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First published in Harper's 275 (October 1987): 50-7. 

Scott Rettberg: "Food and restaurants seem to be a recurring obsession in your fiction. Restaurants make for an interesting milieu in your stories, in that they are often the site of both an essential activity,  eating, for the human-as-animal, and yet also a place where the
superficiality and peccadilloes of "high culture" are put on display. Do you see restaurants as places where visceral humanity puts on its cultured airs?"

T.C. BOYLE: "Well that is a great question, and brilliantly phrased, and it answers itself, pretty much. I very much like the idea. I've thought about food a lot, because I'm always asked about it. I think it stands as a kind of symbol of conspicuous consumption. My restaurant critic piece ["Sorry Fugu"] began with the idea that it's so absurd. I mean, people are starving all over the world, and we're concerned about how they're cooking the sea bass tonight. But eventually, as you know, it became a story not so much about restaurants and restaurant critics, but my little love letter to the critics of the world in general, as opposed to the artists.

"And yeah, it does bring our animal natures into conflict with what is polite. And to be civilized, to be able to go to a restaurant, without killing everybody, eating their food, and then eventually eating them too, is a miracle in a way."

--from "Interview with T. Coraghessan Boyle." Website. 15 December 1998.

Contemporary Literary Criticism, volume(s) 90:45-7.
Short Story Criticism, volume(s) 16:146, 148-49, 155.


--Sandye Utley, Cincinnati, Ohio
Last Page Update:  24 April 2001