Book of the Day 4/20/23

The Long Takeout: Short Stories for the Hungry Sojourner by Elijah Douresseau

(Fiction / Short Stories)

The Long Takeout is one of the most creative, thoughtful works of fiction that I’ve read in quite some time. In nine short stories, author Elijah Douresseau chronicles captivating tales that reflect the interconnection between food, culture, and self-discovery. 

Food serves many purposes. It fuels and nourishes us, but that is just the beginning. It is a representation of identity, culture, and our memories. With a single taste, food can take you back to the happiest memories of childhood’s innocence. On the other hand, some sensations on our tastebuds elicit emotions of pain and sadness. 

Food is a rather extraordinary force that has deeply spiritual and emotional ties. The stories in this book exhibit the diverse foodscape of Los Angeles and provide insight into the millions of lives in the wide-reaching locale. Neighborhoods, street corners, restaurants, and other geographical institutions are represented in this love letter to the heartbeat of the city. The author has creatively constructed a literary food court that demonstrates what is necessary on the voyage towards self-discovery. 

If you have ever felt the innate need to grab a bite to eat on the way to do something stupid, after a small victory, or even while doing the mundane, you’ll relate to this book. Little do the characters in each story know that what they eat and what they crave can impact the rest of their lives. Food is a commonality – an everyday necessity. But that is not a reason to think it is thoughtless. After reading this book, you’ll forever be mindful of food’s complex ability to represent who we are, where we’ve been, and where we’re going. 

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