Yesterday news broke that Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” will debut at number one on the New York Times bestseller list for hardcover Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous–reportedly the first time that title reached the top spot.
Two other books, “Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom” and “My Life in France,” with also be high on the bestseller list. Most of those sales have been driven by the recent film, Julie & Julia. According to Knopf, the publisher has reprinted over 1.2 million Julia Child books over the last month to keep up with demand. Child would be proud of her new success, as the chef’s 1974 profile in the New Yorker by Calvin Tomkins proves.
Here’s an excerpt about Child’s frustrated career as a novelist: “As a member of Smith’s Class of 1934, Julia was planning to be Great Woman Novelist. ‘They laughed when I sat down at the typewriter,’ she told an interviewer in San Francisco. ‘And they were right, too, because nothing much ever came of the plan. I wrote for the Smith College Tatler, and after I graduated I went home for a while, and then I went to New York and tried to get a job with The New Yorker, but they turned me down. The woman-novelist idea was very vague and unformed.'” (Via Alfred A. Knopf)