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Judith Newton
Judith Newton is Professor Emerita in Women and Gender Studies at U.C. Davis where she directed the Women and Gender Studies program for eight years and the Consortium for Women and Research for four.

She grew up in Compton, California, received her B.A. at Stanford in American literature and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Victorian literature at U.C. Berkeley.

She is the author and co-editor of five works of nonfiction on nineteenth-century British women writers, feminist criticism, women’s history, and men’s movements.

Her memoir, Tasting Home appeared in 2013 and received ten independent press awards.

Other work has appeared in The Redwood Coast Review (Winter 2012), poetalk (Summer, 2011), at and at

She is currently at work on Oink! A Food for Thought Mystery. She in lives in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, where she tends her garden and cooks for family and friends.

Entries by Judith Newton

Retirement as an Open Door

(0) Comments | Posted January 25, 2016 | 5:34 PM


Two years ago I decided to attend a Screenwriters Conference in Hollywood and, despite my reluctance to embarrass myself in public, signed up to present my screenplay at the conference "Pitch Fest." The pitch fest was to consist of sixty to eighty tables...

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Mayhem: A Woman's Life In Rural Texas

(0) Comments | Posted October 22, 2015 | 8:10 AM

A Review of Mayhem by Elizabeth Harris


"A young woman climbing out of an old Essex in a cloche hat and a flowered maroon rummage-sale dress in front of the Prince Carl County courthouse, that's what some observers will remember . ....

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On Tenderness Toward Experience

(2) Comments | Posted June 20, 2015 | 9:44 AM


"Young people, and especially our children, can revive our capacity for wonder at the world and a sense of intimate connection to it. I felt closer to the landscape because I saw my daughter come alive to it with an intensity that no...

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When A Brother Dies

(86) Comments | Posted March 18, 2015 | 7:45 AM

"Even siblings we don't see, who live differently from us, who move in their own world, may be shoring up our lives, our sense of family, our feeling of being at home in the world without our knowing it."

Two years ago, in March, my younger brother died, quite...

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The Politics of Women's Writing About Food

(1) Comments | Posted September 30, 2014 | 6:14 PM

Cooking and dining with others train us in modes of feeling and behavior that are the foundation for democracy itself.

While writing my food memoir, Tasting Home, I avoided reading anything analytical about women and food. (I had been a professor for most of my life and didn't want...

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My 1950s Death Valley Dad

(1) Comments | Posted June 13, 2014 | 7:02 PM

Although my dad had a difficult temperament, although he was a 1950s kind of father who kept his distance from the children, and though my brother and I saw very little of either parent while growing up, I knew my dad loved and supported me. In an age when my...

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Kitchen Conversations: Food Studies and Food Writing

(2) Comments | Posted January 28, 2014 | 5:20 PM

In an ever-growing number of Food Studies classes, college undergraduates are reading blogs like Smitten Kitchen, Orangette, Pinch My Salt, and The Pioneer Woman Cooks with the keen eyes of anthropologists studying the customs of an unfamiliar land.

They are analyzing the values embodied in recipes, cookbooks, food-related memoir,...

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Shrimp and Grits: A Ghost Story

(7) Comments | Posted October 24, 2013 | 5:47 PM

Cuisine is the tactile connection we have to breathing history.
Clifford A. Wright, A Mediterranean Feast

That spicy Shrimp and Grits I'd fallen for, far from being a recently minted cuisine, had had deep roots in slave cooking of the past. What had seemed "new" to...

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How Mastering The Art Of French Cooking Turned My Life Around

(51) Comments | Posted August 15, 2013 | 7:17 AM

August 15, the anniversary of Julia Child's birth, is a good time to reflect on the role that her Mastering the Art of French Cooking played in many of our lives. It is was in cooking from Mastering the Art, for example, that I made strides toward becoming...

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On Saying Goodbye To A Difficult Mother

(31) Comments | Posted May 10, 2013 | 7:53 AM

My mother died on January 5, 2010. She was 101 years old. Our long association had been troubled from the time of my birth, and throughout my life, I'd found it challenging to choose cards for Mother's Day. So many expressed a gratitude and devotion I couldn't feel. By 2010,...

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Reclaiming the Kitchen: Women's History Month Meets the Food Justice Movement

(4) Comments | Posted March 4, 2013 | 1:23 PM

When I was younger, Women's History Month drew my attention to the women's rights conference in 1848 at Seneca Falls. In my maturity, it prompts me to recall the 1970s, when women all around me were rethinking their relation to the kitchen, to housework and to making the coffee at...

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A Valentine For My Gay Ex-Husband

(599) Comments | Posted February 8, 2013 | 5:56 AM

I met him in graduate school during the early sixties. He was the kind of smart, studious young man I'd always been drawn to but never managed to date. He said "oops" a lot and was so funny that being in his company felt like having a childhood for the...

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