Female Nomad and Friends

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 July, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 04 July, 2010, 12:00am

Female Nomad and Friends
edited by Rita Golden Gelman
Three Rivers Press HK$120

Female Nomad and Friends is a worthy project gone askew. A collection of stories by 41 writers, it is about making human connections, travel and, most of all, eating. Compiled by Rita Goldman Gelman, who developed itchy feet after her divorce in 1987 and wrote about it in Tales of a Female Nomad, the book consists mainly of vignettes written mainly by women; Gelman asked fans to 'send me stories about connecting and risk-taking around the world, with recipes'. Some of the pieces are by professional writers; many are not. Although Gelman asked for essays two to three pages long, the restriction probably scuppered the quality of many of the articles. Lacking in detail and insubstantial, they pale in comparison to the longer essays. Some, however, manage to entice from the get-go, including one by Gelman, in a section called Passion, in which she makes 'hand love' to a man sitting next to her on a flight from New York to Los Angeles. That inspires a 'recipe' for finger foods (basically delicious filling in puff pastry). Buy this for the recipes, the contacts and the knowledge your money will help children in Indian slums.