What happens when a man who is obsessed with food is denied the taste of it?
“I have spent years of my life obsessing about my weight, feeling guilt over every mouthful. Jon Reiner’s magnificent and devastating memoir accomplished the impossible. It made me shut up and enjoy my food.” Ayelet Waldman, author of Red Hook Road
“An engrossing and candid memoir… fearless and singular.” Publishers Weekly
On February 13, 2009, Jon Reiner – a James Beard Foundation Award-winning food writer – had just returned home with the week’s groceries (a task for this stay-at-home dad) when a near-fatal complication from his chronic battle with Crohn’s disease left him writhing on the floor in pain. He was in desperate need of medical attention.
After emergency surgery to save his life, Reiner was placed on TPN (Total Parenteral Nutrition), meaning he was to receive nothing by mouth for 3 full months… No food, no water, nothing but nutrition delivered by intravenous means.
“For a hospital patient, a (TPN) order is a condemnation. It translates… to: ‘starving on intravenous drip while your roommate groans over the vulcanized chicken, limp penne, and lumpy custard on his tray.'”
This memoir is the story of how Reiner’s body and his marriage – which had suffered from the stress of a chronic and potentially fatal illness – came to be healed at a difficult time in his life. Kirkus Reviews called it, “An amazing, incredible tale.” John McEnroe said, “I will never take eating for granted again. Wow! What a roller coaster. All I kept thinking was, you cannot be serious! But he was.”
The Man Who Couldn’t Eat: A Memoir (Gallery Books; $25.00; 320 pages) was released on September 6, 2011. Readers in northern California who are interested have a chance to see Jon Reiner on Monday, October 17, 2011, at The Booksmith, 1644 Haight Street, San Francisco. This reading and book signing event begins at 7:30 p.m.
You may want to eat dinner before you attend!