is filled with visceral joys and literary beauty as well as soulful honesty and a gripping story. Diana Abu-Jaber writes trenchantly and gorgeously about family, marriage, and motherhood with insights and connections that feel hard-won and richly earned. Her sharp intelligence and unsparing self-knowledge bristle on every page alongside her passionate brio for life in all its flavors and complexities.”
—Kate Christensen, author of Blue Plate Special and The Great Man

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