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Bourdain: The Definitive Oral Biography

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by Laurie Woolever
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It's fitting that someone as complex, insightful, generous, frustrating, impatient, and compassionate as Anthony Bourdain should be captured not in a traditional biography, with a linear attempt at cohesion, but in this, impressionistic, fragmented, and sometimes contradictory collection of recollections.

Laurie Woolever, Bourdain's longtime writing collaborator and aide de camp, has interviewed nearly 100 people whose stories appear here. They include Bourdain's brother, Christopher, and mother, Gladys; his former wives, Nancy and Octavia, and an astonishing array of others.

Alex Getmanov, who was "Dimitri" in Kitchen Confidential is here. So are Eric Ripert, Bourdain's literary agent Kimberly Witherspoon, his editor Dan Halpern, CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour, and many kitchen colleagues, television crew members, and friends.

Not surprisingly, given the man at the heart of these accounts, these are frank recollections. Sometimes funny or earthy, sometimes poignant or passionate, they reveal the admiration he inspired, the distance he often kept from people, his excitement at finding an audience that cared about what he had to say, and yes, the struggles that plagued him.

Captivating and insightful.

Hardcover. Photo inserts.

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